Makansutra: The food, the fad and the oily at Geylang Serai bazaar
'Hispter' food has taken over Geylang Serai Hari Raya Bazaar and the grub is Instagram-worthy judging by the queues
This year's Hari Raya Bazaar at Geylang Serai is taking the game up a notch.
For starters, the food on offer has gone "hipster", but I prefer the terms "progressive" and "fast casual".
Strolling through a small segment of the bazaar, you will not realise that it is an iftar festival.
I am seeing less staple Muslim food, such as briyani, nasi lemak, dates, sweet flavoured milk and nasi padang.
Even the once newfangled stalls - the oily fried chicken and keropok - are thinning out.
Plus, there are way more non-Muslims and millennials buzzing about the bazaar this time.
There is also a group of young stall owners offering imaginative, Instagram-worthy and palate-pleasing eats. Some have taken recipes off the Internet and made them their own.
The bazaar feels more like a food festival, but executed more professionally.
Check out the crowd-drawing grub along the food stretch between Haig Road Market & Food Centre and Onan Road.
THE RACLETTE FACTORY (CHEESE AND POTATOES)
First-time stall owner Edward, who is from Generation Y, had no prior experience in food and beverage.
He boasts one of the longest queues for hipster food in the area, melting a wheel of raclette cheese before easing it over baby potatoes and sausages.
He said: "I looked up a recipe video on YouTube, and here I am. I just wing it."
Even at $12 a serving, the stall's queue showed no sign of relenting on the two days I visited the bazaar.
O'BRAIM (FLAVOURED BANANA FRITTERS)
The stall's huge "choco cheese banana" poster is eye-catching.
Mr Muahimin and his wife, Aziza, started out as cooks at mee goreng and goreng pisang (banana fritters) stalls. Then they had the idea of smothering the fritters with chocolate, sprinkles and cheese.
Judging from the patient queue, the stall is getting a good response. The various toppings start from $5.
KALYE MANILA (PHILIPPINE STREET FOOD)
Even the Filipino Muslims have got in on the act - Mr Iszam and his culinary school-trained Filipino wife, Aminah, are offering street food from Manila.
The couple wrap cheese-stuffed green chillies in popiah skins and fry them to a crisp before squeezing mayonnaise and mustard sauce over it.
I love it, and it is Dynamite - that is what the snack is called in the Philippines. The stall offers kwek kwek (tempura quail eggs in vinegar and chilli).
MILK BITES (FRIED MILK CUBES)
The stall offers milk curd cubes in flavours such as pandan, Thai milk tea and salted caramel.
You have to wait in line for 20 minutes, but it is worth the wait - the batter is alluringly crispy and crunchy, and it goes well with the soft creamy insides ($5).
KF Seetoh, the founder of Makansutra, dabbles in street food businesses like Food Markets and has his own TV shows on cable. He publishes food guides and online content. He is also the creator of the World Street Food Congress. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.