The blessed month of Ramadan is finally here! If you’re in Singapore, you’ll know that this also means the biggest and most happening Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar is back.
Due to overwhelming feedback last year about how the bazaar was way too hipster, you can expect your experience this year to be different! The bazaar organizer has made sure that 60% of food stalls will be selling good old traditional Malay food while the remaining will be hipster food stalls. And the good news is… All food sold at the Geylang Serai Bazaar is either halal-certified, Muslim-owned or has passed the criteria set by consultants. So that means more food options for iftar, yay 😋 Can’t wait to head down already? Here are 18 things you have to try!
Disclaimer: Stores that have passed the criteria set by consultants use only halal-certified ingredients. While not all stores disclaim this in their displays and banners, you can approach the stall owners to clarify this for ease of mind.
Unique, Instagram-worthy dishes have become even more commonplace than ever at the Bazaar in recent years (to some controversy). While the 2019 Bazaar has put a much stronger focus on traditional food, we were excited to see what new offerings we could discover this year. We tend to dismiss hipster food as just aesthetically pleasing – but to our surprise we found options this year that tasted amazing, and brought a unique twist to the dishes that we hadn’t expected! Here are some of the new (and maybe not so new) options we think are worth a nibble:
Prata Waffles – Fooditude
When we first heard of ‘praffles’ – a combination of prata and waffles – we were admittedly skeptical. Separate, these are 2 of the most delicious dishes you could ever sink your teeth into. But combining them just seemed odd – until Fooditude decided to try it out!
At first glance, the praffles dough seems too thick to be considered prata, and too unorthodox to be considered a waffle. And yet, this miraculously seems to work! The thick dough actually succeeds in holding together the generous serving of soft-shelled crab and chilli crab gravy, and there’s even a certain crunch to the cone you don’t usually get with waffles. Trust us when we say that the gravy is fragrant with lots of spicy coconut flavours, and absolutely mouth-watering 😋
While the praffle comes automatically served in a portable cone, we recommend asking for a plate and some utensils and sitting down to really savour the rich meal. Pulled apart, it actually resembles prata a lot more than it does a waffle – plus it’s so much easier to eat! Praffles may be unorthodox, but we definitely think they’re one of the most unique offerings of this year’s bazaar.
Price: from $8.90 to $15.90
Stall: G343, food area near Wisma Geylang Serai
[P.S. Not heading out for iftar? Then we’ve rounded up 10 halal eateries that deliver right to your doorstep!]
Yu Char Kway Manis – Charkoi
We’re all familiar with Martabak Manis, but have you heard of Yu Char Kway (youtiao) Manis? Well, now you have! Whether you’re craving for a dessert or a snack, Charkoi offers both sweet and savoury options topped on an awesomely crispy yu char kway (Chinese cruller or fried Chinese breadstick). Everyone’s favourite nutella will definitely be our pick if you have a sweet tooth – get it with the rainbow rice sprinkles for a pretty Instagram photo to boot!
If you’re looking for a quick snack, we tried the Nachos Cheese Chicken Floss, which went wonderfully well on top of a perfectly fried yu char kway! The yu char kway remained crunchy even though it was covered with cheese and chicken floss, and it felt surprisingly light despite the savoury toppings. Perfect to snack on as you explore the stalls and decide what to get next!
Credit: @charkoisg on Instagram
Other options included Daging Rendang, Nutella Rainbow, and Keju Susu (cheese and condensed milk) making it perfect for both dinner and dessert.
Price: Individual pieces range from $4-$6.50 per piece. Prices of box of 3 pieces range from $10-$17 depending on the flavour.
Stall: G294, Engku Aman Rd side
Boba Tea-Infused Pancakes – Alley
Alley is a common face at previous bazaars and night markets, but for Ramadan 2019 they’ve added something new to their mix – their tea-infused Boba Pancake Stack. Drink stalls serving up desserts isn’t a new concept, but we were interested to see whether Alley’s famous brown sugar drinks could translate into a satisfying sweet treat.
At first glance, it’s not the most appealing of desserts – since the pancakes are freshly made on the spot, the cream quickly melts and leaves it drenched. So we were super surprised to bite into our portion and find that the pancakes themselves don’t feel very soggy or soft! Instead they’re dense and taste like brown sugar – some of us even thought they tasted like maple syrup 🤤 The sauce is similarly flavoured to the pancakes, but the pearls are what really set it apart. Chewy and soft, they add a certain touch to the pancakes that set it apart from other milk tea-inspired desserts out there.
We’ll admit that it may not look like the most aesthetically-pleasing dessert, but it packs a surprisingly intense taste that makes it worth every dollar! You can definitely taste the tea infused in the batter, sauce, and pearls, all of which adds a really interesting kick of flavour that blends both drink and dessert together. For such a small serving (3 pancakes), it’s surprisingly filling thanks to the denseness of the pancakes. If you don’t have a huge sweet tooth or appetite, we highly recommend that you split this with a friend!
Pancakes – $9.90
Drinks – $3.50 to $6.30, available in 5 flavours with 2 sizes (Medium/Large) each
Stall: 2 stalls – Stall 360 (Wisma Geylang Serai), Stall 43 (Tanjong Katong Complex)
Lobster Rolls and White Rabbit Drink – Burp Catering
Lobster lovers, rejoice! You no longer have to wonder or wait for Burger and Lobster to be halal, as you can now get your lobster roll fix at Burp Catering! Serving up lobsters from the same supplier as Burger and Lobster, Burp’s classic London Lobster Roll is topped with a generous serving of both shredded lobster as a base, and larger lobster chunks that are sweet and juicy.
The Laksa Lobster Roll is an interesting fusion twist on the lobster roll, because it comes covered in laksa gravy! The gravy definitely smells like a steaming hot bowl of Singapore laksa (might be all the curry leaves mixed in), and it somehow makes the lobster taste even more amazing. With a side of crunchy cassava chips to top it off, this dish is great for splitting between friends ☺️
To top it all off, Burp also did their rendition of everyone’s favourite childhood sweet – the White Rabbit milk sweet! We would say that the drink is not really for everyone as it’s a little on the sweet and milky side (of course), but it definitely gave us that bit of nostalgia as you can get hints of the sweet, which they mentioned, was actually in making the drink! To top it off, Burp even re-created that ‘edible paper’ that’s served in your straw. Truly a walk down memory lane 😝
London Lobster Roll (Regular size – $12, London size – $19)
Laksa Lobster Roll (Add-on $2)
White Rabbit Drink Bucket ($8)
Rainbow Shave Ice Bucket ($8)
One Regular Size Roll + One Bucket ($18)
One London Size Roll + One Bucket ($25)
Family Platter – 4 London Size Rolls ($72)
Additional Lobster Meat ($8)
Stall: WGS A G359 (Wisma Geylang Serai area, has a 2nd stall across the road)
Flaming Brown Sugar Milk Tea – Milk Bro
The trending drink of the year award definitely goes to brown sugar milk tea, and this year’s Ramadan bazaar isn’t going to be complete without it! Instead of your usual brown sugar milk tea, Milk Bro ups its game by ending with a flaming touch – literally, as the top of the drink is torched for a caramelised touch to your drink.
The milk tea is on the sweeter side and we recommend going with the smaller option (500ml) if you’re not much of a sweet tooth, as it may get a little too much. The pearls are cooked on the spot and are a great chewy addition to the drink 😋
Price: $3.90 for Taiwan Brown Sugar Milk Tea (500ml)
$4.90 for Signature Brown Sugar Boba Milk
$5.90 for Signature Taiwan Flaming Boba Milk with Cream Mousse (500ml)
Stall: WGS A 356, Wisma Geylang Serai side
ALL-IN Mala Salted Egg Yolk – The Mala Stop
You’ve definitely tried some form of mala and salted-egg, but together, it makes for a pretty unique combination that we’re willing to bet you’ve never come across before! We absolutely couldn’t make up our mind, so we went for the All-In Mala Salted Egg option, which comes with a really generous serving of noodles, beef, seafood (those prawns!) and of course, your healthy greens.
For those who can take the heat, we highly recommend turning it up and going for the highest level or just taking the mala (without the salted-egg) option. The small spice wasn’t too spicy, and had just the right kick, but we were left wondering if we would have enjoyed it more if we had a higher spice level to go with the salted egg!
The price was pretty reasonable for the large serving and also came with a free drink, perfect for breaking fast, or just sharing it with a group of friends for when you need your mala fix ☺️
Price: From $9.90 (Chicky Mala) to $16.90 (All-In Salted Egg Mala)
Stall: WGS B 038, near Tanjong Katong Complex
Other hipster eats to check out:
- White Rabbit soft serve
- Chimney cakes (Bill & Bell)
- Cheesecakes on a stick (The Munch Munch Co)
- Katsu with gravy (Mad About Katsu)
Since the focus of this year’s bazaar is about traditional food, we thought we’d check it out to see what’s different this year! For one, we saw more biryani stalls as compared to last year, resembling the bazaars of Masjid Sultan, Woodlands or Tampines. A lot of stalls were still selling the usual bazaar items like Ramly Burger, vadai, pisang goreng etc. so it’s really not that different from past years. But what we noticed was that there were a lot more fusion stalls – some traditional dishes are given a hipster twist; they are presented differently or branded as hipster eats. Here are our top picks:
Ayam Percik – WGS B 138
A traditional favourite at bazaars, Ayam Percik is grilled chicken marinated in rich spices. The secret to this chicken tasting so good is really the sauce. It’s relatively spicy with a tinge of sweetness to it. The flavours complement each other really well, enhancing the overall taste of the dish 🤤
If you can’t take spice, you must know that the spice kicks in a little later and you can feel your lips burning after that! There are 3 different types of chicken parts – chicken wing, chicken thighs and half chicken but we tried the chicken wing and it was “finger lickin’ good”!
#HHWT Tip: If you’re having the chicken wings, do note that it’s fit onto a satay stick, so it might be a little hard to eat. So, we suggest taking it out so that you won’t dirty your mouth when eating it 😅 (that happened to us!)
Price: Ayam Percik 1 for $2, Chicken Thigh 1 for $4, Half chicken set 1 for $6
Stall: WGS B 138, food area in front of Darul Arqam
[P.S. Love spicy food? Then check out this halal eatery at Orchard Rd with insane spice levels of chicken!]
Otak-Otak – Ranor Tenggiri Fresh Otah
Having otak-otak at a bazaar might seem like a typical thing to do but Ranor’s delicious otak-otak took us by surprise! The fish meat was really tasty and the stall owners were very generous with the portions too.
What we loved was that it had just the right amount of charred taste. Usually we’d end up eating otak-otak in two bites but we could take our time to savour this one as it’s a real treat 😋 The stall also sells other variations of fish meat in wrapped banana leaf and spices like pepes, and satar ikan.
Price: $1.50 for 1 pc (otak-otak), $3 for 5 pcs (pepes), $2 for 1 pc (satar ikan)
Stall: WGS A 344, food area near Wisma Geylang Serai, facing Changi Rd
Dendeng – DDHS
Here’s something we look forward to every Ramadan Bazaar! Who can pass up the allure of dendeng (barbecued meat) especially when it’s seasoned so tastefully? Our team personally prefer the Original Beef flavour as it’s more authentic and juicier too.
But those of you who like it tough and crispy will love their chicken dendeng. There are different flavours too from chilli to black pepper, honey and satay 😋 The only downside is that this mouthwatering treat isn’t exactly the cheapest snack as it costs around $5 for 100 grams. But we still think it’s totally worth it!
Price: from $5 per 100 grams
Stall: WGS A 296, area near Wisma Geylang Serai
Apam Balik – Apam Balik Wak Power
Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside with sweet toppings, apam balik (turnover pancake) is one traditional dessert we just can’t seem to get enough of! There are a few stalls selling apam balik and Wak Power is one of them near Wisma Geylang Serai.
We love how much this yummy dessert has evolved. It used to be purely consisting of peanuts and corn but now you can choose from so many flavours like nutella, cheese, durian, banana and more. At Wak Power, you can even mix flavours – perfect for those of you who can’t decide what to get 🤗
Price: $4 for 1 flavour, $6 for mix of flavours
Stall: WGS A G276, food area near Wisma Geylang Serai
Traditional Malay Kuih – Homemade Cookies
We were on a quest to find stalls selling Malay kuih as the bazaar is supposedly more traditional this year but to our dismay, we only managed to find one stall selling Malay kuih 😔 Nonetheless, the selection of kuih at Homemade Cookies was really extensive!
There were common kuih like ondeh-ondeh, kuih lapis, kuih kaswi (tapioca flour in palm sugar) and lopes (glutinous rice with palm sugar syrup). But there were also more unique ones like belebat ubi (grated tapioca root with palm sugar, coconut milk & grated coconut) and tepung gomak (chewy powdery kuih made from rice flour, green bean flour and filled with coconut/green bean). It was really interesting because it tested our knowledge of traditional Malay kuih. Most of us probably grew up with these kuih at home or have seen them before but we don’t really know their names 😅
We bought an assortment of kuih as they were really affordable – at just $2 per packet. So naturally, we couldn’t resist! We particularly loved the savoury kuih like Pulut Panggang (glutionous rice grilled wrap) and Pulut Serunding (glutinous rice with spicy grated coconut). It was nice to see stalls like this at the bazaar and we hope more of such stalls will pop up in the coming days too!
Price: $2 per box of kuih
Stall: Wooden push carts at food area near Wisma Geylang Serai
Prawn Vadai – Mr Vadai
We don’t know about you, but this is the quintessential bazaar food that we’re always looking for. It’s an experience to watch the stall owner fry the multiple vadai in a pot of oil, and there’s no way you can resist the aromatic smell. It’s so sinful but yet so good!
Mr Vadai’s vadai is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and it was served to us piping hot! We loved how the batter was flavourful without being too overwhelming. It’s definitely one of the better vadai we’ve tasted! The only complaint we had was that the prawns were too small. Of course, you have to eat the vadai with green chilli for a kick, and it balances out the taste of the oily vadai.
Price: 4 for $3, 10 for $6
Stall: WGS A G270, food area near Wisma Geylang Serai
Keropok Lekor – WGS A G291
Another snack that’s usually sold alongside vadai is keropok lekor. For the uninitiated, keropok lekor are fish crackers which are made from fish and sago, seasoned with salt and sugar and then deep-fried! There are 2 types but we personally prefer the soft and chewy ones over the crispy ones.
The lekor at this stall was pretty soft and slightly chewy, though we think it’ll be better if it was served warm as keropok lekor tends to turn hard if it’s eaten cold. It was served with chilli sauce which wasn’t anything to rave about as it was a tad sour. But the stall owners were very friendly and they joked with us about the rising prices of food at bazaars. While rent this year has decreased, they told us that it didn’t affect prices much as the cost of ingredients is still expensive 😞
Price: $2 for 7 pcs
Stall: Plenty of stalls sell keropok lekor but we went to WGS A G291, food area near Wisma Geylang Serai
BONUS: Budget options (below $5)
Mee Goreng – Shaik Sabri
We know what you’re thinking, why would you visit the bazaar and buy mee goreng? Well, not when it’s $2 and tastes this good!
We were surprised at how flavourful the noodles were and it had just the right amount of spice! The taste was well-balanced with the chilli and lime complementing each other. Perfect if you need something filling and affordable to fill up your belly at iftar! We also had a delicious cup of hot teh tarik and kopi tarik for only $1 each – it was REALLY good 🤤
Price: $2 (Mee goreng), $1 (Teh Tarik/Kopi Tarik)
Stall: WGS A G287 – food area near Wisma Geylang Serai
Thai Milk Tea With Grass Jelly Topping (1 Litre!) – 555 Thai Tea
1 litre for just $3 dollars?! Thai milk tea has never been this affordable (except in Thailand of course 😉).
The tea is smooth, aromatic and not too sweet! Choose between original milk tea, green Thai milk tea and even Thai rose tea. Pick your (free!) topping – grass jelly or chendol, and you’re all set to explore the bazaar with this iced cold drink in hand. Trust us, you’ll need this while braving the heat.
P.S. We shared 1 litre of milk tea among 3 of us!
Price: $3 (1 litre), $2 (700ml), $1.50 (500 ml)
Stall: WGS A G304 – food area near Wisma Geylang Serai
Belgian Waffles – Pebbles
A reasonably priced dessert if you’re looking for something to end your night on a sweet note!
We tried the White Canvas – A Belgian waffle partially-dipped into Greek yoghurt and topped with fruity pebbles. Unfortunately, the plain side of the waffle proved to be a little too boring for us – it’s definitely an acquired taste!
If you’re a waffles fan, they have other flavoured options including Matcha with Azuki Beans, Dark Chocolate with Choco Balls, or if you want an entirely coated waffle, go for the Cinnamon Star which is dipped in their homemade cinnamon sugar!
Stall: WGS B 017 – food area near Tanjong Katong Complex
Takoyaki – XL Takoyaki
Crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, just like how we like our takoyaki! Except, we wish the stall would be more generous with the filling 😭 (Though they are pretty generous with their sauces and bonito flakes!) Guess you can’t be choosy if you’re looking for budget options at the bazaar!
Price: 5 for $2.50
Stall: WGS A G320 – food area near Wisma Geylang Serai
Nutella S’mores Dip – Take A Bite SG
Another affordable dessert option to round off your gastronomic adventure! We loved how the Nutella went perfectly with the marshmallows but you can’t go wrong with S’mores (and Nutella), can you? 😍 Forget about taking a shot for the gram because you’ll want to savour this treat immediately before it hardens!
Stall: WGS B 020 – food area near Tanjong Katong Complex
Atmosphere and ambience
There are about 500 stalls this year (as compared to 800 stalls last year!). What we really loved about this year’s bazaar is ample seating space. Gone are the days where you’d have to buy your food and eat while standing.
The different seating areas cater to families and big groups. There are areas where you can sit on the floor to eat and lepak (chill out), which reminded us of life in the kampung. There are stalls in “wooden” huts too which gives off a sense of nostalgia.
Not to mention that it’s more spacious – the walkways are bigger as compared to previous years, so it’s definitely more breathable!
This year, we also saw a lot of container-style eateries (located at Darul Arqam side, Wisma Geylang Serai, Kg Gemilang). The container area at Kg Gemilang even has a second floor available for you to sit at, among dreamy fairy lights!
We were really (pleasantly) surprised with what we saw this year at the Geylang Bazaar – the major decrease in stalls definitely did not dampen our experience; in fact the wider space and extra seating arrangements was refreshing!
There was also a generally good mix of traditional food, “hipster” food, and affordable eats (that were not limited to only traditional food)! We also appreciate that all of the exciting new creations we saw this year was halal – so no worrying about whether that rainbow-cheese grilled bread is halal or not 😉
As Ramadan comes along, you can definitely look forward to visiting the Geylang Bazaar with your friends and family for a good time and to prepare for Raya! The Bazaar doesn’t just sell food, but anything you can imagine from stunning Raya outfits to beautiful and dreamy curtains to luxurious new carpets. There’s even arcade games and small carnival rides for the kids to enjoy, making the entire Bazaar experience a treat for the family 🤗