Traveling to Singapore and Malaysia provides many opportunities to sample exotic foods from Asia. However there is a big difference in food between Singapore and Malaysia. The difference is seen largely in the taste of the food and also in the price.
In Singapore, it is recommended to eat at the hawker centers. It's the most economical way to eat in Singapore, and the best way to experience an authentic local meal. Only 5 Singapore Dollars is plenty enough to get you a pretty filling meal. The temptation maybe there in Singapore to splurge as there is plenty of variety, but save it for Malaysia.
Here are some main reasons why:
1.) Authentic Taste and Variety
The food in Singapore is good, but you will get even more variety in Malaysia. A lot of the good old traditional shops no longer exist in Singapore, as they make way for modernization with the huge air conditioned malls and food courts. However in Malaysia it still retains much of the old shops preserving the traditional techniques that make the food so special. Even in the modern city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, you will still find pockets of this old time charm through street vendors in the local markets, to the traditional coffee shops in the colonial shop houses.
2.) Fresher Ingredients, More Abundance of Ingredients
Singapore mostly relies on imports for their ingredients, therefore it can get expensive to obtain all the ingredients, which in some instances can lead to cut backs on these key ingredients on certain recipes in order to keep the costs down. In Malaysia on the other hand, they have a large agriculture industry, and therefore many of their ingredients are home grown, so you will get more value for your money. One prime example, splurge and enjoy seafood in Malaysia (if you are a seafood fan), it's much cheaper and fresher with more varieties.
3.) Price Difference, the Leverage of the Conversion Rates
Remember the significant leverage of 1 Singapore Dollar to 2.4 Malaysia Ringgit (rate is at the time of writing). In Singapore you can get a pretty good meal for 5 S$. Imagine what 10 Ringgit can get you in Malaysia for the same type of meal! about 5 years ago