It’s that time of the year again where our Muslim friends fast for the month and during this Ramadan period, a month-long night market takes centre stage along the Geylang Serai Market in the time leading up to Hari Raya Aidilfitri. The Ramadan Bazaar is a time-honoured tradition; a marketplace of exchange and community.
Not unlike the stalls that line the streets of Chinatown before Chinese New Year, the vendors at the bazaar sell an assortment of household goods, handmade clothes and crafts, exotic Arabian carpets – all things that help the Malay families prepare for the festivities – but most exciting of all: F O O D.
Yes, we at SALT are all about the delectable digestibles.
Every year, modernisation furtively finds itself influencing more and more of our traditions. It is easiest to spot in the food market of the bazaar.
Oh, but please don’t get us wrong, some of these ideas are simply ingenious. Food stalls these days aspire to reconcile modernity with tradition, some to bridge Eastern and Western food cultures. We have rounded up 3 food items that we think are fantastic, in conception, presentation and of course, flavour.
Introducing Praffles. No, it is not a debased wordplay attempt at Sir Stamford Raffles; think Prata and Waffles, now repeat after me: Pra-ffles. There you have it.
It’s quite genius, really. Forget Duck & Waffle. Here, you essentially have a waffle made of Roti Prata, an enduring doughy favourite from Indian-Muslim restaurants, topped with crispy popcorn chicken, cheese sausage, thin-slices of turkey bacon streaks and just enough cheese sauce drizzled on to enhance but not reduce the flavours of the savoury masterpiece. The presentation of the finished product is nothing to scoff at, too.
Did we mention the crispy turkey bacon slices?!
Next up, beef. Beef Bro, bro.
Between Beef Bro and its sister stall, Lobster Bro, the former is the more wallet-friendly, sharing-friendly, all-round-friendly food option. Expect bite-sized beef cubes slathered with an assortment of sauces and spices, including the new Ma La flavour, a humble nod to the rising Sichuan Ma La flavour epidemic.
Showmanship is also a part of the flare (pun-intended) of Beef Bro. The cubes are engulfed in flames from above while being seared on the hotplate for all to see, with just a thick glass-panel separating the customer from the bro. Once the cubes are burnt to brown perfection, the bro skilfully picks them up with his tongs and lobs them a short height into the air, landing square in the takeaway box for immediate gratification. With such gourmet artistry to the preparation, these flavourful chunks of gastric bliss are definitely worth an experience.
We had the Mentaiko Beef Cubes. The dish was prepared perfectly: succulent, juicy cubes with mentaiko that doesn’t overpower their flavour, beady roe to provide a soft crunch in the mouth and some shredded nori strips for added texture. This is something you must try to believe.
Finally, after a starter and a main, we present to you “Singapore’s 1st Cheesecake on a stick” by The MunchMunch Co. Desserts are now an option at the Bazaar as well.
Ever wondered if there could be an easier way to eat cakes? Yes, there is. The MunchMunch Co. has come up with an ingenious solution by skewering cheesecake slices. You read that right, skewered cheesecakes. Here’s how it looks:
Behold one of their bestsellers: The Speculoos Crunch.
Now, all you need to do is to pick it up and chow down. Things couldn’t be simpler. Non-cheesecake variants are, regrettably, not available, and there’s good reason for it. Cheesecakes are denser and sturdier than regular sponge cakes or layered cream cakes, hence they can be skewered safely without worrying about them crumbling or breaking apart. Sorry to all those who don’t take cheesecake – it’s a sad thing indeed – but it’s a start! Who knows when the next food trend improvement will have us seeing layered sponge ice-cream cakes on sticks?
Only cheesecake, but never boring. Indubitably, cheesecake alone can get a bit much, what with its density and cheesy flavour, but The MunchMunch Co. has come up with a number of sweet flavours to choose from, including a Hazelnut Crunch and Chocolate Banana. At just $5.50 a slice, it’s a perfect after-dinner dessert for 2 to share.
Hari Raya is fast approaching, and this weekend is the last one you’ll have to explore the multifarious array of food and trade until next May. These vendors may not be around at the Bazaar next year, so find an evening to pay the market a visit before it closes!
For more information about the featured vendors on their Instagram:
Beef Bro – @beefbro_sg
Praffles by FooditudeSG and Hirzi Official – @fooditudesg & @hirziofficial_
Cheesecake on a Stick – @themunchmunchco