In this episode, David takes us to three hawker centres to visit in Singapore. In case you didn’t know, hawker centres are open-air food courts found throughout Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. They typically serve inexpensive dishes and are a fantastic place to find all kinds of local foods under one roof.
Also check out one of the funnest things to do in Singapore: Ride the Singapore Flyer
The first hawker centre that David visits is called the Chinatown Complex (AKA Chinatown Food Centre) situated in (you guessed it) Chinatown. Like every other hawker centre in Singapore, Chinatown Complex boasts several dozen stalls serving up mostly Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian-style foods.
David orders chicken with rice, sliced fish noodle soup, and a mango shake for about 10 SGD (approximately $7 USD) for two people.
Second of the three hawker centres to visit in Singapore is the Maxwell Road Food Centre, which features several Cantonese foods. Here, David meets up with his friend Robert from Another Traveler, who explains a little bit about Maxwell Food Centre and how to reserve a table at a hawker centre.
Step 1: Place a tissue packet on the table you want.
Step 2: Go to the stalls to order your food
Step 3: Pay the vendor (in cash) and bring dishes back to your table to eat
Tip: Remember that hawker centres are all about casual dining. Vendors will typically supply chopsticks and plastic cutlery with your dish. With that said, if you feel tissues aren’t enough to clean yourself up, we highly recommend you bring wipes or hand sanitizer.
One interesting dish David tried at Maxwell Food Centre is Carrot Cake, which isn’t cake at all, nor does it contain carrots. It’s actually rice flower and white radish that is sometimes called “white carrot.” The mixture is steamed, then cut into cubes and fried with garlic, eggs and preserved radish called ‘chai poh’. They also ate chicken and rice, braised beef, and pad thai.
To wash it all down, Robert suggests a fresh squeezed juice or a refreshing Tiger Beer, Singapore’s very own locally brewed beer.
Lastly, David visits the Tiong Bahru hawker centre to try something everyone was talking about – Chwee Kueh, or rice cakes with radish (white carrot) on top.
Hawker centres are a great way to save money while traveling in Singapore. They are very inexpensive and informal compared to restaurants or air-conditioned food courts in malls.
If you don’t know what to order, don’t worry! Just look out for the longest lines. Locals tend to know which stalls have the best food. Another idea is to walk around to see what other people are eating. If you like what someone is eating, just ask them to point out the stall they bought it from.
We hope this video of three hawker centres to visit in Singapore helps you on your next visit to this amazing destination!
Have you been to Singapore? What are your favorite hawker centres/ local dishes? Leave us a comment below!