The annual Geylang Serai Bazaar is officially open till Jun 5, bringing with it the bright lights and festive atmosphere that the “mother of all pasar malams” is known for.
This year's edition is noteworthy for a couple of reasons – the most significant being the bazaar only features food and drinks that use halal-certified ingredients. The organisers have also made sure that the majority of the 150 food stalls on site feature traditional goodies, including dengdeng, vadai, ayam percik, roti john, mee goreng, goreng pisang, otah otah and, yes, Ramly burgers.
That said, bringing back the traditional has not stopped the bazaar from returning with a palpably modern feel. One of its food zones is made up of container-style stalls, with a transparent plastic ceiling decked in fairy lights, giving it an ArtBox-esque festival feel.
There's also no shortage of decidedly non-traditional treats, including lobster nasi lemak, mala noodles and a waffle-prata hybrid.
Here are our top picks from the Geylang Serai Bazaar 2019.
WHITE RABBIT NOSTALGIA
Stalls this year have hopped onto the White Rabbit nostalgia bandwagon. At Take A Bite, a White Rabbit sauce is drizzled over vanilla-flavoured ice cream and topped with the candy itself (S$6).
The stall also sells the candy in drink form (S$3.50) with fresh milk, White Rabbit candy sauce and condensed milk, which should take you right back to your childhood.
BOBA MILK EVERYTHING
Brown sugar boba soft serve, flaming boba milk with cream mousse, boba pancakes – it's a bubble tea world and we just live in it.
At Milk Bro, a blow torch is used to put the finishing touches to its signature flaming boba milk with cream mousse and brown sugar (S$5.90), reminiscent of creme brulee.
Popular bubble tea shop Alley is also hawking a boba pancake stack (S$9.90) alongside its brown sugar tea and boba range.
LOBSTERS AND NASI
Lobster Bro – from the people behind Beef Bro, famed for its mentaiko beef cubes – serves up big chunks of grilled lobster with nasi lemak (S$22.90), or on its own with flavours like black pepper and garlic butter (S$20).
It can get messy but, hey, what’s going to the bazaar without getting your hands dirty? There are sinks conveniently located to wash your hands after.
FROM CHINA TO BOMBAY
Mala fever has spread to the bazaar. The Mala Stop features plenty of options, including noodles with beef (S$10.90), chicken (S$9.90), mixed chicken and beef (S$11.90), seafood (S$12,90), and even an “all-in” (S$14.90) for those who cannot decide what they want.
For those who want to push boundaries, the noodles can be bought in salted egg yolk flavour for an additional S$2. Those looking for the zing of mala may want to stick to the original flavour though.
Also bringing a little spice to the bazaar is Biryani Boss. Try the Bombay Sliders (three for S$10) in butter chicken, mutton keema, and masala potato flavours.
WHAT'S A 'PRAFFLE'?
This “rojak” item is a true reflection of Singaporeans' penchant for food innovation: A waffle-like treat with a crispy prata texture. Say hello to the "praffle".
Praffles, a newcomer to the bazaar, sells the hybrid wrap with curry chicken (S$12.90), truffle cheese (S$10.90) and chilli crab (S$15.90). Wash it all down with its selection of charcoal-infused water, black chocolate, black coffee and black milk tea.
Geylang Serai Bazaar 2019 runs till Jun 5, late afternoon till 12am, at Geylang Serai Market. Paya Lebar is the nearest MRT station.