Your social media has likely already been flooded with numerous articles and videos on the Geylang Serai Ramadhan Bazaar this year. You’ve lived vicariously through your friends’ Instagram stories of the bazaar, and are probably familiar with the rainbow burgers, the unicorn milkshakes, and the soft serve Nutella ice-cream.
How then, can you have an experience that stands out from the rest? We recently went down to the bazaar in search of not just things to eat, but things to do, and curated a unique experience that included being inducted into the Jumbo Cookie Challenge Hall of Fame, drifting on an electric tricycle, and even having a taste of raw seafood at a night market – among many others.
Are you intrigued yet? Then read on to find out how you can have such an experience yourself!
Jumbo Cookie Challenge
Most people come to the bazaar on an empty stomach, ready to blow their cash on the several overpriced – but Insta-worthy – hipster food they’ve seen on social media. But if you aren’t part of that crowd, why not try your hand at getting a free meal? The Jumbo Cookies Challenge at Milk & Cookies (Stall 185) challenges you to finish a bucketful of cookies under 2 minutes in order to have them for free – else, that’s $12 for all those calories.
You can choose between having 20 large cookies or 40 small ones, which are then poured into a bucket with your name written on it. Free flow milk is then provided for you to wash the cookies down. If you succeed, you won’t just get your bucketful of cookies for free, but also receive an exclusive Milk & Cookies Hall of Fame T-Shirt as well as have a polaroid of you taken and pinned on a board at their stall. But even if you don’t, at least you’re allowed to bring along with you your personal bucket as memorabilia.
Tip: Have the 20 large cookies because it’s less daunting psychologically. Also make sure to fully use the milk provided as part of your strategy – we wouldn’t want to rig the game by revealing how we beat it, so let your creative juices flow and come up with a strategy of your own!
Stall Name & Number: Milk & Cookies, Stall 185
Price Range: $12
Essential to any pasar malam in Singapore would be the typical carnival games. Yet, these games are often overlooked, neglected in favour of the bazaar’s vibrant food scene. However, if you’re looking to make your experience here a little more unique, do spend your cash on the carnival games instead of ten bucks on yet another rainbow creation.
Games include popping balloons with darts, knocking cans off a table with tennis balls, and shooting targets with a gun loaded with water babies. The prices of the games here range between $4-6, and points gained from each game can be exchanged for tokens and accumulated over the month to be exchanged for prizes. We spent $10 on two tries for two different games and managed to win 9 tokens in total – which could be exchanged for an adorable Snorlax plushie.
While a little pricey, it certainly still was a fun experience for us. Maybe spread your games between the several trips you’d make to this bazaar, in order to make the sting less significant.
Stall Name & Number: Stall 230
Price Range: $4–6
The henna stalls are mostly congregated near the start of the bazaar, and most people simply glide past them in search for a Ramly Burger. However, we highly recommend making this your first stop – the queues will only get longer further into the evening.
We got ours done with Instant Henna at Saheli Henna (Stall 252) for $15. Instant henna allowed us to simply wash off the henna after 5 minutes, hence, there was no need for us to risk getting our henna tattoo ruined by the numerous sweaty bodies that will shove past you at the incredibly crowded bazaar.
Other options of henna include regular red henna as well as white henna for a beautifully ethereal finish. Several henna stalls populate the area, and truth be told, our option wasn’t the cheapest. However, a cheaper stall nearby had been flooded with people, which brings us back to our advice to you: go early.
Stall Name & Number: Saheli Henna, Stall 252
Price Range: $8–25
Remember the crazy long queues for a single photo-booth in Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens By The Bay? Who knew that you could do the exact same thing here, less an hour spent queuing? All Aflutter provides the props and the booth, and at just $10, you’d be able to get two printouts of four pictures encased in an envelope of your choice. Five seconds are all you have in between takes, so plan your poses beforehand if you don’t want to end up with a picture of your panicked faces.
With just two printouts, this photo-booth is the best option for couples or best friends. We’d highly recommend making this your first stop – way before your make-up melts off and your hair becomes matted with sweat at the end of the evening.
Stall Name & Number: All Aflutter, Stall 124
Price Range: $10
You’d have probably seen this racing track as you make your way to the part of the bazaar that sells all the hipster food you’ve come for. If you’ve looked on enviously at the little kids having the time of their lives, we have good news for you – these drift trikes can be ridden by people of all ages.
This experience only costs you $5 for 8 minutes on the drift trike, and the speed of them can even be adjusted beforehand to suit you. Most children had their drift trikes set to 1, but we decided to take it up a notch and have ours set at 2. What overconfidence. These drift trikes are more difficult to operate than you think, and the kids around us were putting us to shame with their ability to drift flawlessly while we spun around in circles. However, it was still an extremely exhilarating 8 minutes, and we were breathless and strangely thirsty by the end of it.
We’d highly recommend going for a spin on these drift trikes, as it’s definitely something worth experiencing. Ride alongside your group of friends for more chaos, and more laughter.
Stall Name & Number: Drift Trike Co, open space near Milk & Cookies
Price Range: $5 for 8 minutes
Raw Oysters ($3/pc)
It’s one thing to have cooked seafood at night markets, and it’s another to have raw seafood here at the bazaar. Intrigued by the items sold by this Filipino stall, Kalye Manila (Stall 134), close to The Raclette Factory, we decided to give their oysters a try.
It took quite a long while for the stall owner to open up the oysters, which were then served with a wedge of lemon and a bottle of tabasco. For raw oysters served at a night market, and for its price, they were honestly not that bad – sufficiently fresh, with a smooth and silky texture. None of us had a bad tummy afterwards, which probably speaks for itself.
Other seafood items such as cheesy mussels and scallops are served at the stall as well. The stall owner was kind enough to give us a cheesy oyster to sample, which was scrumptious with its delightfully savoury flavour.
Stall Name & Number: Kalye Manila, Stall 134
Price Range: $3–5
If you’ve never heard of vadai, it is a deep fried snack made of flour, red onions, curry powder, shredded curry leaves and an entire prawn complete with its head and tail. Green chillis are provided alongside your snack, but what for? As demonstrated, you are supposed to take a bite from the chilli after every bite of vadai, which then fills your mouth with a heat that goes along so well with the snack.
The prawn vadai at Mr Wadeh is freshly fried and served, much unlike other stalls that serve deep fried delicacies here. Of course, nothing talks as much as queues, and we had to queue a good 20 minutes for our very own prawn vadai. The average ages of the people in the queue were slightly higher than usual, which only serves to further attest to just how good this traditional snack is.
Stall Name & Number: Mr Wadeh, Stall 129
Price Range: $2 for 3 pcs
Thai Milk Tea
Since Ice Burnz made Thai Milk Tea popular in several night markets across Singapore the past few years, other Thai tea drink operators have popped up in the bazaar in an attempt to ride on this Thai Milk Tea craze among Singaporeans. Most of you may probably get your fix from Alley, a brand that you’d probably see at almost every part of the bazaar when you’re there.
However, if you’re not quite a fan of the extremely saccharine Thai Milk Tea Alley offers, do give Thai Cha Chak ($4.50) a go. It is a tiny bit pricier, but with good reason. “Cha Chak” is actually Thai for “Teh Tarik”, and hence, you’d be able to witness the same “pulling” you’d usually see done for the classic Malay drink in order to create a layer of foam right at the top. Enjoy your extremely refreshing Iced Thai Foam Milk Tea at just the right sweetness, or give their other drinks such as Thai Green Cha Chak, Thai Pink Milk, Thai Iced Coco or Thai Iced Coffee a try. Hot versions of the drinks are available too – all at a fixed price of $4.50.
Stall Name & Number: Thai Cha Chak, Stall 60
Price Range: $4.50
When it comes to Malay Food, one does not simply leave out kueh. We came across this stall which sold their assorted kueh at $0.60 per piece, with options such as Talam Ubi (Steamed Tapioca Cake), Putri Salat (Steamed Glutinous Rice Cake with Coconut Custard), and Bingka Ubi (Baked Tapioca Cake) among many others.
We had just these three pieces of kueh in between the various other foods we tried, and it was such a satisfying way to cleanse our palates from all the sickly sweet desserts and deep fried snacks. Do drop by to take a look if you’re interested in getting yourself some kueh during your trip to this bazaar.
Stall Name & Number: The Smokey BBQ, Stall 58
Price Range: $0.60/pc
Sea Salt Hokkaido Milk Soft-Serve
This is probably the most underrated item on the list. It’s surprising how not many people have picked up on this dessert, considering its decently Instagrammable aesthetic but more importantly – yummy taste.
Don’t be fooled by its bright teal hue. We too were expecting artificial tasting flavours such as cotton candy or bubblegum, but were intrigued when the staff had relayed to us the name of its flavour – Sea Salt Hokkaido Milk. If you love the sweetness of White Rabbit candies, you’d love this ice-cream. Even if you have never have been a fan of any dessert with sea salt, you may enjoy this one. It is extremely creamy and tastes close to a vanilla cone, with just a tiny hint of saltiness to make its taste unique.
Having it on a charcoal cone costs an additional $0.50, and other toppings such as cotton candy and marshmallows can be added at a cost. This dessert melts pretty fast in the blazing heat, so ready all your tissues.
Stall Name & Number: Momolato, Stall 21
Price Range: $3.90–6
Pulled Lamb Burger
Burgers and sandwiches are always popular in night markets, and it’s difficult to pick just one to try because all of them just look so good – just going by the pictures and its description anyway. Most of you would probably head straight to queue for The Handsome Burg without a care for any of these other stalls, but in the occasion that they’ve run out of The Handsome Burg (happened to me twice), which burger do you have instead? Give the Pulled Lamb Burger ($7) at this stall a try.
Though it may not have a fat beef patty like The Handsome Burg, the pulled lamb is equally as tender and juicy with just a slightly different texture. Instead of regular burger buns, pita bread is used instead, its sweetness going well with the savouriness of the lamb.
Stall Name & Number: All In, Stall 12
Price Range: $5–8
Seafood seems to be quite a trend in the bazaar this year. Stalls are selling cheesy seafood platters, deep fried oysters and scallops, and even raw seafood – which we managed to try for ourselves. However, after having tried most of the popular seafood dishes, this dish came out at the top for both its taste and value.
Honey Berries claim the Shell Out to be an authentic Thai street delicacy, and has paired their only food item on the menu with berry gelato smoothies that cost around $7 each. The Shell Out comes in either a tray ($6.50) or a bucket ($8.50), and they have just recently added the option of having them with cheese as well ($7.50/$9.50).
Enjoy a generous serving of clams, squid, prawns, crab meat, and corn, which are all succulent and served freshly cooked. Though it may look spicy, the sauce that the seafood is doused in is mild enough for most to handle, so have no fear and do give this a try. We guarantee that your money will be well-spent.
Stall Name & Number: Honey Berries, Stall 65
Price Range: $6.50–8.50
Otah stalls may be commonplace in Singapore, but this particular stall at the bazaar is a second generation, 30-years-old business that started way back in 1986. You’d only comprehend how they’ve managed to last this long once you have some otah for yourself – their grilled fish paste is tender and flavourful, with the appropriate amount of spice.
Options offered are Fish ($3 for 5 pcs), Prawn ($4 for 5 pcs), and Squid ($4 for 5 pcs). At around $0.60–$0.80 per piece, the otah here is already cheaper than a large majority of the food at the bazaar – and way more value-for-money.
Stall Name & Number: Ikan Tangkap Sendiri, Stall 193
Price Range: $3–4 for 5 pcs