Singaporeans may like many foreign foods – but other nations aren’t big fans of Singaporean cuisine, study finds

The New Paper

Singaporeans are foodies through and through.

A study of 24 countries has found that Singaporeans are the second-most likely to enjoy foreign cuisines, behind Filipinos.

But the love is not mutual. The study by market research company YouGov also found that most people from other nations aren’t too fond of Singaporean cuisine.

Singaporean cuisine is the 18th most popular cuisine out of 34 national cuisines, YouGov said. It ranks two spots above Malaysia.

The top five cuisines are Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and French, while the least popular cuisines include Peruvian, Finnish and Saudi Arabian, Filipino and Norwegian foods.

Spanish cuisine is in sixth place, followed by American, Mexican, and Indian cuisines.

The study, which was published on Wednesday (March 13), surveyed more than 25,000 people in 24 countries. Among those who have tried Singaporean cuisine, less than half, or 48 per cent, indicated that they like it.


In comparison, 84 per cent of respondents said they enjoy Italian cuisine, with pizza and pasta being among the most popular foods.

Countries where a large majority of those who tried Singaporean food and did not like it include the US, France, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Italy. The only Asian country with a large majority that does not like Singapore cuisine is Japan.

But among them all, the Swedish are the least impressed by what Singapore has to offer, with only 24 per cent of respondents there liking the food. This is followed by Saudi Arabia at 26 per cent and Spain at 27 per cent.

The Japanese, who are the least out of all the countries likely to enjoy foreign food, also gave Singapore a poor approval rating of 33 per cent.

As expected, the study found that the biggest fans of Singaporean food are none other than Singaporeans themselves, with 96 per cent of them indicating that they like it.

Other countries which take a liking to Singaporean cuisine are all in Asia Pacific – the Philippines, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Australia has the highest proportion of citizens who appreciate Singaporean cuisine at 75 per cent, followed by Malaysia at 74 per cent and Hong Kong at 73 per cent.

Each nation’s average attitude towards all 34 cuisines.

When it comes to foreign cuisine, Singaporeans particularly like Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Hong Kong and Malaysian cuisines.

The city-state has the highest proportion of respondents who like Japanese cuisine, tied with the Japanese themselves.

At the same time, Singaporeans are also the second biggest fans of cuisines in China, Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia – where the top fans are the natives themselves.

The least favourite cuisine among Singaporeans is Peruvian, which had a 33 per cent approval rating. This is followed by Argentinian (35 per cent) food and Finnish (37 per cent) cuisine.

Read also: