Whole Lotta Otah

Singapore

Otah, or more commonly known as otak-otak, is a dish that originated from Indonesia featuring a spicy ground fish wrapped in banana leaves. A Singaporean favorite, the dish can be eaten on its own or on the side of many other local favorites. Though often seen as an afterthought to simply complete a meal, otah still deserves its spotlight. Unwrap the leaves and find the top shelf stores in Singapore that serve up quality otah!

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Updated 21 hours ago

Nam San Mackerel Otah

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Singapore, Singapore • Recommendation • 

Dubbed the Original Mackerel Otah, Nam San dishes out some of the most well-known Otah in Singapore. They offer seven different flavors on the menu, including their signature Mackerel Otah that includes a nice thick chunk of spice wrapped in banana leaves.

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Otak Otak Kampong

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Singapore, Singapore • Recommendation • 

For a taste of the Wild East, drop by Otak Otak Kampong for their Malaysian-style Otah. It’s got a grittier mouth feel thanks to the freshly grated coconut. This also adds a level of sweetness that greatly complements the Otah’s smoky flavor, a result of the shop’s penchant for slightly burning their Otah.

  • 1 Geylang Serai, #02-165, Singapore 402001

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Coffee & Toast Tampines Mall

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Singapore, Singapore • Recommendation • 

Try something new with an old favorite by having Otah in a Bun at Coffee & Toast. The buns are a nice and soft sponge that soaks up the heat if you’re not a fan of spice. It also adds a nice subtle flavor to make the Otah taste less fishy.

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The Coconut Club

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Singapore, Singapore • Recommendation • 

Next time you order the signature Nasi Lemak at The Coconut Club, get it with a side of their Otah. Their recipe is slightly spicier than usual, which adds a nice kick to accompany their Coconut Rice. Try to come in earlier since their handmade Otahs are made daily and typically sells out by lunchtime.

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Otah Boy

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Singapore, Singapore • Recommendation • 

The famous Nyonnya Muar Otah is an old family recipe of “Otah Boy’s” grandmother that gives you a real homey taste in each bite of mackerel. They’ve mastered the art of speed freezing to trap in all the flavor and bounce of the fish, so you can order it frozen to prepare back at home and it’d be just as delicious!

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328 Katong Laksa

3 saves

Singapore, Singapore • Recommendation • 

If 328 Katong Laksa’s creamy and fragrant laksa is Batman, then the huge Otah is its Robin. No meal here would be complete without a mouthful of fresh prawns and Squid Otah. It’s the perfect one-two kick of spicy and creamy that you can easily find on the island since 328 Katong Laksa started expanding with more branches.

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Hiang Soon Food Catering Service

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Singapore, Singapore • Recommendation • 

Hiang Soon Food Catering Service is used to serving on a large scale, but you can still get their awesome pop of Otah for only a dollar each. For such a small price, you get a great piece of fish and subtle spices perfected over Hiang Soon’s 20 years in the industry. It’s a great option for the rare Singaporean who isn’t a big fan of spicy snacks.

  • 261 Jln Kayu, Singapore 799490

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Lee Wee & Brothers

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Singapore, Singapore • Recommendation • 

Get over 12 different flavors of Otah at Lee Wee & Brothers! They serve two variants for most of their items by grilling them in either a coconut or banana leaf wrap. Banana leaves result in moister morsels but are a little bit pricier compared to coconut.

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Hougang Otah

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Singapore, Singapore • Recommendation • 

What started out as a small hawker next to the Old Airport Road has since become the 20-year-old powerhouse of otah that is Hougang Otah. Their Otah is a little more toned-down in terms of aroma, but the extra spicy kick more than makes up for it in terms of taste.

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Tingkat PeraMakan @ Owen Road

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Singapore, Singapore • Recommendation • 

Despite serving nostalgia on a plate, Tingkat PeraMakan puts a twist on the Nonya Classic Otah. They bake it over a turmeric leaf instead of grilling in banana or coconut leaves, resulting in a slightly drier, muskier flavor to the traditional dish.

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Guan Hoe Soon

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Singapore, Singapore • Recommendation • 

The unfaltering Guan Hoe Soon has been serving authentic Peranakan cuisine since 1953. The late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew loved their Otak so much, he would routinely order some for takeout. Who can blame him? The Otak here hits just the right levels of spice and the right amount of fish bits, making each bite more filling.

  • 40, 38 Joo Chiat Pl, Singapore 427764

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