Food · Singapore

A Hawker Centre Adventure

Happy 4th of July for the Americans reading this! Back home, I would go to my parents’ restaurant on the 4th of July as usual, since we’re open. In front of our restaurant there’s a huuuuuge festival every 4th of July, complete with arts and crafts vendors, performances, bouncy houses, festival food, and of course, fireworks. I’m disappointed that I’m missing out on 4th of July festivities, but fear not! I went on another food adventure today.

If you’ve read a few of my past posts, you might remember that I’ve gone to the Pasir Panjang Food Centre for breakfast some sleepy Saturday mornings. Pasir Panjang is only 2 MRT stops away from Kent Ridge (where NUS is), and the food centre is just steps away from the MRT exit. I’ve only had the teh tarik and some kind of onion donut (not sure the name, but I’ve also seen it in Little India) at the Muslim stall there for breakfast, and I wanted to see what stalls opened for dinner.

For my main course, I had some BBQ sambal stingray. I’ve had this before at Newton Food Centre, but the touting at that food centre was very off-putting and the food centre had a very touristy feel to it. I decided to rather go to Pasir Panjang because it’s closer, less touristy, less tout-y, and (hopefully) more delicious for dinner.

Note: Touting is when a hawker auntie/uncle basically comes up to you, shoves a menu in your face, and asks what you want to order. It’s annoying because you want to look around and decide what you want to eat, not be pressured into ordering.

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Hella hella spicy stingray 

The stingray was $10 (~$7 USD), and I got free rice and a pack of napkins! In Singapore, napkins aren’t usually provided at hawker centres, so this was a pleasant surprise. The stingray tasted like a thinner, smoother version of flounder with more skin, and the sambal on top was tasty and spicy. The other sauces provided were more spicy sauces, and I can safely say that my mouth was almost on fire by the time I finished the stingray. The spice and the stingray was definitely worth the cost!

To cool my mouth down, I went down a few hawker stalls to get some rojak for only $3. Rojak is a dessert typically found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and of course, Singapore. It’s a fruit and veggie salad dish that usually consists of pineapple, cucumber, bean sprouts, fried puffy tofu, and pieces of youtiao (Chinese fried dough). This version had all of the above, plus some green apples and mangoes. The ingredients are mixed together in a special sauce and topped with peanuts. It was a good way to cool down from the spicy stingray!

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Sweet sweet rojak

To end my hawker meal, I got teh chino for $1.10 in a bag. Teh chino is like a Singaporean version of a tea cappuccino- it’s milk tea topped with frothed milk. This is my first time in Singapore getting a drink in a bag with a straw!

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Yeeeeahhhh bagged drinks

I would say that Pasir Panjang Food Centre is a worthy hawker centre if you’re on the west part of Singapore. Heck, it’s worth visiting even if you’re not a westie, since the hawker aunties and uncles are nice and the prices aren’t bad at all. Hawker adventure = success!

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