Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
I recently spent a little time in Singapore and was curious how difficult it would be to avoid soy while I was there. While soy is present in many dishes, it is very possible to check ingredients in the grocery store and find soy-free food!
It is challenging to eliminate soy from Asian cuisine, but Singapore might be the best city to do so because the language barrier is so minimal. That being said, it is still difficult to eat soy-free at restaurants in Singapore. I would have no qualms about asking about ingredients in English and it’s a reasonable expectation that the restaurant staff would be able to understand. While this largely eliminates the language barrier (in our experience, the biggest hurdle to traveling soy-free), it doesn't make the food contain any less soy. Since soy is very prevalent in most dishes, finding a soy-free option at a restaurant may be challenging. Unlike our time in Japan, there wasn't an option like sushi that was both nearly guaranteed to be soy-free and also able to be found everywhere.
There is good news though! Shopping at the grocery store or convenience stores was relatively simple. Products are labeled in English (including ingredients), so it is straightforward to identify soy-free items. There were also plenty of options to choose from. While not everything was soy-free, it was quite possible to find some good food options at the store.
Singapore is known for its hawker centers. These are similar to food courts where multiple vendors sell food in an area with a communal eating area. This is great news for avoiding soy! This arrangement doesn't lock you into a particular food or vendor, and if eating from any food stall is too challenging you can even bring soy-free food from the grocery store to the center. This allows you to eat with others without restricting their food or needing to take risks. This is a great experience for eating together without needing to eat the same food.
Singapore is definitely a city worth exploring! It is possible to visit and eat soy-free and not feel minimized to do so. Enjoy your soy-free travels to the Lion City!