When I lived in South Korea as an English teacher (prior to traveling around other countries in Asia) I thought Korean street food reigned supreme. Although street food in Korea is among the best in Asia (if not the world), it certainly has some stiff competition from the likes of Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia. Well, you can throw Singapore into the ring of contenders as well. With Hawker centres, open air food stall complexes, serving up a plethora of inexpensive Asian delights from around the region there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Considering Singapore is one of the most (if not the most) expensive cities in all of Asia to visit, these Hawker centers are a lifeline for budget travelers who are already being squeezed by the astronomical price of accommodations.
We spotted a Hawker Center nearby the Singapore Flyer called the Singapore Food Trail to try for our first meal in this futuristic city state.
We ended up trying Hainanese chicken rice, dim sum, satay, butter chicken and Naan. I was the perfect way to have enough energy to continue exploring the city on foot.
Hawker Centres (熟食中心 – 小贩中心), which are open air food stall complexes, serve up a variety of inexpensive food.
From Chinese to Indian and Malaysian to Indonesian there is a diverse selection of cuisine to choose from.
We’re having our first lunch here in Singapore at a Hawker Center and I’ve ordered myself some Chinese food. I have some Hainanese chicken rice, which looks absolutely delicious and I’ve got a butter chicken with butter naan right down here.
Here is my dish – it is just a bit of plain rice and some chicken with crispy skin on the outside. Despite it looking a bit bland it is actually quite tasty.
It is hard not to enjoy butter chicken – this is awesome.
We’ve got a few more snacks to complete the meal. What are they? This is a combination of satay and dim sum, so we have sweet potato here and this one is yam. We’ve got tofu cubes over here. This one is prawn and I believe that is a shrimp dumpling.
I’m going for something a little sweet here. I have some kind of yam spring roll. Should I dip it in peanut sauce? Nah, just have it. Is it sweet? It is. It tastes like sweet potato except that it is white. This crab didn’t go on a skewer and it will taste good in the peanut sauce I’m pretty sure. We’ll mix that bad boy around. What is happening over there? Kind of chewy? Here is the crab! Nice claw.
Oh, that is delicious. It is so juicy inside.
As budget travelers these Hawker centres in Singapore are a real find. Because it is really expensive in Singapore – it is one of the most expensive cities in all of Asia – certainly in Southeast Asia. You can find dishes here for between four to ten Singaporean dollars and it is so much cheaper than eating in a restaurant.
I like the variety that you can find at the Hawker centers. For example, today we had some Indian food, Chinese food and we also saw stands selling Malaysian food, Singaporean dishes and lots of other things.
This Hawker center is by the Singapore Flyer but you can find them all throughout the city.