Singapore-Style Hawker Food Market ‘Urban Hawker’ Opens In New York On 28 Sep
Singapore is known for its diverse food culture — our hawker culture even has a spot on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Now, food blogger KF Seetoh is bringing this unique part of our country to “The Big Apple” itself, New York City.
In a recent Instagram post, he shared that Urban Hawker, a Singapore-style food market, will have its soft opening today (21 Sep).
The food market will feature 17 stalls. 11 of them will be manned by true blue Singapore hawkers, selling everything from kaya toast to chicken rice and white bee hoon.
Urban Hawker’s official opening date is 28 Sep.
Market will feature variety of Singapore cuisine
Mr Seetoh, the founder of food blog Makansutra, announced on Tuesday (20 Sep) that Urban Hawker will be opening very soon.
He shared that the Singapore-style food market is about bringing the UNESCO-class hawkers from Singapore to the United States.
By doing this, they can hopefully spread the love for food to the diverse population there.
And it’s primed to do just that with its convenient location in the heart of New York City, just off Times Square at 135 West 50th Street.
Mr Seetoh said he was very conscious while curating the hawkers for Urban Hawker.
He felt that it was important that it accurately reflected the Singapore food scene.
Thanks to his efforts, Urban Hawker will boast 17 stalls featuring an array of Chinese, Malay, Indian, Nonya, Hainanese, and halal Western cuisines.
To make things even more authentic, 11 stalls will feature actual hawkers from the Lion City.
Some of these hawkers have relocated to New York. Others have sent their staff over to train local staff long-term.
Singaporeans who visit Urban Hawker will see familiar names such as Smokin’ Joe, Wok N’ Staple by Dragon Phoenix, Padi, Mamak’s Corner, and Mr Fried Rice.
Urban Hawker stalls sell kopi, chilli crab & roti prata
Giving viewers a glimpse of what dining at Urban Hawker will look like, Mr Seetoh said people can grab the classic Singaporean breakfast of kopi, kaya toast, and half-boiled eggs at Kopifellas.
And of course, there is also chicken rice at the Hainan Jones stall.
Easties will also be familiar with the Pasir Ris stall Prawnaholic and their popular prawn mee.
White Restaurant’s white bee hoon will also be served up at Urban Hawker.
All these and other hawker classics like satay, roti prata, mee rebus, chilli crab, laksa, and more can be found at Urban Hawker.
And to top it all off, you can also find nonya kueh like ang ku kueh, lapis sagu, and ondeh ondeh at the Lady Wong stall.
Hopes to introduce hawker culture to New York & rest of the world
Spearheaded by Mr Seetoh, the 14,000 sq ft food market officially opens on 28 Sep. It will have a seating capacity of 200.
Speaking to New York Daily News, he said that when something happens in New York City, the world takes note.
“Our hawkers are something we are proud to show off”, Mr Seetoh exclaimed.
Determined to introduce the hawker tradition to the rest of the world, he had spent years working on Urban Hawker.
He told Secret NYC, “It’s just good, humble heritage fare that the world will love, too.”
What’s more, Mr Seetoh is introducing Urban Hawker to the world in a meaningful way.
Eater New York reported that chefs and owners at the food market are also offering to employ migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers.
This comes as New York is being flooded by migrants sent away from Texas.
On Instagram, Mr Seetoh himself said those who are interested can reach out to Urban Hawker at email@example.com.
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Featured image adapted from Men’s Journal and Mamardi.
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