If you’re averse to rubbing shoulders and exchanging breaths with the sea of people over at Geylang Serai, then the Punggol Bazaar is for you.
Located just across the road from Exit D of Punggol MRT, this bazaar is much smaller than the Geylang Serai Ramadhan Bazaar – but this meant more space, and less perspiration. Much unlike its counterpart at Paya Lebar, the Punggol Bazaar served little to none overpriced hipster food. However, we’ve still managed to suss out yummy eats within the bazaar, and get this – none of it will break your bank.
But that isn’t the best part. An Uncle Ringo Carnival Fair is situated right beside the bazaar, making it too easy to digest whatever street food you’ve had by tossing a couple of rings and balls. Stay tuned to the later part of this article to learn some tips for winning yourself a prize at the fair!
Teochew Meat Puff
This is hands-down the star of all bazaar foods. Why spend a exorbitant $7 on a rainbow burger, when you can have a piping hot, crispy puff stuffed with delicious meat filling? Teochew Meat Puff is a stall that operates solely in night markets, driving many dedicated fans to travel all over the island just to get a taste of its oyster cake.
We had the Oyster Pork ($3) and Octopus Pork ($3), and our first bite into the puff was heavenly – a divine blend of crispy pastry, fresh seafood, and an abundance of minced meat. We were torn between the two flavours – the fragrance of the oysters melded well with the meat, while the chewiness of the octopus lent the puff a texture that made it even tastier. But the verdict for both was the same: we will be back for more.
Other flavours available are Crab Pork ($3), Scallop Pork ($3.50), and Vegetable ($1.50). Come night-time, the waiting time to get your hands on a crispy oyster cake may go up to well above an hour – which only goes to show its legitimacy. Granted, $3 might be a little pricey for a traditional snack like this. But with the generous amount of meat given, the price is definitely warranted.
Stall Name & Number: Teochew Meat Puff, Stall 106
Price Range: $1.50–$3.50
Satay Bun + Satay Burrito + Peanut Cheese Fries
This had to be the most interesting of the lot. At U-neka, you’d be able to try unique satay creations such as the Satay Bun and Satay Burrito, which are exactly as the names suggest. The Satay Bun takes on the familiar aesthetic of a Kong Bak Pau, encasing the satay meat of your choice within a piece of steamed lotus leaf bun, and blanketed with a mix of homemade cheese sauce as well as peanut sauce. The Satay Burrito was similar, but wrapped in a tortilla wrapper instead.
Their Peanut Cheesy Fries ($5) were a sight to behold as well. Served in a tall, cardboard cone cradled in a cardboard handle, the spiced, chunky fries was coated with the same mixture of cheese and peanut sauce. Freshly fried, the fries were crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The combination was, well, curious. However, the generous serving of fries were enough to tide us over, making this snack worth the cost.
Stall Name & Number: U-neka, Stall 28
Price Range: $5
Freshly made, this Malay version of the kueh tutu was warm, soft, and fluffy – like eating a cloud, except the cloud was filled with sweet gula melaka and served with desiccated coconut on the side. It had the perfect amount of filling, such that it wasn’t at all overwhelming, greeting you with a light fragrance with every bite.
Stall Name & Number: Stall 66
Price Range: $2.50 for 5
The only reason we bought this is a reason you’d hear much too often in Singapore – there was a long queue. However, we soon found out why. The Apam Balik made here is perfectly crisp round the edges, while soft and moist on the inside. One pancake can go for either $3.50, $4, or $4.50, depending on the number of flavours you choose, but a single pancake is enough to fill your belly. Though this stall offers interesting flavours such as cheese and Nutella, the best still had to be the original peanut and corn.
Stall Name & Number: Apam Balik Power, Stall 26
Price Range: $3.50–$4.50
Dozens of people flock to this stall for their icy dessert, but we decided to give their Chendol Drink ($2.50) a try. While delicious and refreshing, the lack of crushed ice to water the sugar and coconut milk down may make this drink a tad bit cloying for most. Although this drink is the original chendol without any toppings, it may feel a bit incomplete if your favourite part of the dessert are the red beans. However, at its price, it is certainly value-for-money.
Stall Name & Number: Cendol Geylang Serai, Stall 55
Price Range: $1.50–$2.50
If you’d like something more classic to quench your thirst, give the freshly-made sugarcane drink from PureCane a try. With juice packed full of flavour, a single sip made us feel like we were immediately transported to the best hawker centres in Singapore.
Stall Name & Number: PureCane, Stall 121
Price Range: $2–$2.50
This candy is definitely a blast from the past. If you are an 80s kid – or even older – you would be familiar with the art of twirling this incredibly gooey syrup around a chopstick, attempting to form the biggest glob you possibly can. Maltose Candy is basically malt sugar in a tub, and is what gives char siew its sticky and sweet glaze. However, it can be eaten on its own as a lollipop as well, although you’d likely get a cavity if you have an entire tub for yourself. Get the smaller tub of candy for $1.50, or share a large one with your parents – who will be very excited to see it again – at $2.50.
Stall Name & Number: Stall 99
Price Range: $1.50–$2.50
If you’re a fan of sweet treats, you simply need to know about this kuih. Coated abundantly with sugar crystals, this deep-fried, sweet potato donuts are incredibly saccharine from the inside out. Bite through its glaze to experience a satisfying chew, a nice change from the soft fluffiness of Western donuts.
Stall Name & Number: Stall 101
Price Range: $2 for 4
Ice-Cream Egg Waffle
This is the most modern snack on the list, and it hails all the way from Hong Kong. The classic egg waffles with soft-serve is a staple in Hong Kong street food, and had recently gained popularity in Singapore with the opening of Hvala Waffle Bar.
Undoubtedly, this dessert is extremely Instagrammable, but the taste was well-matched as well. The soft-serve was smooth, icy, and yet milky at the same time. The waffles were crisp and airy – although it did get a bit soggy thanks to the ice-cream. With such few ice-cream options at the Punggol bazaar, this did not disappoint.
Choose between original, charcoal, and matcha for your waffle flavour, and between vanilla and chocolate for your soft-serve. Take your pick from the mixtures offered as well. We had the Fruits Lover, which had plenty of mango, but other options available are Cookies Lover and Mixed Lover, which serves your dessert with Oreos or a mix of Oreos and fruit.
Stall Name & Number: O.M.G, Stalls 56–59
Price Range: $6
Most people tend to head here first, drawn by the hopes of winning. Win a jumbo stuffed Tigger with just one successful throw? Armed with a bucketful of rings, it can’t be that hard to get a single ring over a bottle-top, right?
Sorry, but we’d have to burst your bubble. The rings for this game are in a specific size such that it may only land over a bottle-top when completely flat. They say it’s all in the wrist flick, but take it from someone who tosses discs as a sport – it really makes no difference. It all boils down to luck, like how many of the games in this fair are.
But with a bucketful of rings at $8 and 20 for $5, this game is perfect for sharing with your friends and family. Maybe all the rings ricocheting off one another might actually land you a prize – as it did for a few lucky people there.
Price: $5 for 20 rings, $8 for a bucket
You might enter this game thinking there’s some kind of skill or strategy involved here. But once you see your ball flying all over the place from one light toss, you’d start thinking twice. A huge luck element is at play here, and the only way you can help yourself is by tossing as lightly as you possibly can – but make sure your ball reaches the goblets in the first place, of course.
Price: $5 for 4 balls
Finally, we have ourselves a carnival game that relies entirely on skill. Simply aim your dart at the higher numbers, and a higher number of accumulated points would garner you a larger prize. With no way to rig this game, it became pretty easy to walk away with a plushie.
Price: $5 for 4 darts
Fair enough, the carnival employee did warn us that this game was impossible to win. But with a seemingly perfect strategy in our minds, we decided to give it a go anyway. Update: aiming for the sides of the bucket does nothing.
Price: $5 for 3 throws
This game is a balance between luck and skill. If you’re like any of the guys from Dude Perfect – always able to land that garbage toss into the bin – then you’d love this one. If not, try to add a bit of backspin into your throw and aim for the back rim of the opening, such that the ball will bounce off the rim and into the can.
Price: $5 for 3 balls
Spill The Milk
The strategy: aim for the bottom bottles, instead of the middle. The bottom bottles tend to be heavier than the one stacked on top, and aiming for the intersection between the 3 bottles will often only lead to the top bottle being knocked off. Directing most of your force towards the bottom bottles increases the likelihood of knocking off all 3 bottles at once. And of course – aim accurately.
Price: $5 for 3 throws