Here are the Singapore hawkers and eateries at KF Seetoh’s upcoming New York food hall
The upcoming Urban Hawker near Times Square will have 17 stalls – and 11 of these will feature “Singapore hawkers and chefs.”
New York City will soon be getting a taste of some pretty legit Singaporean fare, with a slew of local hawkers confirmed to be setting up shop in the upcoming new food hall spearheaded by Makansutra’s KF Seetoh.
Eleven Singapore hawkers are included in the lineup for the new Urban Hawker food market, which will be located at 135 West 50th Street, near Times Square in Manhattan.
These include halal burger joint Ashes Burnnit, Sembawang’s famed White beehoon chain and mod coffee stall Kopifellas.
Also on the list are: Peranakan restaurant Daisy’s Dream, chicken rice experts Chicken Nice from Maxwell Food Centre, the iconic Dragon Phoenix (known for its chilli crab and for inventing the yam ring), Hokkien-style prawn noodle soup purveyors Prawnaholic, Hainanese Western stall Smokin’ Joe, Malay and Indonesian cafe Padi@Bussorah, Indian stall Mamak’s Corner, and Mr Fried Rice.
Seetoh announced the list and more details last week on the Makansutra website. Urban Hawker, which is a collaboration with American food hall operator Urbanspace, will comprise “17 stalls of which 14 offer cooking stations. 11 of these will be filled by Singapore hawkers and chefs with some Singaporean hawkers based in US.”
The final list of 11 falls short of the initial 18 food vendors reported early on. In his Makansutra post, Seetoh explained: “Most of the folks that came and showed interest weren’t really keen. Although they have the financial might, operational finesse and local market intellect, the bulk of them lack guts and gumption. Can’t blame them, they rather expand to Jurong, a new location, rather than New York, a new market.”
But he was also stoked about the diversity of the final lineup in terms of the people and the cuisine.
“We have in our group, younger millennial hawkers… single stall hawkers, an exciting and young local kopi chain (I have always wanted to work with them) and even big name brands,” he wrote.
“I was mindful that we must have a cross selection of all that our multi-racial foodies celebrate. We installed Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nonya, Hainan Western and even a young and exciting local burger brand. Some are talking about introducing Eurasian fare in their menus too.”
According to the post, the team is currently in New York for orientation and paperwork, and there are plans to be back in April for pre-opening works.
The idea for the project started in 2013 after Seetoh and the late celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain met at the World Street Food Congress in Singapore. Later, Bourdain, who passed away in 2018, had reached out to Seetoh for setting up an “Anthony Bourdain Market” in New York showcasing hawker food.