A large part of Singaporean cuisine revolves aroundhawker centres, where hawker stalls first began around the mid 19th century and were largely made up of street food stalls selling a huge variety of foods. These street vendors usually set up stalls by the side of the streets with push carts or bicycles and served cheap and fast foods to coolies, office workers
and those that did not cook at home. Although the street vendors provided early Singapore immigrants with cheap and fast meals, these stalls were unhygienic, due to the lack of supporting infrastructure such as waste disposal, a steady supply of fresh water and limited sanitation practices. The Singapore government started enforcing more rules and regulations for street hawkers and relocated these vendors to more permanent locations with the construction of wet markets and hawker centers across the country. eheartland.sg
Today, when dining out, Singaporeans often eat athawker centres, coffee shops or food courts rather than restaurants, due to
convenience, a wider range of options and affordability. These hawker centres are widespread, cheap and usually feature dozens of stalls in a single complex, with each stall offering its own speciality dishes. Famous hawker centers among tourists are Telok Ayer Market, Maxwell Food Center, Lau Pa Sat and Newton Food Center. An air-conditioned version of the food court, coffee shops are located across the island, usually at the edge of the HDB apartment block. The Hawker Center isa place where people can experience all kinds of cultural foods in one place. A hawker center or outdoor food court defines Singapore's food culture. Popular markets such as Geylang's Old Airport Road Food Center, Beach Road's Golden Mile Food Center, and Chinatown's Maxwell Road Food Center combine Singapore'ssignature cuisine with the finest Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian cuisine. Singapore's famous hawker or copitum dishes include Kaya toast, chilli crab, fishhead curry, laksa, roti canai, and Hainan chicken rice, which iswidely recognized as one of Singapore'slocal dishes. In 2016, Hong Kong Soy Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodles and Hill Street Thai Fapoke Noodles became the first two Michelin Star-winning street food restaurants in the world. The former also won the title of "the cheapest Michelinstar menu in the world".
In 2018, Singapore's HawkerCulture was nominated by Singapore's National Heritage Board (NHB), the National Environment Agency, and the Singapore Chamber of Commerce and Industry to be included on theUNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Nominations were submitted in March 2019 and approved and registered on 16 December 2020. UNESCO described the Hawker Center as a "community dining hall" where people from different backgrounds gather to share their breakfast, lunch and dinner experiences. Read more...