Singapore is one of the food stalls and restaurants. Wherever you reach, be it the most modern and elegant avenue in the centre, through the passage of any subway station or under the arcades of a peripheral residential neighbourhood, one only stumbles upon places full of people eating. For any Spaniard who respects the meal times (late yes, but they are strictly complied), then here is a loop infinite culinary that leaves you stunned: at any time of the day you can find people eating a plate of rice with two-cheeked chicken, or a roti prata (Indian pancake served with curry) or a bowl of noodles with fish dumplings. And so on until dawn. Some time ago a local friend commented that he ate when he was hungry and that he did not care what time it was. Singaporeans are practical and functional people in almost every aspect. Have a look at this marvelous Food Blogger.
Singapore is a country with a very characteristic colonial and migratory past that has forged its cosmopolitan present. So his cuisine was not going to be less. It is difficult to find a place like this, wherein the same and crowded space can be enjoyed from a char siew (Chinese pork barbecue) to Indian biryani rice or a Malaysian mee goreng (fried noodles with meat and vegetables). And all this washed down with freshly squeezed tropical fruit juice, a kopi (coffee with condensed milk) or a local beer, you know! This Food Blogger has all you are looking for!
Street food in Southeast Asia is an institution; you just have to walk through the streets of Bangkok, Hanoi or Yangon to taste authentic delicacies at an unbeatable price. However, Singapore, as in many other things, is a regional exception within the world of street food. Throughout the 70s the government decided to register all hawkers, the street vendors of Singapore, who were estimated between forty and fifty thousand. Once registered, and adducing health problems and epidemics associated with the hygienic practices of street marketing, all vendors were progressively relocated into new outdoor structures built, specifically, next to the public housing buildings (HDB) and neighbourhoods that were to appear in successive decades.
Food stands at the Newton Circus ‘hawker centre’, in Singapore.
To this day, these hawkers or food centres (street vendors or food centres) can be found throughout the island. The official list provided by the government is 107, but if we add to that the food houses scattered around the arcades of almost any block and the food courts (modern and air-conditioned version, located in shopping centres and subways), the number is overwhelming.
Imagine a municipal market, one of those that abound in Spanish geography. Remove the stalls of fruits and vegetables, remove the meat and fish, erase from your imagination the groceries. Once this is done put in place between 8 and 10 square meters where it fits a small kitchen that works like a locomotive at full steam, and where between one and three people are preparing dishes (without much variety in general, between two and eight possibilities) that come out at a dizzying speed and are greeted cheerfully by a hungry crowd waiting in line. Multiply this type of position by several tens and add hundreds of common tables where diners crowd without apparent order. Welcome to the hawker centres of Singapore. Check this Food Blogger.
THE BEST ‘HAWKERS CENTERS’ IN SINGAPORE
- Adam Road Food Center (2 Adam Road, Botanical Gardens). Nearest metro stop: Botanical Gardens.
- Chomp Food Center (20 Kensington Park Road, Serangoon Gardens). Closest subway stop: Serangoon,
- Golden Mile Food Center (505 Beach Road, Kampong Glam). Nearest tube stop: Lavender / Nicoll Highway.
- Maxwell Food Center (1 Kadayanallur Street, Chinatown). Closest subway stop: Chinatown.
- Old Airport Road Food Center (19 Old Airport Road, Geylang). Closest subway stop: Dakota.
- Tekka Center (Bukit Timah Road, Little India). Closest subway stop: Little India.
- Tiong Bahru Food Center (83 Seng Poh Road, Tiong Bahru). Nearest metro stop: Tiong Bahru.
The first time you get to a hawker is a bit misplaced. There are so many stalls and so much variety and bustle that you do not know very well where to start. The essential thing is to take a place. This is not a restaurant. There are no assigned tables, so the first one to arrive sits down. If you attend rush hour (between 12.00 and 14.00 and between 18.00 and 20.00) there may be no seats available. So be smart: catch the first empty place you find before ordering the meats. More information is available at Food Blogger.
The list of the hundreds of Asian specialities that one can choose is endless. It is best to take a walk through the stalls and let yourself be carried away by the personal tastes of each one. A little trick: the best places are usually those that have a long queue of people waiting, but keep in mind that Singaporeans can wait patiently for up to 30 minutes to get a portion of their favourite noodles. Value if the wait is worth it! The best of all is that you will be able to enjoy a full meal for a price that will range between two and eight euros per person, depending on whether the menu includes any alcoholic beverage or a delicatessen.
Something that we have to take into account is that a hacker is not the continent, but the content. Although hygiene is superior to that of street food in other Asian cities, do not expect fine cutlery or delicate linen tablecloths. But what does that matter when one can savour so many delicacies never before experienced. Of course, we strongly recommend always go with your package of tissues, because napkins do not know what they are. Do not forget, if you are in Singapore and do not go to hawker. You will never get to appreciate the popular culinary reality of this city, nor will you have the same fun. In a country where people eat more on the street than at home, there is no more exciting and curious gastronomic space. See the Food Blogger.