(Many readers may not realize that this blog started off nearly 10 years ago as basically a travel and food blog for two twenty-somethings spending a year in Southeast Asia. This post is written in that earlier mode.)
Tiong Bahru is one of Singapore’s older neighborhoods. It’s also right in the middle of the gentrification process, which means something rather more extreme than it does in the US: highrise luxury apartments towering over more modest HDB housing. For the time being, though, Tiong Bahru retains its old-style character, and nothing captures it better than Tiong Bahru Market (which is, ironically, not that old).
This past Tuesday was a public holiday (Vesak Day), so I met an old college friend and her family at the Tiong Bahru Market for brunch. This is what many in Singapore call a “hawker center,” a centralized food court where small food vendors can sell inexpensive food under safe, regulated conditions (in true Singapore fashion).