Asia’s changing street food scene: Singapore

Not everyone thinks that street food has to exist on actual streets.

KF Seetoh, Singapore’s famed street food maven, says controlled spaces like the Lion City’s hawker centers have their own benefits.

He says, “Call it sterile if you want. Who likes to be poisoned by dubious street food vendors?”

He added, “Hawker centers in Singapore are basically a collection of formerly illegal street food vendors. They were all relocated. Every stall is provided with water, outlets, gas, electricity, grease traps and ventilation. There is no difference between managing a hawker stall or a restaurant.”

Currently, the biggest threat to Singapore’s hawker stalls though — and a recurring theme all throughout the Asian region — is the lack of continuity.

Seetoh sadly explained, “Singapore is losing this craft. It’s very hard to come up to speed with the old masters. It’s not a job that college graduates are brought up to do and it’s also very competitive.”


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