Singapore Hawker Food Center Experience

As wanderlust sets in during this time of COVID quarantine, I’m thinking back to the dreamy + delicious time I had exploring Singapore this last September. Singapore is a modern and futuristic city with expansive gardens in every corner. You’ll also find gorgeous traditional parts of the city lined with bright and colorful old shophouses, art exhibits, designer cafes, and an amazing mix of global citizens from all over the world. While the uniqueness and cleanliness of the environment impressed me, what really took me was the array of local culinary abundance at the massive hawker food centers that are scattered throughout the city. These outdoor, super local + casual food spots are affordable and an amazing chance to mesh with Singaporeans in an environment that makes everyone happy, from the small business owners to the lucky visitors and locals eating with their families. You can sample every type of local dish so easily! After a day of walking through the lush and stunning Singapore Botanic Gardens, I was starving and found Adam Food Centre on my google map. Just a short walk away I knew I had to try it, as I was trying to hit as many hawker centers as possible during my short time in this unique food-obsessed city (I mean, where else can you get Michelin star street food?!)! As I wandered down a lovely neighborhood street with white homes framed by giant pink flowers I started to smell a wafting scent of spices, broths, garlic, lime, and fruits…I knew I was close to a delightful sensory adventure! As I entered so many local business owners talked with me at each stand, explaining some of the exotic ingredients like a Malaysian Rose Apple and a Soursop, both of which I had never heard of. The people were so curious about me and wanted to know where I was from and if I was traveling solo…and why I chose Singapore. These spontaneous conversations ended up being beautiful and endearing highlights from my trip. Next I had some decisions to make! I tried a traditional Singapore dish called Carrot Cake – but it’s definitely not a dessert! Instead, it’s a savory dish consisting of white radish and rice flour which is made into a cake and sautéed with garlic, spices, and onion. The yum factor was high for this unexpected combo! I also tried a fresh avocado smoothie which was very refreshing in the humid afternoon heat and a noodle dish with all kinds of spices. I chased all this down with a super refreshing fresh lime juice concoction- a favorite local drink! If you go to Singapore make sure to include plenty of time daily for this experience because once won’t be enough – I promise. It’s cash-only, but about 3 -4 USD gets you a big serving of most things. It’s a quintessential way to spend mealtimes in this incredibly scrumptious food destination.

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