Singapore Hawker Heritage

Singaporeans love their food, and we were delighted to be invited to our favourite Shangri-La Hotel, to celebrate Hawker Culture together with them. Entitled “Hawker Heritage – The Next Chapter,” the hotel invited 9 young Hawkers to present their local dishes at The Line. Young Hawkers were asked to serve their food at Shangri-La, together with the famous Line Buffet.

asian delights

After having just sampled “The Line” Buffet recently,  we were glad to come back and sample some of our local favourites, together with other familiar offerings at “The Line”.  There was the seafood favourites such as Oysters, Crabs, Sashimi, as well as the offerings from the young hawkers!

At this inaugural event, talks were given by Mr. Daniel Wang, Singapore’s former Commissioner of Public Health/Director-General of Public Health who oversaw the establishment of hawker centres in the 1980s to improve hygiene standards. Our memories were revived, as we saw pictures of Old Singapore before it was cleaned up.

young hawkers

However, the main star of the night was of course the local hawker food by the next generation of Hawkers. Young Hawkers have been a highlight in the news recently, and rightly so, as it is a tough job! The hours are long, and it is not easy to make the perfect dish to keep the patrons coming back.

With the 9 hawkers on display, and with our favourite drinks of Teh Terik, Milo Dinosaur and Bandung to supplement our diet, we were more than ready to take on the Hawkers with our stomachs.

Here are some of the stalls that were featured on that night:

One dish which kept a long queue, and which kept the customers coming back was the Hokkien Mee by :

Xiao Di Fried Prawn Noodle

23-year-old Terence Chee learnt the art of fried prawn noodles from a master hawker in Serangoon Gardens. He discloses that master hawkers are willing to impart their skills to the younger generation who have the right attitude to learn. He uses prawn broth to cook the yellow noodles and rice noodles before frying them with bean sprouts, eggs, squids, prawns, pork belly strips, pork lard and chives. The homemade sambal chilli served with lime completes the dish. (You can find his stall at Block 153, Serangoon North Avenue 1, Guan Hock Tiong Eating House) Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily (closed on Mondays)

hawker paradise

Another highlight for me was Bak Kut Teh

Rong Cheng Bak Kut Teh

The Bak Kut Teh was also tasty. Using loin rib (long gu in Mandarin) and not adding soya sauce to the broth, we loved sinking our teeth into the tender meat presented to us.  The clear broth brings out the natural taste of pork ribs, pepper and garlic, which would otherwise be overpowered by the soya sauce taste. Stall holder Mr Lionel Lim is a graduate from Australia with a Bachelors degree in Marketing. (The shop is located at 26 Sin Ming Lane #01-114/117 Midview City)

Other stores featured at the Shang that is worth trying at their more humble stores is Ru Ji Kitchen,  which is found at Old Airport Food Centre. Inheriting a recipe from their father, the husband and wife duo who are graduates from Bradford, prepare a mean fish ball noodles with their own chilli sauce. The noodles are delicious with the special sauce and it is not surprising that they are opening a new outlet soon in Redhill. (You can find them at Block 51 #01-37 Old Airport Road Food Centre)

And to end the night, besides the traditional desserts of chendol, we quite satisfy ourselves with the generous offering of sweets from the famous dessert buffet at “The Line”.

asian desserts

If you missed the Hawker Fare at the Shangri La, you may still visit the stalls at your own leisure, to taste the best of the next generation. But if you love a good buffet, you can still expect to find a quality spread at “The Line”. For more details about the Buffet at Shangri La, do follow the link.

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