Learn how traditional coffee is brewed, watch old-school snacks that are in danger of going extinct get prepared, visit a Michelin-starred hawker stall and sample off-the-menu secret dishes at the upcoming Hawker Day Out, (29 to 30 August and 5 to 6 September), an event that pays homage to the craft of hawkers, particularly those in Chinatown Complex.
Organised by the Chinatown Complex Hawkers’ Association and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), the association hopes the event will cast the spotlight on the unsung hawker heroes of Chinatown Complex, which houses Singapore’s largest hawker centre and market, with over 220 cooked-food stalls.
“Hawker Day Out will provide some great insights into our hawker culture and give Singaporeans the opportunity to discover the rich history behind some of Singapore’s favourite dishes through virtual and on-site food tours,” says Serene Tan, director of arts and cultural precincts at STB. “The event pays homage to the rich heritage and resilience of hawkers in Chinatown and adds vibrancy to the neighbourhood.”
There will be four food tours held multiple times across the two weekends. Three of them – Old School Snacks, Iconic Breakfast and Canton Feast –will be themed, while another will be an introductory tour. Curated by tour operator Tribe, they will showcase a roster of hawkers, including one of the oldest hawkers in Chinatown Complex who is currently 86 years old.
If you prefer to enjoy hawker food in the comfort of your home, the tour can be done virtually via Zoom as well. Participants will be sent a platter of food to sample as the tour goes on and will be able to interact virtually with the hawkers and guide.
Tour fees will include vouchers that can be spent at various stalls within Chinatown Complex. Besides the tour, there’s also the chance to redeem a free cup of coffee or tea, as well as weekday promotions between 29 August and 6 September.
The event is part of the SingapoRediscovers campaign that aims to boost local tourism in the wake of Covid-19. “The past few months have been tough for businesses at Chinatown Complex, but our customers have been very supportive to us. Through this event, we warmly welcome all locals to come and rediscover the unique culture of hawker culture at the largest hawker centre in Singapore,” says Mr Lim Gek Meng, president of the Chinatown Complex Hawkers’ Association.
To sign up for the tour, click here.