Date Traveled, August 2012
Lau Pa Sat or "old market" used to be a market in the heart of what is today's central business district or CBD area in Singapore near the bay. It now is a hawker center popular with the crowds of office workers in the day. At night, the neighboring Boon Tat Street outdoor market opens up which is famous for its satay stalls.
I visited Lau Pa Sat in the evening. Most of the stalls in the hawker centers were closed or closing and the crowds and bustling activity typical at Singapore's hawker centers was not there. Although there were a few stalls that remained open late, it was clearly a daytime place. Most of the activity shifts to the street right beside Lau Pa Sat, Boon Tat street. In the evenings, Boon Tat street satay market is a popular hangout place. There are numerous stalls, all selling different kinds of satay and you will be accosted by various people vying for your business with their stall. They will try to push a menu on you and direct you to one of their tables lined up all over the street in the outside. It was very popular with groups, kind of like a happy hour place, order a few satay sticks and sit in the outside with a pitcher of beer. The satay "grillers" display some interesting pyrotechnics as they make the satays. I was alone and didn't feel like sitting down there in the crowds with some satay over a beer, so decided to head back into Lau Pa Sat to try some hawker center food there.
Lau Pa Sat hawker center
Colonial era architecture visible in the roof design
Stalls inside were relatively empty in the evening
Boon Tat street is where the action is in the evenings
I decided to try a simple fishball soup from stall 13, "Fishball Minced Meat Noodle". The stalls typically specialize in one style of dish or variations around that cuisine and this one had all kinds of fishball dishes. I had read the fishball soups at the hawker centers were a popular dish and had seen people frequently order this so decided to try one. It is a very simple and healthy dish. So many foods you typically get from hawker centers are delicious but necessarily the healthiest choices, but this was a simple broth with greens and light steamed or boiled fishballs. I thought it was alright and well made, but I guess I am not going to be a fan of fishball soup. I will however like to revisit in the evening for some satay over beer next time.