Dishes like Hainanese chicken rice to chilli crabs, chicken wings, satay, fried carrot cake, kaya toast, laksa, char kway teow, Hokkien prawn mee, bak kut the, roti prata and so many more…..yum! yum! yummy!!!! In Singlish the food is “same same” but each stall is definitely different la!
Here are some very important hawker 101 tips:
1. Check the cleanliness rating of the hawker stall under the Singapore “Grading System for Eating Establishments and Foodstalls”. The HACCP or hygiene standards are graded ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ or ‘D’. Look out for the letter rating posted under the stall signs. Establishments with ‘A’ or ‘B’ ratings may be cleaner but that doesn’t mean their food taste better than the others. Source: www.myhawkers.sg
2. Save a seat before you order, or share a seat and win a friend
3. Follow the locals. If there is a long line then the food must be good!
4. Bring your own bottled water (or pay SGD $2) and tissue paper.
5. The further away the hawker center is from touristy Orchard Road the cheaper it gets!
Let me share some of my favorite hawker centers:
1.Makansutra Glutton Bay at the Esplenade – try the samabal stingray, satay, gado-gado
2. Newton Hawker Center – open until the wee hours of the morning
3. Alberta along Bugis
4. Old Airport Road Food Centre
5. Food courts: Food Republic or Kopitiam (more for tourists, cleaner but lacks the hawker vibe)
For this trip I did something hardcore… I went out of the tourist map grid in search of the best laksa in Singapore. The best is Katong Laksa named after and found along Katong street in the Peranakan area. The dish has noodles, prawns, eggs, cockles, and is cooked in a spicy coconut milk broth. It is eaten with fish cake called Otah. Otah or Otak-Otak is a fish cake wrapped in banana leaf then grilled. Very good la!