Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Welcome to the Adam Road Food Court

Some time ago, I am told, many Singapore streets (as in Washington DC) were populated with a variety of entrepreneurs who sold food from pushcarts. They were called “hawkers.” As Singapore modernized, however, the government decided that street selling was no longer acceptable. But instead of depriving the hawkers of their livelihoods (almost certainly this would have been the US solution), the Singapore Government created ‘Hawkers stands’ which are now scattered throughout the city.

On this and previous trips, I have visited four Hawkers stands. My favorite is the “Adam Food Court” which is within an easy walk of my office and hotel. It has stands surrounding central atrium in which plastic tables and benches have been installed. Here are some of the offerings, which are displayed in brightly colored signs and pictures, by respective entrepreneurs: “Adams’ Indian Rojak,” “Adam Mutton Soup,” “Siti Yur Clay Pot Noodles,” “Taj Mahal Drinks Stall,” “Adam Seafood BBQ,” “Cuttlefish with Kang Kong,” “Curry Mixed Vegetable Rice/Porridge,” “Beehoon with Pork Leg,” “Soon Huat Fresh Fruit Juice.” “Reck Hee Hot and Cold Dessert.”

I don’t know what the names of all these dishes - from China, Malaysia, Indonesia and India refer to - and there appears to be no easy way to find out except studying the pictures and experimenting. The average price per dish is $3 Singapore, with few costing more than $10. A large bottle of Singapore’s Tiger Beer is $5.40. Certificates of cleanliness are prominently displayed at most stands, however I have been a little diffident about eating sea food. Two evenings ago I consumed a dish that included an indeterminate sea animal and 3 prawns, with no ill effects.

Writing this is making me hungry. I think I’ll go for some mutton soup and Behoon with pork leg, topped off with a Tiger Beer over ice.



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