Makansutra Singapore Food Ebook 2023/24

Eating at the Hawkers and Kopitiams ( “How to use a Hawker Centre & Coffeeshop / Kopitiam” ) Heritage street food is found largely in hawker centres, coffeeshop, stand alone food kiosk, canteen and little mum and pop food shops all over the country. When you are at the hawker centres, you ’ll be taken aback by the range and the sheer amount of people (especially at mealtimes). No one will saunter up and ask if you need a table unless some kind angel sensed your shock and cluelessness. Best way is to first walk about the whole centre, see, smell and ask the hawkers or the customers what they are eating and where to get them . Singaporeans share food information shamelessly. Then go find a table (if you are in group) and then have one or two of you go buy on everyone’s behalf. If you are alone, buy whatever, wherever and then find a seat. Share tables with a stranger-cum-soon – to-be-friend and talk about food when eating. That’s what we do. Return your trays, utensils or cutleries to the “return stations” all over the centre and be mindful of the halal and the non halal stations. In a kopitiam or canteens, usually with 10 or less stalls in a more private setting, it is usually about the same procedure. Sometimes these hawkers will come up and nicely upsell their stuff. But due to manpower constrain ts, it’s more likely you have to order at the counter and self-collect or take a buzzer. Like a fast-food chain, you pay upon order and mind you, they are fast- usually an individually cooked platter can be served in under 5 mins, unless there’s a long que ue for it. At most kopitiams and canteens, a cleaner will clear your table, so you just eat, keep things neat, and go. Little food shops and kiosks are largely self service, so no unnecessary manpower cost will be passed on to you.


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