Sunday, 18 October 2009

our lunch today at the local hawker centre

Today (Sunday October 18) we went to one of the Hawker Markets for lunch with friends .... It's something that Singaporeans take for granted: cheap and delicious hawker food at the food centres. They just assume that every other city has similar offerings. Hopefully they will soon realise that cheap local food in Singapore is really something quite special.

My meal today - Char Siew Wanton noodles - that is Roasted Duck with greens and noodles and a bowl of soup with wan tons in (see above) cost only $2.80. That is Singapore dollars!

I also had fresh lime juice with that and the sum total came to $4.30 SGD. Now to change that into currencies my readers may understand - the $4.30 equals:

USD $3.08
CAD $3.20
AUD $3.34
and in EUR 2.07

Great prices for a nice tasty and quick meal ...... now a Hawker Market is where you mostly see locals (Singaporeans) eating local food, but we also noticed a store that sells WESTERN FOOD!!!

Singapore Hawker Centres (or "Food Centres") is the name given to open-air complexes in Singapore housing many stalls that sell a variety of inexpensive Food. They are typically found near public housing estates or transport hubs (such as Bus Interchanges and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations).

The hawker centres offer multi-ethnic Singapore Cooking at its best. Whether it's a simple dish or noodles for S$3 or a S$20 three-course meal of barbecued fish, chilli prawns and fried vegetables served with rice, the cost is a fraction of what you would pay for the same meal in a restaurant. No wonder that eating at or buying food home from hawker centres is a common part of the Singapore lifestyle. Prices apart, the experience is unique. A visit to food-crazy Singapore isn't complete without taking a meal at one of these vibrant, colourful places.

For the uninitiated, here's how you order a meal at a Hawker Centre. If there's a group of you, have one person sit at a table to "chope" (ie. reserve in local parlance) seats for the rest of the party. Don't be surprised if you see seats with bags or packets of tissue paper on them; it's a sign that they have been taken.

The others, having taken note of the table number, should then proceed to survey the various options. When ordering food, tell the stall owner the table number, unless of course it's a self-service operation. If you're on your own, you can share a table with strangers. As you savour your meal, you will realise why true-blue local gourmets will head for their favourite Food Stall at every opportunity.

In the past, there was no such thing as a Hawker Centre. Instead, the term "hawker" was once used to describe food vendors who moved their wares around in mobile carts. The sound of an ice-cream bell, or the clacking of a wooden block, or the chant of the Mua Chee man selling sticky nougat-like candy, would send children - and their parents - scrambling from their homes into the streets to buy their favourite snack. The fare on offer was amazing. From bread and bowls of steaming noodle soups to peanuts and Poh Piah (spring rolls), the roving hawker was a familiar fixture in the neighbourhood. Then came the roadside hawker, setting up shop on the streets after dark, when parking lots were emptied by cars and replaced by wooden tables and stools, and a pushcart which doubled as the kitchen. Such hawkers have pretty much disappeared from modern Singapore, but hawker-style food remains hugely popular in the Singapore lifestyle.

In 1987, the last of the roadside hawkers were cleared, but Chinatown's Smith Street has revived the carnival-like atmosphere of street-side dining with the recent launch of its bustling food street.

Most of the above from this website.

1 comment:

marlowe said...

Nice post... Better join this food review contest for a chance to win a hotel stay here in SG!