food

NYC Gets Its First Hawker Center — with Vendors Straight from Singapore

food, nyc gets its first hawker center — with vendors straight from singapore

Max Flatow Photography

Iconic Singapore dishes, like Hainanese chicken and chili crab, are arriving in New York City. Urban Hawker, the first Singaporean hawker center in the city, is modeled after the island nation’s famous hawker markets and opens in Manhattan on Wednesday, September 28.

For food lovers, Singaporean hawker stalls are the stuff of dreams. Traditional hawker centers hit that sweet spot between restaurants and street food stalls, with multiple vendors grouped into a huge complex with a common seating area. Urban Hawker features 17 vendors offering popular Singaporean fare, eleven of them directly from hawker centers in Singapore; all of the offerings are curated by Singaporean food expert KF Seetoh. Guests will have the opportunity to sample Malay, Peranakan, Chinese, Indian, Southeast Asian, and British-influenced cuisine.

KF Seetoh, founding director of Makansutra, a Singapore-based organization dedicated to promoting heritage street food culture worldwide, spent years curating Urban Hawker, bringing both vendors from Singapore as well as local favorites from the states.

food, nyc gets its first hawker center — with vendors straight from singapore

Max Flatow Photography

“At Urban Hawker we have a great range of international flavors that we’re excited to present to New York’s diverse and curious palates and people,” says Seeoth. “I have always believed that our hawker food will be well-liked by the world. Why? Because it’s just good, humble heritage fare that the world will love, too.”

New York favorites like Lady Wong, the first Southeast Asian pastry shop in New York City, are also setting up in the 11,000-square-foot space. Of course, you’ll find some of Singapore’s best hawkers, whose businesses have been passed down through generations. Highlights include Hainan Jones, where Singapore’s Hainanese chicken rice, one of the country’s most celebrated dishes, is the star of the show, and Dragon Phoenix, with national favorites like sambal chili crab.

food, nyc gets its first hawker center — with vendors straight from singapore

Max Flatow Photography

The market also features a 30-seat bar called The Sling Bar, which offers Malaysian-inspired snacks like kuih pie tee and beef rendang sliders, in addition to gin-centric cocktails. New York City’s leading market maker, Urbanspace, which runs food halls throughout the city and seasonal pop-up markets, partnered on the center, which will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. To learn more about Urban Hawker visit the website.

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