On the second day of Christmas we went to a hawker centre, the Telok Ayer Market to be precisely. Before writing about all the great things I ate there there is one thing that I must say and that there should be a law in every city in every country on earth that says that hawker centres must be present. Oh how I love hawker centres. I have encountered a similar thing in Australia, America and also in The Philipines where the hawker centres were called food courts. To explain the phenomena of a hawker centre: a hawkre centre is a place, somewhat like a culinary heaven, where all kinds of food stalls, small restaurants and food stores are gathered. Oh and the food is also relatively cheap!
This specific hawker centre is called Telok Ayer Market and I was told that this was one of the more expensive hawker centres of Singapore (although the food wasn’t expensive). What you get in return is that the food that you order will be brought to your table whereas in other hawker centres you will have to wait in line at the different stalls for your food. Telok Ayer Market has a octogonal shaped form and is divided into different ‘streets’ as you can see on the picture below. After you order you can say to the people of the foodstall in which ‘street’ you are sitting so they can bring you your food. But their is another way you can order your food. While entering the building there are some people from foodstalls holding menus in their hand. Some of them will follow you to your table to show them their menu. If you want to order something from their menu then you can just tell them what you want and they will bring it to you.
And now..the food. First of, I started with ordering a drink. There was a special stall where fruit juices were being made from fresh fruit. I chose the papaya juice which tasted like it should have, fruity and fresh:
We ordered food from different stalls just to try as much as we could. First came some Indian food:
I don’t know exactly what it was but the dish consisted out of a bread like part, filled with spiced meat and onions that you had to dip in a brown sauce which also had a lot of spices in it. It was a quite tasteful start.
Then the other dishes came. This was one of them. A bami dish, but I can’t recall it’s specific name. As you can see though it looks great and if you wanted some spiciness, you could just eat all the chili peppers at the bottom of the plate.
The next dish was the dish that I chose and believe me when I say it was absolutely delicious! I chose a typical Singaporean dish called Chili Crab:
Oh it tasted so good. It was really finger licking good! That was definitely what you had to do. Eat it with your fingers and then lick your fingers. The outer shell drenched in chili sauce was so good that I almost ate the shell but I got a hold of myself just in time.
Here’s another picture of this fantastic dish:
It looks so simple with only some crab and some chili sauce, but the ingredients and thickness of the sauce and the sweet meat of the crab were a perfect combination. A definite must try whilst being in Singapore.
The photo doesn’t show, but as the name of the dis already reveals, the main ingredient of this dish was fish head. The soup was a thick soup a little less thick in consistency then a gravy. It was delicious to eat with rice.
We had ordered the Fish Head Soup and the Chili Crab at a stall called Yong Kee Barbeque Seafood:
The also had a dish with jellyfish which we really wanted to try, but we already had ordered too much. So maybe next time.
Another dish we had to choose was sate. We had lamb sate, prawn sate and beef sate. All served with lontong (compressed, sticky rice):
All the sate were so delicious. Just perfectly grilled with a bit of that charcoal taste and a great peanut sauce to eat with it.
Although we had a lot of food (we also ordered some Korean food, but I didn’t made a picture of that), we ate it all. This is a picture of what we left at our tables:
So, satisfied because because of all the good food, we left Telok Ayer Market again through one of the ‘streets’.