Bizarre at the bazaar?
Food at Ramadan bazaars goes hipster — or just bizarre
Instead of having just curry puffs, goreng pisang and Ramly burgers, Ramadan bazaars are now offering hipster options like rainbow bagels, macaroon ice cream and flavoured churros.
The rainbow bagel, introduced by Ms Shereen Anwar, 32, is a colourful favourite among visitors to the bazaar.
The co-owner of Upper Thomson Road cafe, Word, had sold bottles of Hello Soda at the Ramadan bazaar in Geylang Serai last year and the drinks were so well received she decided to branch out a little more this time.
Ms Shereenwas inspired by rainbow bagels, a food craze that started this year in Brooklyn, New York City, and spread to many other countries through social media.
She told The New Paper: "We wanted to do something new and interesting, something you can't find here."
Ms Shereen's version of the kaleidoscopic bagels are selling for $8 a piece and come with a strawberry cream cheese funfetti filling, biscuit crumble and smores, which are toasted marshmallows.
She has two stalls at the Ramadan bazaar in Geylang Serai - Booth Nine on Engku Aman Road and Booth 127 on Haig Road.
Ms Shereen and her business partners also decided to develop their own brand of sodas, called Word Soda, which come in flavours that include guava, mango, grape, strawberry, lychee and lemonade.
They also sell ice lollies and they intend to bring in butterscotch float, a speciality of Word Cafe.
Ms Farah Kusairi, 36, who runs the Haig Road stall with Ms Shereen, said they sell about 150 bagels a day.
Ms Shereen said: "Aesthetics play a big role. Nowadays, people are attracted to things with their eyes, rather than their stomachs."
They are not the only stall owners at the bazaar who have been inspired by international cuisine. (See report at right.)
After a visit to Spain, Ms Zeenath Jay started selling churros, introducing it at the Ramadan bazaar last year.
She sells churros dipped in chocolate and caramel sauces.
The 37-year-old owner of the Barakah-fe stall has also recently been dabbling in French pastry.
She is also selling ice cream sandwiched in macaroon shells.
The shells are made by her business partner and French pastry chef Momou Sylla.
She told TNP: "Most of the time when I travel, I can't try a lot of food because it's not halal (permissible for Muslim consumption).
"That's why I started this venture - to give people the opportunity to try authentic French food."
The ice cream snack is often sold out within the first two hours and her mocktails are also gaining popularity, she said.
These are just some of what the stalls have to offer this year.
So take a stroll around the bazaar in the evenings until the end of Ramadan and enjoy the mix of old and new in the smorgasbord of foods being served.
"Aesthetics play a big role. Nowadays, people are attracted to things with their eyes, rather than their stomachs."
- Word co-owner Shereen Anwar (right), pictured with Ms Farah Kusairi
What: Watermelo Volcano ($6.90)
Where: Happy Rollies, Haig Road (Stall 122 & 123) & Malay Village
Review: $6.90 may seem like a steep price to pay for a simple watermelon, but after a long day of work, this refreshing dessert will perk you up. The watermelon shell is filled with a watermelon frost that is blended on the spot and topped with balls of watermelon flesh. The watermelons, flown in from Thailand, are naturally sweet and tasty. It doubles as both a dessert and a refreshing drink.
Other items sold: Smores (toasted marshmallow) dip, chicken bites, Japanese okonomiyaki sausage roll, ice cream rolls.
What: Green milk tea ($5)
Where: Overdose, Stall 315
Review: It looks like a sturdier, bigger version of a local coffee shop drink stall take-away bag. But the double portion that you get for $5 is worth the money. It's a perfect balance of bitter and sweet. It's the perfect way to wash down your meal or to take it home and slowly sip through a long movie.
Other items sold: You can choose between their flavours of berry, chocolate, hazelnut and green tea
What: Cotton candy soda ($3)
Where: Back Alley, MV5, along Engku Aman Road
Review: The novelty is appealing. Cotton candy is delicately placed on top of the soda drink, resembling a soft fluffy cloud. Once you devour the cotton candy, the sweet and bubbly soda soothingly rinses your throat. You can choose grape, blueberry or cherry flavours for the soda.
Other items sold: Churros and Thai iced tea
What: Thai banana pancake ($4.50)
Where: Bangkok Street Thai Pancakes, Stall 57
Review: Widely raved about in the streets of Bangkok, this Thai banana pancake has crispy batter that contrasts with the soft and sweet banana inside. With each bite, your mouth is filled with a burst of flavour, but is not overly sweet despite the oozing condensed milk. We also tried out the version with added caramel sauce, which was not as sweet as we thought it would be, as it balanced out with the batter. Definitely a must-try when visiting the Tampines bazaar.
Other items sold: Toppings like nutella, oreo, gula melaka, strawberry, cheese and mango.
What: Taiwanese cheese potato ($3 without extra toppings)
Where: Potato Run, Stall 64
Review: If you are a fan of nacho cheese, this is the dish for you. They first layer the bottom of the bowl with cheese before placing the potato in and topping it off with your choice of toppings. It is then finished off with a big scoop of nacho cheese on top. When eaten together, the potato melts in your mouth and the saltiness from the cheese fills your taste buds.
Other items sold: Toppings such as chicken ham, corn and eggs.
What: Rasta Dew ($5)
Where: Togok by Zerobackyard, near the stage
Review: A big cup of sweetened drink may look like a dive head first into diabetes, but you would be pleasantly surprised by this. It looks like an abstract version of cendol, and the snaking queue may be a turn off, but the hype is there for a reason. It starts with a hint of honeydew, and as the flavours combine, it morphs into the taste of a fruit punch.
Other items sold: Minty Choc, Triple Choc, Volcano Choc, Hokkaido Choc, Durian Kopi, Caramel Kopi, Hazelnut Kopi, Hazelnut Mint Kopi, Rasta Rose, Soda Dara, Soda Bujang.