Geylang Serai Hari Raya Bazaar 2013

Every year when the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan rolls around, we make an annual pilgrimage to the Geylang Serai Hari Raya Bazaar to get our fill of Hari Raya festive goodies. Oddly enough, I don't feel such an impetus to go to Chinatown over CNY. I think it's because I get easy access to CNY holiday grub, and not so much for seasonal Hari Raya chow.

A tip, to avoid the hordes of celebratory folks loading up on festive goodies and products, is to hit up the bazaar on a Monday evening, during the early weeks of Ramadan. If you're driving, there's an open-air carpark opposite the Haig Road Hawker Centre with a really high turnover. Another thing, dress coolly, because, trust me, you will sweat.

There are about a million food stalls set up at the month-long, seemingly never-ending bazaar, but the foodstuff are quite repetitive, and to be honest, they kind of blend into one another. I tend to stick to the stalls nearest the Haig Road Market, and zoom in on the following must-haves.

I know one can get kebabs anytime of the year at any Turkish restaurant, and not just at the Ramadan bazaars, but somehow, this is about the only time I crave for kebabs. It's the same with bak kwa and rice dumplings. I only crave for them during CNY and the mid-Autumn festival respectively. So anyways, I usually opt for the Chicken Kebab instead of the lamb version, and request that the mayo be held off. I like to be able to taste the delicate spice seasoning of the juicy chicken meat without the overwhelmingly heavy element of mayo. The pita is lightly grilled for a toasty finish, and shredded lettuce cuts through the grease and spice seasoning. I get this at the start of my trek through the bazaar. It's easy to hold and eat without getting your fingers all greasy.

Another seasonal delicacy is the Ayam Percik, a whole chicken wing marinated with tumeric and other Malay aromatics, skewered on a bamboo stick and grilled to a smoky deliciousness. Liberal lashings of a mild sweetish sambal kicks up the spice accents.

For those too lazy to pick through the bones of the chicken wing or to get your fingers dirty, the Chicken Cutlet version is perfect. This was succulent and lipsmackingly awesome. We went back for thirds of these.

Not to be missed is the Dendeng, the Malay version of the Chinese bak kwa, made with beef instead of pork for a Halal-certification. Meatier, thicker, and less sweet than the bak kwa, this will attract long queues with its robust, full-bodied flavour. Look out for the billowing plumes of smoke fumes off the grill. Be sure, though, to get these straight off the grill, and not the ones that have been left standing out. They are best eaten with a shiny sheen of oil and piping hot.

The bazaar is also where I get my Ramly Burger fix. Granted, it's nothing compared to the Malaysian rendition, because the ramly patty is not allowed into Singapore (for reasons unfathomable to me but known to the AVA), but it'll do for now to curb the craving. I usually opt for the chicken, not beef version, and again, request to hold off the mayo. Be prepared to get your hands dirty though, this is a huge greasebomb. And you will have bits and pieces dropping off here and there.

For dessert, be sure to hit up the famous Haig Road Putu Piring stall at the Mr Teh Terik coffeeshop (next to the Haig Road Hawker Centre) for the Malay sweet of Putu Piring. This is the Malay version of tu tu kueh, but with a gula melaka filling and shavings of salted grated coconut. It's light, fluffy and sweetly balanced.

Geylang Serai Hari Raya Bazaar 2013
now on until the wee early morning hours of 8 August 2013


yixiao said...

AHHH, I really really really wanna try the Haig Road Putu Piring!

Bern said...

don't worry, this snack, unlike the rest of the foodstuff, has no expiry. can go anytime! after hari raya too! they make a roaring business though...non-stop queues.

Anonymous said...

this looks like a massive feast.

but also makes me feel like going to gym after just looking!

Bern said...

hahahaa....in anticipation of the feast, we went to work out before this! everything's a calorific greasebombshell!

FoodieFC said...

Park Lane used to have this damn good kebab rice stall call Sultan Kebab. But its closed down and I have no idea where it shifted to =(.

Bern said...

yeah, we were JUST talking abt that selegie kebab stall too! i've no idea too man...i once went there for a meeting, and the smells wafting out of the shop were just too enticing, we promptly bought a couple of kebabs to eat.

Bern said...

it's the famous amos effect, i swear! hahahahaaa

Anonymous said...


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