10 New Delicious Eats at Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar 2018
Ramadan Bazaar 2018
Everyone’s favourite pasar malam, Ramadan Bazaar 2018, is back again, now bigger, bolder and better! Our team at Miss Tam Chiak visited the Ramadan Bazaar 2018 at Geylang Serai and would like to highlight some of the unique, interesting and wacky foods featured this year. From flaming beef cubes to the magical unicorn parfait, prepare yourselves to beat the heat and crowds at Ramadan Bazaar 2018 – so let’s go!
Hyde & Co. – Crispy Chicken Rendang
Most of us have heard of the infamous Crispy Chicken Rendang controversy that took place on MasterChef UK. For those who are unaware, Southeast Asian viewers were astonished when a Malaysian-born contestant was eliminated from the quarter-finals of the competition because the skin on her spicy chicken rendang was not ‘crispy’.
The chefs from Hyde & Co. took inspiration from this debacle and decided to challenge themselves to create their own rendition of a Crispy Chicken Rendang at the Ramadan Bazaar 2018! A chicken drumstick is fried until crisp before being coated in a spicy rendang sauce. The chicken is served on a bed of ketupat (rice dumpling) and emping belinjo (crackers).
Priced at $9, I wished that the dish came with more than one chicken drumstick. The rendang sauce was slightly spicy and also robust, with a strong aroma of lemongrass. The skin of the chicken itself was not very crispy, though acceptable given that it’s been thoroughly coated with the rendang! The meat was tender and had soaked up the flavours of the rendang.
Hyde & Co. also offers other inventive local-inspired dishes, such as Chilli Crab Pasta ($9) and Laksa Hae Bee Hiam Pasta ($9)! Overall, I’d recommend giving their Crispy Chicken Rendang a try. However, don’t go in expecting an incredibly crispy skin.
21 Sliders – The Wrangler
I’ll start this off with a bold statement – 21 Sliders is must-try if you’re heading for the Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar 2018. The stall offers a variety of American-style sliders for just $4! We tried out ‘The Wrangler’, which is one of the sliders offered under their classic menu. This slider features a crispy buttermilk fried chicken patty sat atop a tangy purple coleslaw and a lightly toasted bun. The patty is generously topped with their in-house made buffalo sauce which is a combination of sriracha, tabasco and butter.
This miniature burger might appear small, but its flavour definitely packs a punch. The substantially thick chicken patty is perfectly crisp while still being juicy and succulent. Their zingy buffalo sauce adds a spicy kick without being mouth-numbing. On the other hand, the purple coleslaw adds a welcome amount of crunchiness and freshness to each bite.
Beef Bro Blow Torch Grill – Singapore’s First Mentaiko Beef Cubes
A newcomer in this year’s bazaar, Beef Bro is owned by local Suria and Channel 5 actor Danial Ashriq and features 100% premium flaming Australian rump beef steak. We hear that Beef Bro is sourcing for a shopfront and aim to open by August this year. Their menu is reminiscent of beef cubes found in Taiwanese night markets and they currently offer the Original Beef Cubes ($12) and their signature Singapore’s First Mentaiko Beef Cubes ($16).
We tried the latter and it was served with generous mentaiko sauce, melted mozzarella cheese (additional $1) and seaweed flakes. Mentaiko lovers will rejoice at the rich and creamy pink sauce which complemented the beef well and provided an innovative Japanese twist to the carnival snack. The beef chunks were well-torched and extremely tender, with each bite bursting with flavour and juice. The fattier chunks of beef also gave a fragrant, melt-in-the-mouth experience.
If the mentaiko sauce becomes too gelat, dip the beef into the stringy cheese for a different texture and mouthfeel. Given its relatively worth-it price point for 200g of protein goodness, Beef Bro is bound to be a hit among all ages and a must try at the bazaar!
Chef Syed x Meatballs in a Bucket by Sofnade
Before heading to Sofnade, make sure that you’re hungry and up to the task. Their stall name, ‘Meatballs in a Bucket’, is quite an apt description because that is exactly what they serve! We opted to try their Classic Meatballs in a Bucket for ($9), though they also offer Chicken Satay Meatballs ($9). Each bucket is filled with a big dollop of mashed potatoes before being topped with twister fries. Then, you have a choice of either chicken or beef meatballs. To top things off, the bucket is generously (almost excessively) filled with cheese sauce!
This bucket of food is absolutely massive and could easily feed two people. Our beef meatballs were well-seasoned and had the aroma of fresh herbs. Not only did they have a nice springy texture, they were also moist and completely submerged in cheese sauce! The cheese sauce was mild in flavour and hence did not overpower the taste of the meatballs. After everything in the bucket was mixed around, the mashed potatoes served as the base that bound everything together. The twister fries provided textural contrast, which prevented each mouthful from being too gloopy.
If you want something that is indulgent, cheesy and calorie-filled, look no further than Sofnade. Though, I would advise you not to stand on your weighing scale the morning after!
WORD – Gangster Ribs Cups
This stall is definitely unique with its ‘Gangster’ themed menu. WORD’s Gangster Ribs Cup comes with either lamb or beef ribs, and also either fries or briyani rice as your sides. We opted to have the one portion of lamb ribs with fries ($12). If you intend on sharing with family or friends, you can get half a rack of ribs for $25 or a full rack for $40.
Even though the ribs were not fall-off-the-bone tender, the meat was not too dry as it had a good amount of fat-content. However, it did err towards being a bit too chewy. The glaze was sweet and had a hint of spiciness. However, I felt that it could have been bolder and more robust in flavour. The fries served at the bottom of the cup were soggy, but did absorb some of the sweet glaze, which made them more flavourful.
Fed By The Ravens – Indian-Style Mexican Tacos!
The Singaporean culinary scene is no stranger to East meets West fusion cuisine. However, have you ever tried Indian-Mexican fusion food?
Fed By The Ravens’ menu features tacos containing Indian-style meat fillings! They have three choices for taco fillings – chicken, lamb and sardine sambal. Their ‘Taco Trio’ set comes in at $7 and allows you to mix and match any of the three fillings. Each taco contains roughly chopped lettuce and is topped with their tangy homemade sauce, which is made with a blend of hot sauce and sour cream. A wedge of lime is served on the sides, in case you want added acidity.
The chicken and lamb tacos did not have any pronounced Indian-influenced flavours but they passed off as decent Mexican tacos. However, the sardine sambal taco was definitely unique! The sardine sambal filling reminded me of pulled pork. The sardine had the same fork-tender ‘pulled’ texture and was also slightly spicy and sour. Unfortunately, the tacos fell apart too easily as the shells were too soft and crumbly.
555 Thai Tea – One-Litre Thai Milk Tea
Feeling thirsty in the constant hustle and bustle of the Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar 2018? Then the 555 Thai Tea stall is a must visit. The stall sells authentic Thai Milk Tea in a massive one-litre cup. This sizeable cup might be a bit of a hassle to hold, but at just $3 it’s definitely a steal! You’ll also be glad to know that their cups aren’t filled to the brim with ice, so you’re getting your money’s worth.
Their Thai Milk Tea looks the part – it has the signature dark orange colour of the strongly brewed Thai version. This concoction was milky and thirst-quenching, though it was slightly too sweet for my liking. Its sweetness slightly overpowered the actual flavour of the tea. Then again, you’ll probably enjoy it if you have a sweet-tooth.
At the same price of $3, you can also purchase their Thai Milk Green Tea. This is markedly less sweet than its counterpart, which really allowed the taste of the green tea to come through. Its lighter green tea flavour combined with its ice-cold temperature made for a deliciously refreshing relief from the blistering heat in the bazaar. If you had to choose between the two drinks, I’d highly recommend their green tea variant!
Super Mango -Refreshing Super Mango
The title of Super Mango, or Tai Mang Le, is a homophone played on the Chinese character for ‘mango’ and ‘busy’. Indeed, the owner of Super Mango has been busy in his F&B endeavours as this is his second project in addition to his first Taiwanese bubble tea shop. They are now here at the Ramadan Bazaar 2018!
The stall specialises in its titular Super Mango ($8.90), a mango-based dessert comprising of a layer of mango smoothie made from blended mango puree and ice, a second layer of sinful whipped cream, followed by a last layer of intricately placed Thai mango slices around mango ice cream. Super Mango also uses beads of dry ice in the layer between drink and ice cream as a ‘wow’ factor for pictures. The drink is sizeable and can be easily shared between two to three people, making Super Mango one of the more refreshing ways to beat the sweltering heat and continue exploring the bazaar.
O.M.G – Thai Ice Cream Rolls
You’ve probably seen the unconventional ‘Thai Ice Cream Rolls’ dessert making its rounds on social media. Now, this popular ‘Instagrammable’ dessert is available here at the Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar 2018! Each cup of ice cream rolls is priced at just $5.00 and is prepared on the spot. They have a wide selection of ice cream rolls on their menu, using ingredients such as Nutella, Oreo, as well as a variety fresh fruit!
We decided to try their Nutella and Banana Ice Cream Roll. With our cameras at the ready, the chef poured milk onto the cold plate. A spoonful of Nutella was added, along with a few slices of banana. He then chopped and stirred the mixture as we watched ice cream harden and crystallise before our very eyes. The mixture is then flattened before being scraped to form rolls of ice cream!
The Nutella added a nutty and chocolatey flavour, while the banana thickened the ice cream. Even though the rolled ice cream had an interesting presentation, its texture did not differ much from the typical scooped version. Regardless, a cold and refreshing dessert is always welcome in the heat of Ramadan Bazaar 2018!
Rainbow Works – Flaming Unicorn & Edible Helium Balloon
Rainbow Works has two stalls in the massive bazaar and offers a variety of colourful sodas, intriguing fruit juices and pastel sweets. We ordered the highly aesthetic-looking Flaming Unicorn ($10), a premium purple vanilla soft serve ice cream topped with fruity pebbles, marshmallow, whipped cream, fondant, pink balloon and a dash of fire.
This is undoubtedly the most Instagram-worthy dessert in the bazaar and the latest to ride on the unicorn theme trend. Get your phones ready as the lady holds a small flame in her bubble foam soaked palms and quickly places it on top of the drink, fire flickering for a few seconds before burning out — a truly magical experience right before your very eyes. Taste wise, the dessert is guaranteed to set off a sugar rush and perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
The Edible Helium Balloon ($8.90) is another intriguing concoction bound to arouse the curiosity of many. The balloon is made by pumping helium gas through a hose into a container of sugar syrup. It is then gently squeezed out to make a helium balloon encased with sugar. All the customer has to do is quickly suck in and inhale the helium rather than eat the balloon. The sugar leaves a sticky mess afterwards similar to eating cotton candy. This Edible Balloon is not meant to fill up hungry stomachs. Instead, the fun comes in when voices become high-pitched and squeaky. Blurt out nonsensical stuff and record this hilarious memory!
By Howard, Adrian, Zoe, Yun Xin, Kai & Maureen