HAVE YOU TRIED YOUTIAO? If not, here’s a fact file!
• Youtiao is a light, fluffy, deep-fried stick of dough most commonly served at breakfast. It’s usually made as two joined strips that can easily be pulled apart when cooked.
• It originated in China in the 12th century – apparently as a type of protest food. The twin strips of dough were said to represent two leaders of the Song Dynasty who had executed a popular general on a trumped-up charge. Dumping the pair of strips into boiling oil was akin to throwing the nefarious leaders into the oil! • In Singapore, youtiao is often referred to as you char kway . • There are plenty of ways to eat youtiao – most commonly, it’s chopped up and added to congee, a bit like adding croutons to soup. A popular Singapore style of eating them is with a cup of coffee; you take a bite of youtiao, then dunk the remaining stick into the coffee so it can soak up the liquid. • Xi De Li are perhaps the best known youtiao makers in Singapore; they started in the 1920s, and today the fourth generation of the family are in charge. They produce up to 10,000 youtiao every day!
Think you know Singapore well? This working clock made up of different flower beds says that it’s seven minutes past six; but where can you find it?
Last month: The amazingly green hotel shown in last issue was the Parkroyal Collection Pickering, Singapore.
8 NIGHT MARKETS TO NOODLE AROUND IN Heard of pasar malam ? It’s an Indonesian and Malay expression meaning “night market” (“pasar” is directly related to the word “bazaar”). A pasar malam, then, is an evening street market that you might find in Indonesia, Malaysia … and here in Singapore! Pasar malams have been around for ages – they’re like an old-school version of a pop-up fair. They tend to be neighbourhood-focused; so, you might find them in the likes of Punggol, Woodlands, Ang Mo Kio and Clementi. Often their main attraction is food stalls (Ramly burgers are a big thing at pasar malams!), but you’ll also find retail offerings and fun games and rides for kids. Unfortunately, pandemic restrictions weren’t kind to these markets, and they disappeared for a couple of years. Since April, however, they’ve been back in business. Keen to check out a pasar malam for yourself? Here are just a few that are operating this month in different corners of the island.
Punggol When: 14 July to 14 August Where: Adjacent to Punggol bus interchange Tampines When: 1 August to 30 August Where: Next to Tampines Mall and Tampines MRT station Changi Business Park When: 1 August to 30 October Where: The area outside Changi City Point Mall Gardens by the Bay When: 26 August to 11 September Where: Public spaces at Gardens by the Bay
Chinatown When: 26 August to 10 September Where: Along the former Chinatown
Food Street Clementi
When: 29 August to 18 September Where: 353 Clementi Avenue 2, and 449 Clementi Avenue 3 Bishan Road When: 29 July to 13 August Where: The space beside Junction 8 and Bishan MRT station Waterloo Street When: 27 August to 2 October Where: Along Waterloo Street, near Bras Basah MRT
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