The Geylang Serai night bazaar is open for business once again as we begin the month of Ramadan. While the location of the bazaar has not changed, the surrounding landscape has changed significantly over the past few years. The revamped SingPost Centre opened for business at the end of last year and the new Wisma Geylang Serai, which sits adjacent to the bazaar, opened just days before Ramadan. By this time next year, the retail component of Paya Lebar Quarter is slated to open as well.
After the salted egg and nasi lemak chicken burgers, McDonald's Singapore is once again trying its hand at whipping up something novel. This time, they have diverted their attention to fish for a change and, as a bonus, decided to introduce throw something savoury in the mix too. How do they fare?
McDonald’s staple menu of Fillet-O-Fish, McSpicy and Quarter Pounder with Cheese is rather stale by now, even with the seasonal items like the Prosperity burger and Samurai burger. McDonald’s seems to have realised this over the past two years and have tried to mix things up every now and then since.
My favourite of the new mixes was the “Create Your Taste” concept, which I enthusiastically wrote about last year. “Create Your Taste” has since quietly disappeared (to my great disappointment), probably because it took up too much preparation time for a fast food restaurant. It did give birth to two new staple items, though–the Angus Cheese burger and the Chicken with Apple Slaw burger, which they (thankfully) replaced with Buttermilk earlier this year. In retrospect, perhaps “Create Your Taste” was just a crowdsourced experiment all along.
Then, of course, there was the salted egg burger, which garnered mostly mixed reviews. Now McDonald’s is back with another locally-inspired creation, the Nasi Lemak Burger. Or, should it be known as the Roti Lemak burger instead?
Ramadan is upon us once again, which also signifies the start of the annual Geylang Serai Market Bazaar. Billed as the biggest pasar malam event of the year in Singapore, it hosts 900 stalls across a few roads right outside Paya Lebar MRT.
Stalls are well in demand, since the bazaar is always teeming with crowds all month long, Muslim or non-Muslim alike. Rental is said to be as high as $17,000 this year, and some shops (probably those not selling food and those not blessed with TheSmartLocal’s or LadyIronChef’s midas touch) are still struggling to break even.
As you would expect, prices are exorbitant (at least, by pasar malam standards) and are at least on par with that of recent large-scale pasar malam events like Artbox and River Hongbao. Still, that isn’t enough to deter the millennial crowds, who are apparently willing to pay $20 and upwards for a slice of avocado toast.
The first salted egg yolk dish I ever tried was this salted egg chicken rice at a food stall at Far Eat Plaza some two years ago. Since then, the popularity of the salted egg yolk flavour has grown from strength to strength, displacing truffle as the trending ingredient in Singapore’s culinary scene. If I were to open my own cafe now, I’ll probably call it “Salted Egg Yolk” and proceed to douse every edible thing I can think of in that delicious yellow gravy.
Well, maybe that’s not a very wise move since food trends come and go. But if you’re an incumbent player in the market looking to spice things up a little, following the trend can’t go very wrong, right?
During my graduation trip to Italy last June, I binged on gelato every single day of the eleven days I was there. Gelato was the single thing that I missed the most from Italy. Normal ice cream just doesn’t taste the same.
For a long time, I have not wanted to eat at McDonald’s. Don’t get me wrong–I’m not a McDonald’s snob–it’s something I still eat if it’s convenient or if I’m desparate for food (where else can you find a burger that can fill your tummy for two dollars?), but not something I’d go out of the way for (unless there’s twister fries). The reason? The menu has become boring.