You can’t say you’re Singaporean unless you’ve eaten at the hawker centre – says us. The great thing about hawker centres is that you have a wide array of cuisines to choose from and prices are cheap. But did you know you can get more bang for your buck with these hacks?
Consult the hawker gurus
The best people to ask for recommendations aren’t chefs, but taxi drivers. Think about it: Their job brings them to every corner of the island, and their pitstop of choice is, more often than not, a hawker centre in the vicinity. Having tried tons of dishes from all over Singapore, they’re probably the most qualified people to give recommendations for secret food spots!
For the health-conscious…
As part of the Singapore Health Promotion Board’s Healthier Dining Programme, some hawker centres now offer dishes cooked with healthier amounts of oil and salt. Look out for the “Healthier Choice” stickers (pictured) that would be prominently plastered on the storefront to identify your options.
How to get larger portions
There’s no guarantee this is going to work, but if you’re in it for the cheap thrill, try going to hawker centres only towards the end of mealtimes. Most hawker stalls will be trying to clear whatever’s left for the day – better sold than thrown away – so you’re likely to get larger portions.
Pay less for more
Famished? Upsize your meal by ordering 2 regular portions rather than 1 big portion. For instance, order 2 plates that cost $4 each rather than a single big one that costs $8. It’s been tested and proven: you get up to 20% more food for the same price.
Craft your own beer
Hawker centres are one of the cheapest places to go for a pint (or three). Ready to take it to the next level? Top your favourite lager with some Guinness stout to make it extra gao – a common hawker term meaning “strong” – and bring out the layers and flavours of your beer.
Text: Pinky Chng / The Finder / January 2018
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