Guide to Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar 2023: What to eat, drink, buy and do at the biggest edition yet
The highly anticipated Ramadan bazaar has returned to the streets of Geylang, with plenty of stalls to check out until Apr 22. Here are some you should definitely consider.
The streets of Geylang are alive with the sounds and smells of the annual Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar, which is back bigger than ever.
This year, there are over 700 stall spaces available – 10 times bigger than last year's – and it's all taking place across 36 days, until Apr 22. It opens daily from 10am to 11.59pm, and on the last day, which is the eve of Hari Raya Puasa, visitors are welcome to stay throughout the night until 6am.
While nearly 200 stall units have still not been taken up, there's still a lot to take in and navigate at the bazaar, which is split into two main areas: Souq City, where visitors can browse the retail and activity stalls, and Street Bazaar, where foodies can enjoy all the food and drinks on offer.
Whether you are a seasoned bazaar-goer or a first-time visitor, there will be something for you to enjoy. Here are some of our picks, from must-try snacks to great shopping finds.
With an upsized edition this year, you'll be spoilt for choice as the bazaar boasts a huge variety of delicacies and snacks, from sweet to savoury, spicy to mild, whether traditional or more innovative offerings.
The F&B stalls are all either MUIS halal-certified, Muslim-owned, or checked by SuChi Halal Consultants to ensure that everything meets halal requirements.
Most of these are found at the Street Bazaar section, a huge part of which is located along Engku Aman Road, next to Wisma Geylang Serai. However, as it extends to various areas around Geylang Road, you can also find other branches of the same stalls at locations next to Tanjong Katong Complex and Lorong Sireh Pinang.
One of the best things at the bazaar? Each stall has a sample-sized affordable option to ensure that everyone can get a taste without busting their budget.
From Souq City, where visitors can browse the retail and activity stalls, to Street Bazaar, where foodies can enjoy all the food and drinks on offer, there’s a lot to explore this year.
7 FOOD STALLS TO CHECK OUT
1. Praffles by Fooditude SG (A146): As their influencer-ambassador Farah Lola sings: "Prata? No. Waffles? No." It's both. A fusion between prata and waffles, Praffles will certainly delight you with its soft textures and creative flavours. Try the Chilli Crab Praffle (S$15.90) and Gula Melaka Praffle (S$10.90).
2. Kakak Dim Sum by SMH Food Enterprise (A194): Newly opened specially for the Geylang bazaar, this stall features Chinese dumplings in an array of flavours. Opt for the Salted Egg Custard Pau, Chilli Crab Pau and Milo Pau (S$5 for any three dumplings).
3. Jom Lekor (A198): The traditional snack gets a modern twist courtesy of different flavoured sauces. Go for the Original Keropok Lekor Terengganu with Signature Sambal, Thai Sweet Chili or Cheese Mayo ($6.90 per cup with one choice of sauce).
4. Katoshka (A154): A crowd favourite selling russet fries with sauces. Order the Chilli Beef (S$12) and Sour Ranch (S$11).
5. Vato Dendeng (A171): Similar to jerky or bak kwa, dendeng is a thin slice of meat preserved with spices and sugar. Vato Dendeng elevates it by introducing a variety of flavours. Go for the Beef Dendeng (S$6) and VatoDendeng Cubanos (S$6).
6. The Messy Bros by Bob Senget (A205): Known for his humorous and entertaining Facebook Live sessions, Bob Senget joins the bazaar with The Messy Bros, selling finger foods and mains. You can't go wrong with the Berserak Burger Beef (S$8) and Old Skool Cheeseburger (S$6.50).
7. Street Wok by Maktoks Kitchen (A183): Famous for their pocket satay and potato twists, Street Wok returns to the bazaar with a refreshed menu. Try the Vietnamese Rolls (S$6), Giant Begedil Bomz (S$8) and Kway Teow Kerang Lechak (S$7).
Thirsty or craving for something sweet? There are multiple stalls at the drinks and desserts section that sell classics such as bandung (rose syrup drink), cendol (iced dessert with coconut milk and palm sugar syrup) and katira (refreshing drink with basil seeds), alongside the modern takes like churros, pancakes and coconut ice cream.
6 DRINKS AND DESSERT STALLS TO CHECK OUT
1. Sofnade (B016): A stall to visit to complement all the savoury food you've bought as it offers a large variety of refreshing drinks. Order the Air Cendol, Rose Katira or Peach Muscat (S$4 for 700ml, S$12 for 3l).
2. Loco Loco (A197): Your stop for local fusion finger food made fresh on a daily basis. Go for the Assorted Churros with Ondeh-Ondeh, Oreo or original flavours (S$6).
3. Whiskdom (A205): Whiskdom offers rich desserts in the form of cookies and brownies. Try out the Salted Dark Chocolate Brownie or Matcha Laca Stuffed Matcha Cookie (S$6.50).
4. Rainbow Works (A148): This stall offers desserts that include local flavours such as coconut and banana. Try out the Cocolupa (S$11.90), a creatively mixed coconut milkshake with corn, nata de coco, and almond flakes. You can also go for the Japan Banana (S$6.90), an adorable pancake-shaped banana, served deliciously hot.
5. Ah Moi Thai Tea: Outlets can be found scattered everywhere in the Street Bazaar section, making their Thai milk teas accessible and easy to find. Sip on some Classic Red Milk Tea, Green Milk Tea or Mango Juice (S$4 for 700ml, S$5 for 1l).
6. MangoBossKu (A159): MangoBossKu's ice-cold drinks will keep you cool as you brave the crowds at the bazaar. Order the Watermelon Fizz (S$6) or Mango Float (S$6).
CLOTHES, DECOR AND SHOPPING
Complementing the food and drinks are the clothing stalls featuring traditional Malay and Muslim attire, and fashionable outfits to get you all decked out for the festive season. And there are some snack option for you to take home too.
6 RETAIL STALLS TO CHECK OUT
1. Songkok Kamil (A024): This stall keeps the Malay tradition alive by providing affordable options for songkok (headgear for Muslim men), kain samping (cloth worn usually from the waist to the knees), and classic money packet envelopes.
2. A Kiren Fashion (B317): Run by a passionate family, this stall is where you can find your quick buys for traditional Malay and Indian Muslim outfits and accessories. They also offer plus-sized options and a variety of traditional ethnic costumes suitable for Hari Raya and beyond.
3. Wei Ya Store: Taking up a large portion of the whole stretch between Lorong Sireh Pinang and Engku Aman Road, this store shares its space with Luxury Carpets and Dr Helmet Motorsports. Come here for all kinds of decorations, ranging from embroidered tissue box covers to colourful easy-to-install curtains.
4. Nushee Nurra (A097): A fashion label known for showcasing feminine and modest pieces. Women would be happy to know that you can get your flowy dresses or hijabs in pretty colours here.
5. Capal Shop (A057): Considered a "must-visit" for almost all Malay men before the eve of Hari Raya, this stall lays out all its capal footwear options everywhere.
GAMES AND OTHER ACTIVITIES
If you're done eating, drinking and shopping, and want to do something else, walk through the areas of the bazaar along Engku Aman Road and you'll be in for a surprise. Not only will you get to see lots of shops selling house decorations and kueh for your Raya revamp, but you’ll also be able to have fun with many carnival games and activities, which are part of the Souq City section's non-F&B stalls.
3 ENTERTAINMENT STALLS TO CHECK OUT
1. Gallop Stable (A410): Taking up the whole corner of the Souq City area next to Engku Aman Turn is the Arabian Nights-themed Gallop Stable, where you can pet the ponies and parrots and take pictures with these trained animals and their friendly keepers.
2. Play United SG (A517): Claw machines, ball shooting games, ring toss games, you name it, it's there at Play United SG's area of Souq City.
3. The Arcade People (A313): Take a break from all the food and shopping by stopping by the arcade and playing classic arcade games by SEGA and Storm Racer. For the more adventurous, you can take your chances at their Human Claw Machine!
“The bazaar contributes to the celebrative mood and excitement in the lead-up to Hari Raya,” said Low Kai Keng, a resident of Eunos, who appreciates the cultural significance of Ramadan bazaars.
“It gets people excited, and it brings together people from various parts of Singapore, whether with their families or friends, to explore and enjoy the different offerings.”