So there were some hyperbolic claims made on the internet recently about Geylang Bazaar. The most bizarre being a stall that sold cat and dog meat satay. That is not at all true by the way. Some guy decided that by spreading that rumour around, the limelight would be on him.
There’s another claim about some stalls not being halal-certified, which is entirely true. Luckily, there are some online halal-food-police/vigilantes who did some detective work and listed down the halal and non-halal food stalls. For those who are unsure about which stalls are halal, you can click the link here. You can thank TheSmartLocal.com for coming up with the comprehensive list.
For my $50 price tag cum hyperbolic claim, this is entirely true. Lets breakdown the prices for the food my wife and I bought.
- Benjo Burger – $4.50
- Steam Burger x 2 (at $4.00 ea) – $8.00
- Takoyaki x 2 (at $2.50 ea) – $5.00
- Katira Drinks bundle of 3 – $10.00
- Torchblown Scallop – $4.00
- Iced Shaken Hibiscus Drink – $4.00
- Fried Banana Fritters – $2.00
- Kerepok Lekor – $2.00
- Turkish Fizzy Drinks bundle of 3 – $5.00
- Thai Milk Tea – $4.00
I may not know your definition of expensive. The price tag for our food hunt in Geylang Bazaar was unexpected. With that money, we could have gotten us a nice dinner at Hei Sushi, Pizza Hut or even Nene Chicken with their popular 50cm hotplate chicken @ only SGD$39.90. I can vouch for the hotplate chicken. It was surprisingly good.
Talking about surprises, I am shocked to see how Geylang has sold itself and cater food for hipsters. i.e those who flock down to the bazaar to not only try out the hipster-ish food but also upload instagrammable food on their instagram accounts. Geylang used to be a simple and quaint mecca for muslims. It was the only place for Muslims to converge on the once-a-year bazaar ramadan for traditional street food and snacks such as kerepok lekors or the famous and messy Ramly Burger (whichever way or sauce you like your Ramly to be)
I personally do not like the way Geylang is turning out to be. If geylang is a person, i would call him a sellout. I expected Raya songs to be played on air as i walk among throngs of perspiring humans. I expect it to be a special place for the malay/muslim community to celebrate what i means to be a malay/muslim in Singapore.
On the other hand, i applaud the innovative spirit of our millennials i.e the stall vendors to bring in new and exciting foods to the table. They should be commended for mixing things up such as the new Taco Dendeng and handsome burger. They look absolutely yummy. There’s no doubt about that.
Luckily for these aspiring entrepreneurs, we live in a age where there’s instagram and facebook. Not forgetting the online “influencers”, with their wide reach and influence, do everything in their power to propagate new and exciting stuff to the masses. Which in this case, the Bazaar Geylang food.
We also cannot blame them for making Geylang wildly different from what it was. A recent article mentioned that rental fees in Geylang Bazaar skyrocketed to about SGD $17,000. Article can be found here.
If splicing, experimenting and making food pleasing to the eyes are ways to earn big bucks, then I cannot see how and why they, the vendors, should not stop doing so. They too have a rental fee to pay up.
It is sad to see the current state of Geylang bazaar. It is quickly losing it’s charm and meaning. Lets hope the next generation of stall vendors will take note and restore our culture back to Geylang Bazaar.