If you’re looking for something a little different then your usually lunch/dinner sports check out Satay by the Bay and get a taste of a traditional Hawker, right in the heart of the “New” Marina Bay Area.
Satay by the Bay definitely stands out from its urban surroundings. Tucked back in the lush greenery of Gardens By the Bay this hawker is meant to resemble that the original “Satay Club,” the original open-air Hawkers Centers of Singapore, all of which are unfortunately no longer in existence. However, Satay by the Bay does a good job of recreating the atmosphere of the original Padang Satay, which was demolished in 1995. Although none of the stall operations are from the original hawker, some are their relatives and have been perfecting the art of Satay cooking since they were “12 years old.” Smoke fills the air from the numerous satay grills and guest can sit at the colorful round stools trying numerous local specialties, as well as other ethnic cuisines. There are 28 stalls at the food court, which offer a wide variety including barbecued seafood, chicken rice, and Turkish cuisine. It’s also a great place to hang out after hours, grab a cold one, and enjoy the surrounding Bay Area. Everything is reasonably affordable and you won’t be disappointed.
Tucked back in the corners of this Bayside Hawker you can find a little $2 convenience store with shelves filled with some of the old local delights. As, usual I ventured around until I found this little gem and to my surprise, when I picked out a tub of coconut Merlion cookies, there was no cashier to be found. Nope, it just so happens that this store is a little different than most and operates solely on the trusted faith of its customers. You simply pull down the hanging tin, deposit your $2 and walk away with your purchase. You are reminded of the mutual trust, that was once a strong feature of the old kampong lifestyle, as you stare into the eyes of the trusty policeman figure before walking away with your tasty treat.
This is a great place to try some authentic local eats at very reasonable prices, and it’s a little quieter than the road side city Hawkers if you’re looking for a little peace and quiet while you enjoy a delicious meal.
I tried the famous Popiah for the first time here and let me just say, I am now hooked on this Fujian style spring roll!
More About Popiah
The origin of the Popiah but it is also very common in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. It’s a crape-like wrap filled with finely grated and steamed, or stir-fried, turnip and jicama accompanied by fresh bean sprouts, lettuce leaves, grated carrots, chopped peanuts, fried shallots, shredded omelettes, and depending on where you order it, sometimes fried Chinese pork sausage. Often accompanied with a sweet bean sauce, Hoisin/Soy blend, or if you’re feeling a little daring a spicy Chili Sauce is added before its filled. Let me just say, you won’t be disappointed 🙂
Some other great eats to try are:
One of the biggest Satay branches in Singapore and one you try one of their flame-grills sticks you’ll know why they are so popular.
If you haven’t tried Singapore’s famous “Carrot cake” yet then this is the place to get it! Don’t be surprised when you don’t receive and carrots in your cake :p I recommend going for the black carrot cake over white but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
BOON TAT STREET BBQ SEAFOOD
A famous stall, which has been featured in many blogs, magazines, and other social media posts for having the best BBQ Stingray around.
TURKISH, MEDITERRANEAN & THAI SPIZE
A must-try kebab Stall! With only the best Turkish food you will ever have.
If you haven’t tried Dim Sum (Chinese version of Tapas) I highly recommend grabbing some BBQ pork (Char Sew) filled buns or vegetable dumplings for a great afternoon treat to be shared with friends
At this 24 hour stall, you find cooks who are extremely dedicated to making sure you get the best Pratas around! Original to Singapore, Roti Prata is a product of the blending of cultures, a fried flatbread that is cooked over a flat grill. Commonly cooked upon request with cheese, onion, banana, red bead, chocolates, mushrooms, or eggs. The Rata Stall has taken the Prata to a whole new level of crispy freshness!
Let me know what you favorite stall is and if you have any further recommendations for readers!