Eating at Hawker Food Centers

**Special Note: I promise next weeks post will be about our trip back to the States! I just arrived back to Singapore after a 22 hour flight and we are in the process of moving into our new place. Our sea shipment should be here tomorrow! WOOHOO! Lots of love-Mary**

A common and very popular eating venue in Singapore is Hawker Centers. In many neighborhoods around the city you will see these centers, its an important place in the community. It is very inexpensive to eat Hawker food which makes it a popular destination throughout the day. Some stalls cater to only certain meals of the day-breakfast, lunch or dinner and all of the dishes are cultural Asian dishes that we have seen.

On our first visit, the second day we arrived in Singapore, we visited the Newton Hawker Centre and tried our first dishes of chicken and rice and some spring rolls. I had a terrible time eating with chop sticks! Our second visit was to to Wharmpoa Market with family friend, Colin. He has been living in Singapore for the last few years. It was super helpful to have him go around to the stalls with us and show us some of his favorite dishes and explain what some of the dishes were actually.

Here is a picture of some of the stalls at a Hawker Center, our friend Colin is in the back ground. Sorry again for the poor pictures, we had to use our iphones since the camera batteries are dead. (Poor planning on our part!)photo (32)

It will be a few rows like this and tables set around the outside. Some of the tables are covered by an awning, some are not. At some stalls you wait and carry your own food back to your table, others they bring it to you. Each table has a number on it and at most places(i think…) you are suppose to find your table and save it. From what we hear, the custom way to  save a table by placing a napkin or small kleenx packet on the table. We haven’t had to do this yet because we have not gone at very busy times.

This next dish is another example of a chicken and rice dish. It is served with the chicken, rice, chili sauce and soy sauce to dip with and a broth soup. This is what Taylor ate and it cost about S$4.50. When he was getting his tray, the stall owner kindly pointed out the fork and spoon for him, knives we are noticing are hard to come by. We are not sure why. photo (36)

The next dishes are called carrot cake and it is what Colin and I had for lunch. He had the white version(top picture) and I had the black(bottom picture) with a little bit extra of the white that the stall owner gave me to try. This dish is called carrot cake, but it does not contain carrots nor is it a cake. The cost for one plate with five prawns is S$5.  According to my handy dandy travel book(Living in Singapore-highly recommend for anyone moving here!) carrot cake is made with white radishes mixed with rice flour and steamed to form a “cake” which is then broken into chunks and fried in a wok with eggs, spring onion, pickled radish and prawns(shrimp). To make the black version, sweet black soy sauce is added.

photo (34)photo (35)

My chopstick skills are getting much better! I’ve got a better idea of how to hold them in my hand and can get them not to cross in the back(I hear that is the key.) During this meal I didn’t put the sticks down because I did not want to lose how I was holding them! It’s still a work in progress, but I got way more food from my plate to my mouth in this meal than the last one!

photo (33)

Of these dishes, what would you try?

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2 thoughts on “Eating at Hawker Food Centers

  1. Mary….I would try the one you are eating–it looks like a mess but the one saving grace is that it has rice flour and not rice. I guess I would have to just eat the veggies as I don’t like rice. Love the pictures and information that you are posting.

  2. Pingback: A Week of Outings in Singapore | Adventures of Mr. & Mrs. B

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