No trip to The Lion City is complete without a taste of its world-famous hawker food— from the fragrant chicken rice to the wok hei-laden carrot cake, which is itself a microcosm of the city’s racial diversity. Now, Singapore’s hawker culture has officially clinched a spot on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, five years after it successfully listed the Botanical Gardens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Joining more than 463 items on the list of Intangible Culture Heritage, including taiji quan (an internal Chinese martial art) in China and yoga in India, Singapore’s hawker culture is a worthy tribute to the hard-working generations of hawkers who have laboured over their signature dishes for years.
Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth said in a pre-recorded video: “Singapore’s hawker culture is a source of pride for Singapore and all Singaporeans. It reflects our living heritage and multiculturalism, and is an integral part of the daily lives of everyone in Singapore regardless of age, race or background.”
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also added that “The biggest thanks must go to the generations of hawkers for nourishing a nation’s stomach and spirits.”
In light of the win, a three-week SG HawkerFest will be launched on Dec 26, where participants can take part in online treasure hunts and quizzes. These can then be used to redeem vouchers at 29 participating hawker centres.
Meanwhile, why not head out to Singapore’s best hawker centres and enjoy their star dishes?
Maxwell Food Centre
Try: Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, Jin Hua Sliced Fish Bee Hoon, Zhen Zhen Porridge, Maxwell Fu Zhou Oyster Cake
Chinatown Complex Food Centre
Try: Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles, Ann Chin Popiah, Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap, Fatty Ox Hong Kong Kitchen
Amoy Street Food Centre
Try: A Noodle Story, Ah Ter Teochew Fish Ball Noodles, Hoo Kee Bak Zhang, J2 Famous Crispy Curry Puff
Fengshan Food Centre (better known as Bedok 85)
Try: Xing Ji Rou Cuo Mian, Bedok 85 Fried Oyster Omelette, Chai Chee Pork Porridge, Swatow Wanton Noodle, Sin Bedok North BBQ Chicken Wings
Tiong Bahru Food Centre
Try: Jian Bo Chwee Kueh, Zhong Yu Yuan Wei Wanton Noodles, Lau Chen Carrot Cake & Popiah, Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee
Old Airport Food Centre
Try: Blanco Court Food Centre Kwap Chap, Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow, Hin Fried Hor Fun, Roast Paradise
ABC Brickworks Food Centre
Try: Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Mee, Fatty Cheong, Wow Wow West, Gu Zao Ren Seafood Taiwan Porridge