Thursday, September 14, 2017

Singapore Day 4 - Breakfast at The Hawker Center

Hawker Centers were the Singaporean government's answer to street food vendors. To make it cleaner and easier to inspect for health reasons, they build centers where multiple vendors' stalls would be located to sell their food and tables are provided for people to sit and eat.

Singaporeans don't rally seem to have a separate "breakfast" type of food - Noodles, soup and dumplings are popular for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Interestingly each Hawker Center had a large Halal section as well and many stalls were labelled as "Islamic Food" - which typically meant Indian/Pakistani fare.

The longer the queue waiting for a turn at the stall, apparently the better the food. Singaporeans would on occasion in a very friendly manner come up to me and point to a stall for me and say "Good food, very long queue". Each stall prominently displays the sanitation grade it gets form inspectors - A or B grades are good to eat at, but I'd advise shying away form the C or Ds.

My favorite booth at the Hawker Center a brief walk across the street from where we were staying:

I actually ended up creating a queue there one time, as people started lining up behind me after I ordered and I said that I really liked the food there - great service and the vendor there was very friendly and rather patient as she only spoke Chinese and I surely did not, but we made it work out well.

I would order this for breakfast:

Soup, noodles, steamed wantons, and fried wontons all for S$4.00 or $2.80 US, and it kept me happy for a long time and tasted great.

How Singaporeans stay so slim on a diet like this so full of carbs I have no idea, but you don't see many overweight Singaporeans at all - must be all the heat, humidity, and walking they do.

The Hawker Centers provide cheap nutritious eats at a price significantly less than the sit-down restaurants and I found the food there to be as good if not better than many restaurants. Getting up early, going to the Hawker center and then heading on ur way became an almost daily ritual.

They also made Singaporean coffee at the Hawker center to die for - coffee brewed until it was dark and practically thick then cut with condensed milk and served either over ice on in a mug and was pure caffeinated heaven.

Over ice it would be served in a plastic cup and a nifty plastic handle would be added for carrying it. Since Singaporeans walk so much carrying lots of things, this simple plastic handle makes transporting it easy.

After breakfast and a swim, we headed to Chinatown for our next adventure.


jon spencer said...

Way back when (75) Singapore had a street that lined with restaurants, this street was closed down to traffic around 4 or 5 PM. When this happened, tables were set in the street and waiters would seat you and then would basically bring you the specialty from several of the restaurants in proper course order. Very, very good eating.

Aaron said...

jon: Nice, we didn't find that street but the quality and variety of food in Singapore is not to be understated. Incredible eating indeed.