If you don't already know, the tastiest Singapore food and dishes are found in hawker centres in the residential areas. Hawker centres use natural ventilation in enclosed complex large enough to house in exceed of 20 to 30 food stalls selling all kinds of Singapore food and dishes. You can expect hundreds of diners at peak hours during lunch and dinner. In the topical Singapore weather, you can find sweat flowing down your forehead and your shirt soaking wet. The popular Newton Hawker Centre is good an example but it is very tourist oriented.
You still can get to taste popular Singapore food and dishes without the heat. The best kept secret is locals are flocking to food courts in shopping malls to take their meals. They love the settings because they get to eat their favourite food and they can beat the heat. Food courts are airconditioned and are professionally run. They serve many popular Singapore food but prices are on average 1 to 3 SGD more expensive than in hawker centres. For the tourists, there are several convenient food courts located in central parts of Singapore. Listed here are some along Orchard Road.
Level 4 @ Wisma Atria
Level 5 @ 313@Somerset
Basement 1 @ The Centrepoint
Basement 2 @ Ngee Ann City / Takashimaya
Level 6 @ Plaza Singapura
Basement 4 @ ION Orchard
Most stall assistants in hawker centers and food courts don't speak English proficiently, so ordering the dishes can be abit of guess work and with some surprises. There may be picture menu at some places and you can just point to order.
The downloadable food guide on travellerfoodguide.com is very useful because there is a section in every mentioned dish where you can mark a selection in English on the guide & a corresponding Chinese or Malay version is provided. Beside being able to communicate your selection, the guide is very helpful to customise the food when many Singapore food allow some kind of customisation. For example, we can order chicken thigh for chicken rice and there are "white" and "black" or roasted chicken. And if you don't like chili, the guide helps you remove the chili from you dish before it is too late.