Ta Pau /tah pow, tɑ paʊ/ v. phr. [Cantonese :  tá to beat, to hit, to strike; an auxiliary verb in the sense of to make, to do, to cause + páu to enclose, to contain, to hold, to wrap up.  Mandarin :  gather in, collect, reap + bāobundle, package, pack, packet, parcel]  Pack a meal to take along with oneself rather than to consume it at an eating establishment; have a meal to go, take away, take out.

I started this project just for fun, I bought my lunch one day and thought of just taking a photo in a studio setting but without the styling and props. The food will be shown in its “raw” form, except maybe for noodles which probably need to be put in a plate or bowl first.

I have been cooking at home a lot more recently, so the updates may not be coming in fast and furious.

So I present to you Tapao : SG

Chai Png (菜饭) :

  • Rice
  • Sweet & Sour Pork
  • Tofu
  • Steamed eggs
  • Curry sauce


Chai Png (aka Economical Rice) stalls can be found almost everywhere in Singapore.  You are presented with a whole lot of dishes and you either call out or point at the dish you want to add onto your rice or congee. Good for you to try different varieties of food at one go.

There are even some write ups on how to order at a Chai Png stall, like how long you should point at your food to get a bigger portion.

Char Siew Rice (叉燒饭) :


Char Siew is BBQ pork and usually has a red exterior layer, some stalls serve it brown due to different seasonings.  This dish can also be paired with roasted pork. Stall owners will ask if you would like sauce or chilli on top of the pork.


Black Carrot Cake (菜头粿 : 黑) :


In English it is called Carrot Cake, it is in fact radish.  This dish comes with 2 options : Black or White.

If you like it sweeter then order the black version. They will prepare it with eggs and black sauce which adds to the sweetness.  If you like to taste more egg then choose the white option, a “well cooked” plate of white carrot cake to me is when they let the egg and radish sit and cook till its slightly crispy.


Nasi Lemak (Chinese) :

  • Set B (Rice, Egg, Sausage, Cuttlefish Fillet)
  • 2 x Tau Gua


Nasi Lemak is a Malay dish but the coconut rice is so tasty that it has appeared at the economy bee hoon stalls. Almost like the Chai Png stalls, the economy bee hoon stalls gives you a whole bunch of stuff to add to your rice or noodles. Almost everything is fried : fried eggs, fried sausages, fried chicken wings, fried fish fillets, fried tofu, etc.

They have set meals like the one I ordered and you can add more stuff to the set.  Like a typical Nasi Lemak, you need to have the sweet chilli sauce to mix with the coconut rice.

Roti Prata :

  • 3 Kosong (aka Plain)
  • 1 Telur (aka Egg)

Can’t Remember The Price

Probably the most expensive bread you could pay for in Singapore. Roti Prata is essentially fried dough. Price varies depending on what you want to have inside the dough : Cheese, Eggs, Banana etc.  Usually found at Indian Muslim joints and those places usually open till the wee hours or even 24hours, very popular supper spots.

The plain prata used to cost 50 cents, then it became 80 cents and last I remember was $1! When I bought this, I didn’t know the breakdown cost, I’ll update the price if I ever go there again.

Mee Goreng :

  • added egg (aka sunny side up aka mata lembu)

Can’t Remember The Price

Mee Goreng means Fried Noodles, it can be found at all muslim coffeeshops.  Some are less red than others but I think the redder it is, the more kick goes into the taste.  This is probably the same as the Chinese Char Kway Teow in terms of unhealthiness, but who cares? It tastes good!

White Chicken Rice (白鸡饭) :


The grand daddy of hawker food in Singapore.  Every Singaporean will tell you to have chicken rice, this is one of our favourite dishes and it can be found everywhere. Usually comes in 2 versions, white or roasted.

The chilli is also unique for chicken rice, it is packed full of garlic. Open the packet and lay it all over your rice, mix well and enjoy. The rice is tasty on its own if you do not want to dump chilli all over.