Food At The Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar Isn’t Cheap — Here’s What’s Worth It And What’s Not

In the past couple of days, much has been said about this year’s Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar.

Some have pointed out that Artbox 2.0, and others have said the food there is not worth the price or the queue.

The DiscoverSG team headed down to taste-test the food ourselves, to distinguish those that are worth the money (and the queue) from those that are not. Full disclosure: we picked many of these items based on their insta-worthiness and novelty.

Our conclusion? Some of the most photogenic foods actually tasted the worst.

These are some of the things we liked.

Worth It

1. Katoshka (Muslim owned)

[caption id="attachment_26780" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Image Credit: passerbyshaz[/caption]

One of our favourite stalls at the bazaar–by far– was Katoshka, which serves up russet fries drenched in sauce. Here, you don’t have to worry about running out of sauce for your fries. Not your average cup of cheese fries, this snack packed a punch without being too overwhelming.

We tried the Sambal Cheese ($5.90) and loved how the crispy fries mixed with the spicy cheese. While the serving size is quite small, we think it’s worth every dollar

We also tried the Asam Boi Special ($3.90), a sour plum drink. The drink was on the sweet side, with just the right amount of sourness from the Asam.

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2. Banana Cheese Fritters 

[caption id="attachment_26798" align="alignnone" width="750"] Image Credit: passerbyshaz[/caption]

Another sweet treat we tried is the Banana Cheese Fritters ($6)–the humble pisang goreng with a twist. There was barely a queue or a wait when we were there. We went with a classic chocolate flavour from a list of options including chocolate rice and oreos. Served warm, these were the perfect balance of sweet and salty–great for those who want a sweet treat that isn’t too cloying.

The melted cheese brought a very subtle flavour to the fritters. If you’re looking for a stronger cheese flavour, we suggest asking for an extra helping of cheese.

And now, on to the stuff we didn’t like.

Not Worth It

1. Milk Bites (Non-halal)

[caption id="attachment_26781" align="alignnone" width="750"] Image Credit: passerbyshaz[/caption]

The Singaporean wisdom of ‘if there’s a queue, join it‘ led us to Fried Milk. An interesting concept, these bite-sized squares of fried milk pudding come in 3 different flavours: Original, Pandan and Thai Milk Tea.

We tried the platter ($9), which came with 4 milk bites of each flavour. Freshly fried, these desserts were crunchy on the outside and oozy on the inside. The consistency of the cream was a bit chunky for our liking and the flavour was quite overwhelming. Suffice to say, we weren’t fans of these.

2. WORD (Muslim owned)

[caption id="attachment_26793" align="alignnone" width="750"] Image Credit: passerbyshaz[/caption]

WORD is no stranger when it comes to cooking up a storm. Their outlet at Upper Thomson Road serves up delicious Western fare alongside crafted sodas and mocktails.

At their pop up stall, we tried the Minah ($8), a bucket of soda dressed to the nines. We were in for a bit of a wait despite the short queue due to a shortage of staff. When we did get our drink creation, we were pretty disappointed. Crafted from Fanta Orange, Ice Cream Soda and two scoops of ice cream, this tasted like diluted Fanta and felt like it could easily have been made at home.

While we appreciate the size of the drink, hauling it around was also a bit of a struggle, especially given the crowd.


3. Loco Loco

[caption id="attachment_26794" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Image Credit: passerbyshaz[/caption]

Loco Loco made a splash at last year’s Geylang Bazaar for offering up flavoured churros. This year, they have 3 outlets spread out over the entirety of the bazaar. We picked up the Chilli Crab Churros ($6) and Beef Scotch Eggs ($6).

The Chilli Crab Churros were warm and the chilli sauce topping tasted like the real-deal, minus the spiciness. Sadly, these Churros were unexpectedly dense. Without the sauce, this snack would have ranked low on our score scale.

The Beef Scotch Eggs were served warm and with a serving of keropok. We waited about 10 – 15 minutes for the Scotch Eggs, so pick this up only if you’re willing to wait around for this dish. While the eggs were nicely done, the beef was pretty plain.

At least they’re photogenic?

Image Credit: passerbyshaz[/caption]

SOFNADE is one spot you might want to check out for a sweet treat. Serving up Cendol Soft Serve, Galaxy Milkshakes and Donut Balls, it’s no wonder this dessert stall is a favourite among sweet tooths.

We managed to grab a Galaxy Milkshake ($6.50) while the line was short and watched as the stall attendant poured the coloured liquids into the cup, layer by layer. A gorgeous work of food art topped with rainbow sprinkles, its flavour was unfortunately, a let down. The milkshake tastes like a vanilla milkshake, except a lot sweeter. We’re sweet tooths ourselves, but this was way too sweet for us.


Unfortunately, many of the pretty and novel foods we tried at the Geylang Bazaar were sub-par in the taste department.

That said, we also bought ourselves some more “traditional” pasar malam eats like Takoyaki Balls, Vadai and Dengdeng, and we must admit, at the end of the day, these were our top picks.

While this year’s Geylang Bazaar may have more of an Artbox vibe compared to the past years, we were still glad we made the trip down. One piece of advice we do have though, is that if the food looks good, it probably won’t taste great.

Also read, With Over 1,000 Stalls, This Year’s Geylang Bazaar Will Keep You Coming Back For More

With Over 1,000 Stalls, This Year’s Geylang Bazaar Will Keep You Coming Back For More

The month of Ramadhan is a few weeks away and while it holds plenty of cultural and religious significance for Muslims all over the world, that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t join in on the festivities.

Two cultural events worth checking out every Ramadhan are the annual Hari Raya Light-Up and the Geylang Serai Baazar. This year’s light-up is centred around the cultural and historical aspects of Malay culture.

Hari Raya Light-Up 

[caption id="attachment_26271" align="alignnone" width="991"] Image Credit: Hari Raya Light-Up 2017 Organising Committee[/caption]

This year’s Hari Raya Light-Up will feature a 4.4-metre-tall wau (a kite originating from the Malaysian state of Kelantan), a stage area formed by a 12-metre-wide sampan and decorated arches standing at 13-meters and 9-metres tall.

[caption id="attachment_26272" align="alignnone" width="991"] A 4.4-metre-tall wau, a kite originating from the Malaysian state of Kelantan (Image Credit: Hari Raya Light-Up 2017 Organising Committee)[/caption]

This year’s light-up stretches over 2.25km, spanning Sims Avenue and Changi Road, and comprises 900,000 LED lights!

This year’s Hari Raya Light-Up will see the addition of a new, temporary exhibition. Housed in a structure modelled after the weaves of a ketupat, the exhibition serves to educate the public about the history of Hari Raya and of the Geylang Serai area.

Geylang Serai Bazaar

[caption id="attachment_26266" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Image Credit: SCAPE*[/caption]

The Geylang Serai Bazaar is returning with more than 1,000 makeshift stalls selling both traditional and fusion snacks. Happening from 25 May to 24 June, look out for “poke bowls”, candy floss burritos and “rainbow planet” ice-cream buns.

[caption id="attachment_26265" align="alignnone" width="618"] Candy Floss Burritos[/caption]

The annual bazaar spans Geylang Serai market, Joo Chiat Complex and Haig Road. Cultural performances are set to take place every weekend near Kampong Kembangan Community Club. For cultural buffs, catch free screenings of P Ramlee’s films on the big screen.

If you’re a Singaporean (or foreigner) who is keen on getting their hands on some delicious eats, head on down to the Hari Raya Light-Up. Our advice? Bring that portable fan and lots of cash!

Hari Raya Light-Up
Around Sims Avenue and Changi Road 
May 20 – Jul 7

Geylang Serai Bazaar
Geylang Serai Market, Joo Chiat Complex and Haig Road 
25 May – 24 June 

Also read, DBS Marina Regatta Is Bringing The Beach To The Bay, With lululemon Workouts, Potato Head’s Coconut Bar & More!

What If We Told You, You’ve Been Choosing Your Christmas Gifts Wrong All Along?

Let’s be honest, while we Singaporeans love Christmas (the lights, the food, the endless parties and get-togethers!), picking out the perfect gifts for family and friends can be pretty tough.

We can readily admit that pinning down that unique, extra special and thoughtful gift for a loved one is no easy feat.

Chances are, after hours of searching and walking up and down Orchard Road, you would have settled for the typical gift sets, hampers and bags of sweet treats to give out to family, friends and colleagues (don’t even try to deny it)!

[caption id="attachment_19318" align="alignnone" width="1024"]fet1 untitled-design-63 the Nail Social for a relaxing spa day. Located along Haji Lane, this nail spa offers up manicures and pedicures for ladies and gents!

Using only products that are non-toxic, eco-friendly, fair-trade and/or cruelty-free, the Nail Social is also a socially-conscious salon that trains and employ underprivileged women, who often face a higher barrier to employment. The Nail Social in partnership with The Pink Room International Nail Academy co- sponsor Professional Manicurist Courses, which beneficiaries undergo enabling them to pick up skills of the trade.

Nail Social is probably one of the most comfortable nail spas around, with personal iPads loaded with movies and complimentary glasses of wine on weekends, guests are definitely in for a treat. The best news? Nail Spa can also play host to your bridal showers and intimate get-togethers!


The Nail Social
42A Haji Lane (2nd Floor), S189235
Opening Hours: Weekdays 11am – 9pm; Weekends 10am – 8pm
Contact: Phone +65 6717 3221 ; Whatsapp +65 8145 5226

[caption id="attachment_19272" align="alignnone" width="1024"]nail-social-2 geylang AsiaForGood[/caption]

Founded by a group of local Singaporeans who were keen to overthrow the idea that Singapore is boring, Geylang Adventures strives to explore the different dimensions of Geylang while creating a more harmonious and welcoming society for all.

During the Geylang Adventures Trail, guests will get to explore the winding lorongs and back alleys and experience firsthand the eco-system that forms the backbone of Geylang. Intertwining stories of childhood adventures and interactions with the people who spend their days and nights in Geylang, the Geylang Adventures Trail hopes to break down barriers and open our eyes to a different side of this historic neighbourhood.

[caption id="attachment_19275" align="alignnone" width="960"]geylang2 Geylang Adventures
Geylang Adventures Trail
Daily, 7pm – 10pm
Weekdays: $35, Weekends: $40
Contact: [email protected]

3. Enjoy A Tranquil Moment @ Hush TeaBar

[caption id="attachment_19276" align="alignnone" width="955"]hush1 untitled-design-64 4. Coffee Appreciation Courses @ Bettr Barista Coffee Academy [caption id="attachment_19278" align="alignnone" width="1024"]bettr bettr1 DBS[/caption]

Not just a place to learn to appreciate coffee blends (not to mention unleash your inner hipster), Bettr Barista also trains women and at-risk youth to be baristas. A firm believer in holistic well-being, they also offer emotional development and physical skills training.

For more information on Bettr Barista Coffee Academy:

Bettr Barista Coffee Academy
37 Mactaggart Road, #07-03, S368083
Opening Hours: Weekdays 10.30am – 5pm; Saturday 10.30am – 2pm; Sunday Closed
Contact: +65 6509 0113

5. Learn How To Whip Local Delicacies @ Food Playground

[caption id="attachment_19280" align="alignnone" width="550"]pg Food Playground[/caption]

Learning to cook is a skill most of us sorely lack (no, instant noodles don’t count!), but fortunately, there are cooking schools here in Singapore where we can pick up some culinary skills!

Food Playground offers three-hour long cooking classes where participants can have a go at whipping up local favorites such as Nasi Lemak, Chicken Rice and Laksa!

[caption id="attachment_19281" align="alignnone" width="459"]pg1 have a festive meal for a good cause at these restaurants that give back!

For more information of Food Playground:

Food Playground
24A Sago St, S059020
Contact: 945223669

6. Dine In The Dark @ Dialogue In The Dark

[caption id="attachment_19282" align="alignnone" width="1024"]dialogue Dialogue In the Dark[/caption]

Looking for a unique experience like no other? Dialogue In The Dark may just have what you’re looking for!

Located at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Dialogue In The Dark enables local Singaporeans to “learn to see in the darkness”. Guests will go through a guided one-hour long tour, where they will walk around a typical housing estate, and later sail down the Singapore River – experiencing everyday environments that are vastly different without the gift of sight.

If you’re looking for something a bit more intimate, Dialogue In The Dark also features Lunch in the Dark.

Guests will have a chance to experience a full course meal in complete darkness. Relying on other senses such as sound and touch, guests are encouraged to communicate, and help each other ease their fears and apprehension throughout the experience – perfect for that friend who’s keen on trying out something truly unique!

[caption id="attachment_19283" align="alignnone" width="1024"]did extra-o SG Socially Conscious[/caption]

Most of us have tried our hand at picking up a new language. Let’s be honest – most, if not all of us, know a handful words from another language (the perks of being born in Singapore!), but picking up a new language using just your hands is a whole new experience.

At Extraordinary Horizons, participants would be able to pick up basic Sign Language. If you’re keen on delving deeper into how the deaf communities live their daily lives, Extraordinary Horizons offers customizable workshops where you can experience music, dance and song appreciation for the deaf!

[caption id="attachment_19285" align="alignnone" width="720"]extra-o1 Singapore Sign Language Club[/caption]

Extraordinary Horizons strives to promote deaf awareness through their sign language courses, workshops and outreach programs. EO Horizons also features performances by those dabbling in the deaf performing arts scene in Singapore, and helps the disadvantaged gain self-confidence as well as attain life skills and knowledge!

Extraordinary Horizons
Entrepreneurs with Disabilities
3 Coleman St, #04-04, S179804

Scape Co Ltd
2 Orchard Link, #04-01, S23797

Contact: [email protected]

[caption id="attachment_19286" align="alignnone" width="500"]family Family Christmas[/caption]

Let’s be honest, most of us can’t use that many bath and beauty products at any one time. So this year, instead of popping by a store for those yearly gift boxes head down to any of these 7 local social enterprises and have a unique Christmas experience!

Feeling inspired? Check out this list of fun events that give back this festive season.

If you’re looking to make your Christmas one that really counts, check out Asia For Good’s socially conscious gift guides and hacks for a merrier Christmas!

(feature image: Reignite The Magic Of Christmas On Orchard Road With ION’s Tiffany & Co. Xmas Tree!

Go Ga-Ga Over Geylang With These Seriously Good Eats Under $15

Geylang Sipaku Geylang!

The atmospheric district of Geylang is known for many things (if you know what I mean…), but do you know that it is also home to a huge selection of food at penny-pinching prices? Well, now you do. We’ll be happy to take the credit!

Let us take you on a trip down the streets, past whimsical shophouses and great period architecture to get your fill of some of the best local food in the country. On offer is a greedy grab of choices that will make you go gaga with glee!

  1. Penang Seafood Restaurant

Craving for authentic Penang dishes but don’t want to travel across the causeway? Don’t pout, leave your passports at home and opt for the popular Penang Seafood Restaurant instead, a worthy alternative. Aside from traditional favourites, they also serve a wide array of local zi char dishes.

[caption id="attachment_8946" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Image Credit: burpple[/caption] [caption id="attachment_8947" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Lala Hokkien Mee ($8)
Generous fresh sotongs and clams on a bed of delicious wet noodles!
Image Credit: burpple[/caption]

Penang Seafood Restaurant
76 Lorong 25A Geylang, S 388258
Opening Hours: Daily: 11am – 12mn
Tel: 6841 3002

  1. Geylang Claypot Rice

A specialist at their craft, Geylang Claypot Rice takes an estimated 30 minutes – an hour (during peak hours), to serve the food. Good food must wait. For interested diners, it’s advisable to call them in advance. Served with an array of wholesome ingredients, kick up the taste with the recommended two rounds of dark sauce. Believe me, the wait is well worth it.

[caption id="attachment_8949" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Claypot Rice ($13, good for 2 pax)
Tender chicken with a good amount of Chinese sausage, salted fish and veggies. Is this the pot of gold we’ve been searching for?
Image Credit: burpple[/caption] [caption id="attachment_8948" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Pork Ribs
Tender meat with a rich batter – a good option for sharing!
Image Credit: burpple[/caption]

Geylang Claypot Rice
No. 639, Lorong 33 Geylang, S 389570
Opening Hours: Tues – Sun: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5pm – 12am
Tel: 6744 4574

  1. Hong Qin Fish & Duck Porridge

This stall offers a variety of Teochew fare such as braised duck and pig trotter platters (in other words, Kway Chap side dishes) to go with their signature porridge. Of course, their best would be the sliced Batang fish, which is often sold out a few hours into business (there’s the fried fish option too). The early bird catches the fish!

[caption id="attachment_8966" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Fish Soup ($6)
A simple dish with complex flavours!
Image Credit: burpple[/caption]

Hong Qin Fish & Duck Porridge
#01-127, 134 Geylang East Avenue 1, S 380134
Opening Hours: Daily: 5.45am – 3.30pm
Tel: 9061 4988

  1. L32 Kopitiam Ban Mian

When it comes to handmade noodles, the phrase “one of the best” often gets thrown around a lot. But this time, we’re going to make an exception. On the surface, L32 Kopitiam may look ordinary, until you take a glance at the queue at this stall. Such is the power of their Ban Mian, which comes equally slurp worthy, dry or soup.

[caption id="attachment_8964" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Pork Ban Mian ($3.50)
Image Credit: burpple[/caption] [caption id="attachment_8963" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Pork Ban Mian (Soup) ($3.50)
Or soup? That is the question.
Image Credit: burpple[/caption]

L32 Kopitiam Ban Mian
558 Geylang Road, S 389509
Opening Hours: Tue – Sun: 11am – 9pm
Tel: 9770 2829

  1. 126 Dim Sum

Also featured in best 24-7 food places, it’s impossible not to include Wan Dou Sek in this list too. Head down for a no-frills dining experience of value for money dim sum. Nevertheless, be wary of the quality inconsistency of some of their dishes (sometimes good, sometimes bad). At their prime however, this eatery deserves to be on everyone’s list.

[caption id="attachment_8944" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Siew Mai ($3.20)
Siew Mai is love. Siew Mai is life.
Image Credit: burpple[/caption] [caption id="attachment_8956" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Carrot Cake ($4)
What’s a dim sum without carrot cake? 126’s carrot cake is crispy and one of their consistently good dishes.
Image Credit: burpple[/caption] [caption id="attachment_8968" align="alignnone" width="612"]Image Credit: burpple Image Credit: burpple[/caption]

126 Dim Sum
126 Sims Avenue, S 387449
Opening Hours: Daily: 24 hours
Tel: 6746 4757

  1. Lorong 9 Beef Kway Teow

When you plaster the word “famous” in bold white front at your eatery, you are either arrogant or your food really is damn good. Fortunately, it’s the latter. Arguably one of the best Hor Funs in Singapore, the thick sauce is irresistibly shiok. Although I’ve heard that standards have dropped, it still remains somewhere along the pinnacle.

[caption id="attachment_8959" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Beef Hor Fun ($6)
Generous, unnaturally tender portions of beef on a bed of soft kway teow with legendary gravy.
Image Credit: burpple[/caption]

Must try: Beef Hor Fun ($6)

[caption id="attachment_8955" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Seafood Hor Fun
Image Credit: burpple[/caption]

Lorong 9 Beef Kway Teow
237 Geylang Lorong 9, S 388756
Opening Hours: Daily: 4.30pm – 2.30am
Tel: 9388 0723

  1. The Ranch Cafe

Astons? Chargrill Bar? Collins Grille? With all of them offering affordable Western delights and much to the chagrin of our tummies, we can only be at one place at one time. Well, when in Geylang, add The Ranch to that list, which is also same same, but different. Their economical set lunches and dinners on menu are to die for.

[caption id="attachment_8952" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Fish & Chips Set ($8.90, lunch only)
No description needed. You can never go wrong with fish & chips!
Image Credit: burpple[/caption] [caption id="attachment_8953" align="alignnone" width="639"]Image Credit: burpple Grilled Chicken Set ($8.90, lunch only)
No description needed again. Has anyone never tried a chicken chop? Seriously.
Image Credit: burpple[/caption]

The Ranch Cafe
71 Lorong 27 Geylang, S 388198
Opening Hours: Daily: 11.30am – 11pm
Tel: 6747 0788

  1. Little Vietnam Café

Little Vietnam is quite literally, a little Vietnamese-run eatery that serves an extensive menu of Vietnamese staples. You’ve got your phos, banh mis, spring rolls and the likes. Not forgetting to mention, this place is uber popular because prices are middling cheap. Add to that a chill atmosphere and you’ve got yourself a winner.

[caption id="attachment_8958" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Beef Pho
Image Credit: burpple[/caption] [caption id="attachment_8950" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Lemongrass Chicken Rice
Image Credit: burpple[/caption] [caption id="attachment_8943" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Beef Combo Pho ($7.50)
Looking at beef slices swimming joyfully with beef balls before putting them in your mouth makes for a satisfying hearty meal!
Image Credit: burpple[/caption]

Little Vietnam Café
#01-25, Grandlink Square, 511 Guillemard Road, S 399849
Opening Hours: Daily: 5pm – 3am
Tel: 6547 8587

  1. Brawn & Brains Café

We’ve now headed into café territory so how can we neglect Brawn & Brains, one of the best cafes Singapore has to offer? Brawn & Brains ticks all the boxes. Instagram-worthy food? Check. Artisanal drinks? Check. Good vibes? Triple check. For a genuine wholesome dining experience, make this place your next destination.

[caption id="attachment_8945" align="alignnone" width="630"]Image Credit: burpple Smoked Salmon and Avocado on Brioche
A real handful to say but damn, it’s good!
Image Credit: burpple[/caption] [caption id="attachment_8951" align="alignnone" width="630"]Image Credit: burpple Oven Baked Molten Eggs ($12.90)
A melody of flavours – 2 half boiled eggs and an overwhelming yet satisfying amount of melted cheese atop a thin pizza crust.
Image Credit: burpple[/caption]

Brawn & Brains Café
#01-02, Singapore Badminton Hall, 100 Guillemard Road, S 399718
Opening Hours:
Tue – Fri: 9am – 7pm
Sat – Sun: 9.30am – 7pm
Tel: 6348 0501

  1. The Real Hut

Need a break from the meat fare? Head down to this Asian-Western fusion inspired vegetarian café, a relatively new player in the culinary scene. The Real Hut’s dishes are eloquently presented and they look outstanding, giving our favourite greens the extra zing (you have to admit it’s hard to make veggies look appetizing). Psst, there is no service charge and GST too.

[caption id="attachment_8960" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image Credit: burpple Sushi Veg Wrap Roll ($4)
So pretty! 
Image Credit: burpple[/caption]

The Real Hut
#01-197, Blk 46 Sims Place, S 380046
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 11am – 8.30pm
Tel: 6846 9976

There you have it! A world of delectable food for you to explore. So, when in Geylang, you know what to do… Oei! You know what I meant!

Are these places worthy of this list? Did we miss out anything in our food series? Let us know!

Also read: 8 Best Laksa In Singapore For Thick, Flavourful & Spicy Broth