The Ramadan bazaars in Singapore happen every year without fail and stay open almost 12 hours a day, throughout the holy month. Catering to an increasingly discerning, largely Malay Muslim community, they pull the year’s trends in food and style in one place, and are often centrally located. Going to the bazaar is an adventure that deserves its own allocated day, but if you’re in a rush and just looking to “grab-and-go” a snack for iftar, or even a last-minute accessory for your Hari Raya outfit, here’s a guide on the new and noted:
One of the more “hipster”-looking stalls this year is Adam’s Corner, which hawks Western food like burgers and pastas. Crates and oil drums will catch your eye, but only after the colourful Hello Soda bottles from Malaysia, which they’re selling at S$4.50 each.
Find it: Largest cooked food market near Singapore Post, stall number 458
Contemporary classic baju kurung styles
Thankfully, 2015 is the year that translucent, sequinned, high-collared tops are being drowned out by a new style. And it’s a style that we can really get behind: plain teluk belangah-style tops paired with colour-matching patterned skirts. With the look popping up in at least three stalls across the bazaar and skirts running the gamut of songket and polka dots, we promise you’ll get to stock up for the rest of the year’s events.
Find it: One of the stalls you’ll probably encounter first from Paya Lebar MRT station is Alia Anggun, number 106-109. Here the style can set you back about S$119-129 per outfit.
Flavoured banana fritters
You’ve gotten it delivered before for family gatherings, now order it “panas-panas” at the Geylang Ramadan Bazaar, with seven pieces going at $4.50. There are four topping flavours: cheese, chocolate, oreo and strawberry, and this one stall also sells crepes and churros – which is next on our list.
Malaysia’s lifestyle emporium du jour is finally, finally in Singapore. The brand’s become increasingly popular among Singaporeans since a recent endorsement by cross-border actor and director Aaron Aziz, but it’s only now that it’s made its mark on Geylang. This Geylang Ramadan Bazaar pop-up shop only has their men’s baju Melayu range, but that alone is pretty worth browsing.
Find it: Outdoor lobby of OneKM Mall
More churro stalls, flavours
Churros first made their debut at the bazaar last year, but this instalment promises more options and a bigger variety of flavours. The biggest advantage of this in our opinion is that you don’t have to make a beeline for any one stall – they’re spread out across the bazaar this time. The other thing is this stall – their “Singapore” pandan churros with “gula melaka” or palm sugar ($4.50 per serving) are known to sell out early.
Find it: Bakes & Craft is a bright yellow pushcart at the largest food market, stall number 453.
Find it: This one also sells fried banana fritters – it’s number 525 at the largest food market near Singapore Post
Find it: This one’s set up at the smaller food market right outside Darul Arqam. We don’t have the stall number – sorry – but you can’t miss it
Videos of this food fair dessert being prepared over a flat pan and carved into small rolls have spread like wildfire over the past year. And Singapore’s finally getting a taste of it. SwirlSation SG is one of the Ramadan bazaar’s newest arrivals and it’s become really popular, what with flavours like chocolate peanut butter, choco crunch, Rocher and s’mores. The stall also sells fried Mars Bars and Oreo cookies. Due to the nature of their wares, SwirlSation SG opens only after Maghrib at around 7.30pm.
Find it: No stall number for this one either, but it’s right opposite Al Vadi (formerly Mr Teh Tarik – yup, the one that sold the best chempedak goreng in the ‘hood).
Those regarded locally as “hipsters” will have already tasted things like “cake in a jar” and branded cake rolls, but these are only just warming up the Ramadan bazaar in Geylang. The churro pushcart stall mentioned previously sells the former for $6 each in four flavours including the perennial favourites red velvet and salted caramel. It’s worth shouting that they’re also selling homemade cheese in containers just in case you’ve got a bag of chips hidden away at home for buka. About the cake rolls – there’s a stall in the biggest food section that sells them in 10 flavours, including Ferrero Rocher, Kit Kat and Kinder Bueno, at $11-18 each.
Find it: “Cake in a jar” and cake rolls are located at the largest food market near Singapore Post, stalls number 453 and 465 respectively
Offbeat milkshake flavours
If you don’t already know, Ice Burnz is one of the newer key attractions at the Geylang Ramadan Bazaar. It’s a good thing they’re located right by the street where there’s more space to queue – their Thai iced tea, and coconut, nutella and salted caramel milkshakes (S$3-5 each) are said to be worth a day (or two) of fasting.
Find it: At the largest food market nearest to Singapore Post, roadside stall number 311 opposite Tanjong katong Complex
Find it: At the largest food market near Singapore Post, stall number 527 opposite Sanobar Kebabs.
Rose Valley, Sahara Shawls pop-up stores
As always, there’re many shawl options at the Geylang Ramadan Bazaar, but new this year are designer or typically brick-and-mortar options like Neelofar, Sahara and Zeta en Rawdah. Neelofar and Zeta en Rawdah, conceptualised and endorsed by Malaysian actresses, are sold here by local importer Rose Valley. Sahara Shawls has a shop at Golden Landmark Shopping Centre, and is fronted by local hijabi celebrity Malaque Mahdaly. Sahara’s affordable and chic modestwear label birue., which has its own boutique at Golden Landmark, is also stocked here with blouses and midi skirts going for about $39.90 each.
Find it: Stalls number 220-222
Note: You can start buying non-perishables like clothes and accessories, and home decor items as early as noon, but after 5pm is a safer bet for food. Additionally, if you think a new trend should be added to this list, feel free to send our editor a quick email at email@example.com.
Photos: Halal in the City, unless otherwise stated