Maliki Osman Describes Meal At New York Hawker Market As ‘Good’
When KF Seetoh opened Urban Hawker in New York City (NYC), Singaporeans feeling homesick were probably happy to get a taste of home. Such elation was apparent in East Coast MP Maliki Osman too, who visited the food market recently.
There for a lunch break while in town for the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Mr Maliki tried familiar local delicacies including mee rebus and teh tarik.
Together with his colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and Singapore’s New York Mission, they spent over S$250 on various dishes.
Maliki Osman visits Urban Hawker in New York
In a Facebook video on Thursday (21 Sep), Mr Maliki recorded his visit to the Urban Hawker in NYC.
Having heard a lot about the place, the MP was evidently excited to step foot in it for the first time.
He observed the similarity of the setup to local food courts and spotted familiar names like Padi, which resides at Bussorah Street in Kampong Gelam.
Mr Maliki then went around to check out the different stalls there and interact with the workers, many of whom seemed Singaporean.
Interestingly, however, one employee at the prata stall was a Latina, who evidently couldn’t recognise him but conversed with a smile nonetheless.
After making a round around the establishment, Mr Maliki finally sat down with his colleagues to tuck into their meals.
Tries local dishes like mee rebus, satay & teh tarik
As there were several members in his entourage, everyone got to try various dishes from different stalls.
In all, they bought the following for Mr Maliki, Abel from MFA, Matthew and Phoebe from the New York Mission, two security personnel and the camerawoman:
- Sliced fish white bee hoon – US$16 (S$21.85)
- Char kway teow – US$18 (S$24.59)
- Hokkien mee – US$18 (S$24.59)
- Mee rebus – US$16.50 (S$22.54)
- Mee goreng mamak – US$18 (S$24.59)
- Satay, 12 sticks – US$40 (S$54.64)
- Mee bakso, 2 sets – US$36 (S$49.18)
- Nasi padang with gulai chicken – US$18 (S$24.59)
- Teh tarik – US$6 (S$8)
While the spread looks like something we’d have with our family for an affordable sum, this particular feast amounted to a whopping US$186.50 (S$254.74).
Prices aside, Mr Maliki said the teh tarik is “not bad lah”, and that it has a “teh tarik taste”.
The mee rebus, on the other hand, got rave reviews as he described it to be “shiok” and gave it a thumbs up as well as a five-star rating.
The satay was apparently decent too, tasting like what we have here in Singapore, though the portions are notably bigger.
Mr Maliki also met Mr Shukor, the owner of Padi and the mamak stall, who shared that running the stalls was difficult at first. However, after understanding the market better, business is now picking up, and he encourages everyone to visit his stalls in NYC.
If you happen to be visiting the Big Apple, here’s how you can find Urban Hawker:
Address: Floor 1, The Michelangelo New York – Starhotels Collezione, 135 W 50th St, New York, NY 10020, United States
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 10am – 10pm, Sun 10am – 9pm
Nearest subway stations: 49th & 50th St
Pride for Singapore street food in the US
After their meals, Mr Maliki and his team cleared their tables and returned their utensils to the tray collection points, just like we do in Singapore.
They clearly had a wonderful experience, exclaiming that they had “a good meal and a good time”.
Though the prices at Urban Hawker may send some of our eyeballs boggling, there probably are a multitude of factors that go into them.
More importantly, to find a slice of home so far away is priceless and something we’re sure many Singaporeans are thankful for.
Here’s wishing the hawkers success as they represent our Little Red Dot on the other side of the world.
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Featured image adapted from Maliki Osman on Facebook.
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