Friday, 9 June 2017

Embrace the heat & crowd @ Geylang Serai Bazaar

When things like Unicorn and Rainbow are trending, even the stalls at the Geylang Serai Bazaar has stepped up their game in attracting more people, people like me who usually do not attempt to squeeze in crowded festive places. The bazaar is going on par with Bangkok’s night market with so many creative and fun food designs, except that the price will never be on par of course (Expect to spend a bomb if you want to try a variety of food!) 

My bf’s strategy is to go down to the bazaar early before the dinner hour to avoid the crowd. We drove there and there was an open space carpark. It’s not really easy to find a parking lot even at 4+ timing, but we managed to find one within 5-10 min out of luck! I am not sure where is the exact carpark located but the worst-case scenario is to park at a nearby mall (OneKM mall) if you really cannot find any parking.

The very first stall that we were so eager to try out was the HANDSOME BURG that went viral all over the Internet. The bright and bold rainbow colors might be a turn off for some, but the taste and texture of the Bagel was better than I thought, firm but chewy and soft. This was out of my expectations as the whole combination with the juicy beef patty was really one to queue for. The burger and fries set was $8 before, but they changed it to Twister fries and increased to $10. Still worth a try! I found out that this stall is actually from a café called Word café and they serve the Handsome Burg with extra meat at about $20. Really smart way of advertising for their brand.

While waiting for our burger, I decided to grab something small from another stall and WickedMallows caught my eye.

But mehhh, it wasn’t even worth the $5 I paid for. I actually felt quite heart pain for my 5 bucks, I should have known better. The flavors I chose were – Chocolat Ferrero, Speculoos Caramelized Cookies and Uji Matcha. The toasted marshmallows look cute, taste fine but just not worth the price.

I had a bad experience with artificially coloured and flavoured drinks in BKK and I wanted to avoid similar ones this time. But I still couldn’t resist PoppinSoda as the colours are so gorgeous. I chose the one with Passionfruit and Butterfly Pea - $6. The drink was refreshing and subtly sweet without being too artificial. That’s probably because they use only natural colouring in their drinks! It’s definitely an instaworthy and yummy refresher under the hot weather.

Drinks are not only the only refreshing solution at Geylang Serai Bazaar! I got myself a healthy Acai dessert cup at Kerris for $6! The other Acai I ever tried was at An Acai Affair. I think there’s not much difference in taste. But I was hoping that they replaced the Chia seeds at the bottom with more Acai! In general, I think Acai is even better than ice cream or yoghurt!

I was also excited to try out the Pokeritto, which has a sushi burrito concept - Half for $5 and full for $8. If you are looking to fill your stomach, the $8 will definitely be more worth it as the half portion is really too small. It took just a few bites to finish up the whole thing. We had the Wasabi flavor. Do not worry if you’re not very good with Wasabi as the taste was quite subtle and not too spicy. It’s also a healthier choice apart from the usual deep fried food at the bazaar.

We went to support our friend’s store and they’re selling cheese toast for $4.50 each, and there’s other food like fries as well. A very simple comforting food that is so cheesy you can stretch it for about 10cm without it tearing. Well, it’s also a very good opportunity for me to take boomerang videos. Bf loved it and he said that he could eat this every single day! Personally, I find it quite nice as a daily comforting food, but sadly I’m not really a ‘bread’ person.

I was really looking forward to The Raclette Factory as it was highly raved everywhere. The melty hot gooey cheese just looks too irresistible especially with all the videos posted in social media. While the cheese steals the show, do not expect much from the potatoes and sausages. I find that the price of $12 is a little too steep, and they probably marked up the price due to the hype. But it’s still worth a try if you don’t mind spending. I would love the Raclette cheese on my pasta though!

The cheese might be a little gelat after eating for awhile, so it would be a good selection for sharing!

I notice that some Thai Iced Teas are really expensive at some stalls but I managed to find a decent size at only $2.50 per cup from Alley! Taste wise I think it’s not bad as well!

This huge squid ($4.5) is also very chewy and delicious! I love the really sweet and appetizing sauce that complements it so well. I prefer eating it if it's cut into small lil pieces though.

The bazaar is quite big and spreads across to the other side of the road. Some stalls are also duplicated on both areas for more convenience. And the crowd started pouring in after 6pm. I can’t imagine how it would be if there were only 1 stall for the popular selections as the queues were already so crazy at 630pm. There are more delicacies that could be underrated, you never know! But we were already too full to try any more food and I couldn’t really stand the heat amidst the crazy crowd.

Here are a few tips to maximize your enjoyment at the Ramadan Bazaar!

DRESS LIGHTLY – The weather is so hot recently you wouldn’t want to sweat more under your thick clothing. And try to carry a small bag that can fit your valuables safely. It’s best not to carry a bulky bag as it might get in the way, and of course something inexpensive in case you spill food or drinks all over. For those who want to take plenty of photos, I recommend to tie your phone to a lanyard so that you can easily use your phone for photos instead of taking in and out of your pocket/bag and risk losing it. It’s way way way more convenient!

GET YOUR TISSUE READY – Eating at a night market can be really messy as you have to stand or walk while enjoying the food. For e.g. burgers and toasts are not really easy to munch on in the busy crowd. Wet tissue is even better!

TOILET TRIPS BEFOREHAND – The toilets are only located at designated points like the hawker centre. And you still have to pay 10c to use it. It’s recommended to head to the toilet before the start of the visit so that you won’t have to hold your pee for hours if you are in for a foodie adventure.

That’s all! ;)

Have fun and be prepared to spend at least $20 per pax to enjoy a decent spread.

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