It is no secret that hawker food is one of the most iconic and well-loved things about Singapore. But if you take a step back and look at just how hawker centres are, it’ll probably seem quite ridiculous.
Hawker centres are exceptionally warm, even for Singaporean standards, many hawkers seem rather angry all the time, and there’s no table service. So why do we still love going to hawker centres?
1. Incredible food
Easily, the top reason is the food.
It is no secret that Singaporean hawker food counts itself as some of the best in the world, even outside of street food.
This is internationally recognized, from the recent Michelin guide including Singaporean hawker stalls to the slightly less recent hawker competition with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
Ask any Singaporean, and they can probably rattle off a long list of dishes they enjoy in hawker centres, from chicken rice to nasi lemak, to prawn mee and many, many more.
In fact, they might even be able to tell you a couple of favourite stalls from around the island.
2. Affordable prices
Coming at a close second is the affordable prices. If anything, Singaporeans are known for being really careful and smart with money (to put it in a nice way). We chase deals and cheap prices almost as hard as we chase good food.
In which case, you can probably see why hawker centres remain such a hit.
There is literally nowhere else you can find such unbeatable prices for such excellent food. We’re happy when both our wallets and our stomachs are happy.
Hawker centres are almost as ubiquitous as HDB flats, partly because you’ll usually never find one without the other nearby.
Basically every HDB estate has a number of hawker centres around, which makes it super convenient for residents to have a quick, cheap and good meal.
Considering that most Singaporeans live in an HDB flat, this convenience is a big factor.
4. Perfect for gatherings
You know what, forget about classy and expensive restaurants for a moment when you think of meeting friends. Go to a hawker centre instead.
Super casual mood, and an excellent place to catch up, with some affordable great food to boot.
Hawker centres have been the go-to location for residents to simply sit around and chat, or to have a quick meal with friends.
Ask a Singaporean about Singapore, and the one thing that will definitely come up would be the hawker food. Hawker centres and hawker food culture is a major point of pride for us.
It is one of the most important things about what makes Singapore, Singapore. It is an indelible part of our culture and a comfort of home.
So show more love to our unique hawker food culture, the next time you go for a meal. The angry uncles will definitely appreciate it, even if they don’t show it.
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