Singapore’s Hawker Centers

One of my favorite things about Singapore is its incredibly good food and how cheaply you can get it. Singaporean cuisine is a combination of Chinese, Indian and Malay and the best place to get it is at one of the city’s famous Hawker Centers. Most of these 90 centers were built in the mid-‘80s after the government decided they wanted to regulate hygienic conditions. So basically it’s street food without the street. This trip I visited two of them and my favorite was Tiong Bahru. It’s huge and there had to be more than a hundred hawker stands all selling their specialty. I always choose the one with the longest line since you know it has to be good. For my lunch I had roasted chicken and rice ($2.50S, or about $2.20 US), then went to another stand and got some spicy string beans for $1S and then had two desserts: a plain ice Kacang ($1.20S) which is like a snowcone but with corn kernels and jellies on the bottom and the other was a fancy mango ice Kacang ($2S) that was topped with fresh fruit. See the pics below for more.

The other Hawker Center I visited was Maxwell Food Center in Chinatown. I went twice and the second time was with Charles Yap known on Twitter as @HotelPrGuy. Before filling our bellies he took me on a tour so I could saw a scale model of Singapore at the Urban Redevelopment Authority. We then went to the underground markets and did some Chinese New Year (it’s now the Year of the Dragon) shopping in the streets.

Related: New York Times story on Hawker Food Courts

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