Monday, August 5, 2013

Uniquely Singapore ~ Pasar Malam

They say that age is catching up when we start to reminisce. It must be the case for me as I do think back of the days when I was younger and how different the world is now. I had a good childhood and the two things that were the key highlights in my life: amusement parks and pasar malam (night market).

My dad had a friend who operated one of those large amusement parks - with the full works of teacup revolving rides and carousels. Some of my fondest memories are when I get to ponteng school (played truant) and my dad would bring us to all these rides and of course, we snacked loads.

The pasar malam is another gem. My senses would simply be assaulted with the sweet smell of roasted chestnuts, popcorn and candy floss. I would almost plaster my face against the acrylic divider while waiting in anticipation for my kueh tutus. I was so enchanted with the almost hypnotic rhythm of the 'master' skillfully plopping in the flour, then the adding on of grated coconut before covering it with more flour and placing it over the contraption to be steamed. 

I also remember the bright lights of Ferris wheels, the loud kiddy music blasting away, and the ring of delighted squeals of children as they win prizes at the games in the tikam tikam corner.

With the technology of iPad, video games and TV, these amusement parks and pasar malams are a dying breed of fading tradition. However, I am still blessed as I do get the occasional night market stalls at my neighbourhood though it is no where as colourful as what it used to be. While I am aware that our neighbouring countries have such markets too, when the pasar malams do come by, I'd always bring Dumpling down as I feel that the eclectic mix of wares and food sold is so uniquely Singapore.

So, please take a walk with me as I bring you on a 'tour'. 

I present to you, my home - Singapore. Uniquely, simply and humbly.

Make shift stalls using canvas and a simple metal structure with open front and sides with the vendors at the 'shopfront'...

I love looking at these traditional toys - these were what I grew up with. Before the evolution of iPad and iPhone. 

When I was younger, I would save up my pocket money just to buy one these lovely pencils and scented erasers.

This is where I'd shop for little household knick knacks - sewing machine oil, nail clippers, door stoppers, etc. After having a child, I found out that this is also a great place for buying kids' stuff such as mini pillows and bolsters and... socks! 

Of course, not forgetting the rows of brightly lit food stalls selling anything from curry fish balls... 

to 'sharks fin' (before any animal lovers start to send me hate mail, this is the 'mock' version) to crispy chicken wings...

and of course, to the ever popular otahs.  

It is almost customary for us to cool down with a drink - sugarcane for me and well.. ribena for the little one :) 

Dumpling was most excited about these tattoos that we found at a 'sticker' stall and you can bet that we will be spotting this when we head out on Friday, National Day. 

I am certainly proud to be a Singaporean and call Singapore my home. Happy Birthday Singapore! 


  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE pasar malams! Especially those rubbish foods you get! My weakness is often vadai vadai. hahaha.. so unhealthy but so yummy! I only ever eat those if there is a pasar malam downstairs. Thanks again for linking up!

    1. They are such treasures right? It is a tad sad that those tikam stalls are hardly patronized these days. I love the kebabs and Ramley burgers! :p


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