Hawker centres are places close to the hearts of several heartlanders where you can find scrumptious local food delights which many restaurants and cafes are unable to provide. True enough, there may be food courts or even cafes which offer the same food choices as hawker centres but it is not always the food that matters. The ambience of the location count as well.
Laksa, Fried Kway Teow, Fried Hokkien Mee, Lor Mee, Chicken Rice and so forth are some of the food choices which top Singaporeans’ favourite list. If you would have realized, queues for local delights occur mostly at hawker centres and not food courts. What is the reason behind this? Consider the freshness of the food which are easily detectable such as seafood. Although not absolute, hawker centres are usually situated very close to wet markets where food hawkers get their food supplies from. In comparison to restaurants and cafes, food are usually frozen or kept for a few days. Of course, this is not to say that food hawkers do not resort to similar cost-effective methods, but there is a higher chance that food from hawker centres are fresher.
Compared to most restaurants that do not offer fusion of different cuisines, hawker centres sell a myriad of cuisines, including Malay food, to Thai, Indian, Western, Italian, Korean, Japanese and even Vietnamese food! You get to try out different types of cuisines at one go, that is if your stomach’s space permits. On the same footing, hawker centres are also definitely the best choice if your group of buddies cannot decide on what cuisine to have.
Undisputedly, one of the main reasons why hawkers centre are ‘for the win’ is due to the obvious price differences. A plate of Fried Kway Teow, on the average, costs $3 while food courts sell them for $5. With a $2 saving, you can even get a decent cold drink from the drink stall at hawker centres and still able to save around 50 cents. Of course, the price differences attribute to the rental differences and environment. Unless you are budget-less, visiting hawker centres should be done at least once a week or even more frequent.
Hawker centres are favourite choices of many heartlanders who grew up in that area since young and who may be loyal and avid customers of their favourite stalls. Some of these stalls stay put in the same area for several years, passing down the ownership and management throughout the generations. Furthermore, the reason for such favoritism may be because certain creative hawker vendors include a different recipe or ingredient which cannot be found in other similar food in other locations.
If you are just looking to settle your dinner after work or may just want to satisfy your hunger with small bites, you need not travel down all the way to shopping malls or specific restaurants to do just that. Convenience is key to many customers and since hawker centres are easily accessible, this is the reason why you should cut your car some slack (saves petrol too!) and visit a nearby hawker centre. With that, why the need to travel down all the way to restaurants just for Hi-Tea sessions when you can now simply just head to the nearest hawker centres in your home clothes and slippers and not receive disapproving stares, and yet get to enjoy your favourite Dim Sum?
As a coffee-addict to another, if you need some good ol’ coffee to keep your awake and satisfy your coffee-addiction, hawker centres is The One. They sell the best coffee and proven to be more effective in keeping one awake than coffee chains and cafes. And of course, it is much cheaper as well. ‘Cheap and good’ – why not? Never reject good offer, they would say.
If you are claustrophobic or simply hate to wait, hawker centres would definitely beat restaurants and cafes hands down due to the lesser crowd. Although there may be some queues at certain popular food stalls, with the variety of food choices, the situation is better than restaurants and cafes.
The last reason is pretty simple, because dining at restaurants and cafés is just too mainstream. Why follow the trend just for the sake of following and at the expense of your pocket? Are our local delights and hawker centres not Instagram-worthy enough? It is high time we show more support towards our local food because this hawker culture may soon vanish before you even know it.