Food, fun and festivities this June at Geylang Serai
If you didn’t already know mama, the holy Islamic calendar month of Ramadhan just kicked off yesterday! While the fasting month means going without food and water (plus bad habits like smoking, among others) from dawn to dusk for Muslims, with every festive period also comes the food, shopping, and plenty of merriment for those celebrating once the sun goes down. You can join in the fun, too — why not bring the kiddos over to Geylang Serai for a glimpse of the glitz and glam at the annual Hari Raya Bazaar?
The Geylang Serai Hari Raya Light-up commenced last Saturday, 4 June 2016, and consists of a larger-than-life light installation lining the 2.8km stretch from Still Road to Lorong 101 Changi Road. Other highlights include batik-themed designs that symbolise the close-knit culture of the Malay community and the concept of unity among Muslims and non-Muslims alike (a representation of the true meaning of Islam); weekly weekend performances that you can attend including Dikir Barat, Silat, and Gamelan performances from Fridays to Sundays in the month of June at the Kampung House; interactive exhibits which include a giant set of drums and a gong (that’ll drive the tiny tykes wild), and of course, the bazaar!
If it’s your first time at the Hari Raya Bazaar this year mama, you’re in for a treat! Food is pretty much the main attraction and people come from all over the island to visit the fair for all the yummy delicacies it has to offer. You’ll find the classic bazaar fare like Ramly burgers, keropok lekor, percik style chicken wings, vadai (savoury fried snacks, sort of like doughnuts), takoyaki, and Turkish kebabs in almost every other stall you visit. The main stars are dendeng, or beef/lamb jerky, which are very popular during the festive period, or the more trendy stalls offering churros, rolled-up ice cream, coconut ice cream (served in mini coconuts just like the Thais do it), and thirst-quenching Thai milk tea, all brought to you by a younger generation of stall vendors who appeal to the Gen Y crowd (because social media ‘viral’ ability is everything, mama). Check out the vendors you shouldn’t miss below:
Back Alley – multi-flavoured churros, Thai iced milk tea and cotton candy sodas
ICE Burnz – churros, milkshakes and sandwiches
TICE Turkish Ice Creams – ice cream, complete with playful Turkish servers (the rascals will love this!)
The Fizzy Brothers – delicious large-slice pizzas
Barakah-Fe French Bistro – churros and unique fruity and chocolatey drinks
Sahwon – ‘Paddlepop’ bottled drinks (rainbows in a bottle!) and Japanese-inspired burgers
French Crepe Master & Juice Bar – sweet crepes and juices
Loco Loco – multi-flavoured churros
Tasconi’s Pizza – pizza and hot dogs
Ikan Tangkap Sendiri – freshly grilled otah (ground fish cake)
ZF Cafe – famous for their restaurant and Dendeng pizza
Happy Rollies – rolled-up ice cream, smores dip, fruit kebabs, Onomiyaki sausage and more
Moo and Chic – grilled beef and chicken bites
Dendeng Duo – dendeng tacos, burgers and more
Barista’s Palace – yummy Malay-style rice sets
Mr Vadai – Indian finger food and everyone’s favourite vadai!
Spicy Korean Yogurt – a different yogurt experience
Mr Wadeh – vadai, vadai and more vadai!
The usual suspects can be found here at the Geylang Serai bazaar, like your traditional yet stylish Hari Raya clothing for ladies, men and kids, jewellery, carpets and curtains. Some eye-catching vendors include a luxurious-looking perfumery called Freda D Perfume; Wendypeaches Henna for your festive henna fix; and Artist Touch, a home decor stall offering kitschy wall decorations like labels and signs made from sustainable wood sources.
Let me just get this out of the way mama – it’s going to be HOT. Bring a portable fan if possible, and have a small towel ready to keep sweat at bay! Comfortable shoes are always a great idea, and if you’re too worn out from walking through the bazaar, get yourself a delicious drink or dessert (like this Watermelo Volcano seen above by dessert stall Happy Rollies) to share with the hubs and bubs, and chill by the roadside to catch a breeze. Also be prepared to brave the crowds as everyone will be trying to get their hands on food to break their fast with!
All the details!
When: Now through Wednesday, 6 July 2016
Where: Along the stretch of Changi Road between Joo Chiat Road and Paya Lebar Road
Time: 5pm till late
How to get there: Alight at Paya Lebar MRT and just follow the lights and commotion!
Keep up to date on highlights of the bazaar and more Geylang Serai Hari Raya festivities on www.facebook.com/ourkampungspiritsg, mama!
Image #1 sourced via Facebook. All other images courtesy of the author.