Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hawker Centres

I have recently completed reading the book titled Singapore Hawker Centres: People, Places and Food written by Professor Lily Kong from the National University of Singapore. This book rightly captures the essences of our Hawker Centres and its relevance to the lives of Singaporeans from the past to the present.

Our ubiquitous Hawker Centres are really the gems of our small nation. Dining out and eating with friends have almost become a ritual of our daily lives, not just as a mean to fill our empty stomach. In fact our hawker centres, a central part of our lives have become one of “the 1000 places that one must visit before one dies”.

There is no more addition to the existing number of hawker centres in our country. What have been springing up are food courts, restaurants, cafes and the likes. The quality of food served at very affordable prices is the main draw of hawker centres. Conversely, many food courts I have patronised before served very low quality food in very small serving portions at very high prices. Good food can be found in restaurants but they come with premium prices, GST, compulsory service charges, etc.

Our hawker centres, after upgrading have become much more spacious and elegant and have almost become daily attractions for Singaporeans.

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