Singaporean food hawker centre makes NYC debut

Photo by Urban Hawker Facebook.

A Singaporean food hawker centre made its debut in the Big Apple this week. The ‘Urban Hawker’ centre, located in New York City’s midtown Manhattan, sells tasty dishes including chilli crab, oyster omelettes, and Hainanese chicken rice.

The centre serves meals meant to represent Singapore’s diverse cultures. The island nation is made up of Chinese, Indian, and Malay people, among others.

Urban Hawker has 17 vendors, with 11 coming directly from hawker centres in Singapore.

Urban Hawker’s curator, KF Seetoh, said he came up with the idea for the centre when he met the late famous chef Anthony Bourdain in 2013. The two met at a street food event, and Bourdain had been excited about the idea of a hawker market, Seetoh said.

Seetoh then approached a property manager who agreed to the idea.

Urban Hawker might only be the beginning. Seetoh hopes to see more hawker centres pop up across the US.

New York City is home to an estimated 3,600 Singaporeans. Urban Hawker hopes to bring Singaporean cuisine to both the Singaporean community and other New Yorkers. The centre’s seating capacity is about 200.

Singapore’s hawker cuisine was recognized by the United Nations’ cultural agency UNESCO for its cultural significance in 2020.

SOURCE: Reuters | NY Daily News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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