Singaporeans are quite an unusual bunch. We often want innovative and interesting tastes when it comes to food. But then bemoan the fact that our local food in Singapore get washed out in that process.
Society advances at a fast pace today, and that has resulted in the loss of certain old school food. One by one these dishes or snacks get left behind, and over the years, more are added to the list.
Remember the malt candy old lady that used to be at the corner of Holland Village Shopping Centre? After she passed on, I can hardly remember seeing anyone selling malt candy.
Even the traditional fried carrot cake that used be made with real carrot and radish bits is no longer made the same way as before.
That said, there is somewhat a glimmer of hope, a number of eateries, with a new generation of chefs, have been popping up serving Modern Singaporean cuisine or “Mod-Sin”, a term coined by a popular local chef, Willin Low.
Mod-Sin cuisine is reinvented local dishes with fresh cooking techniques, fusion flavours and innovative plating.
Examples include Angus Beef Satay, Char Siew Chilli Fries, and the list goes on. While it still tries to maintain that familiar taste, the feeling is just not the same for many.
Some Singaporeans still go to Hawker Centres in search for that familiar favourite, which still has that undeniably local taste.
But the bigger issue is also that of the lack of entrants coming in to the hawker trade. The younger generation seem not willing to be hawkers themselves, citing hygiene and long standing hours as a reason for avoiding the trade.
And this could lead to the eventual disappearance of local street food. Before long, you will notice more and more of our hawker centres disappear.
The government started initiating programmes to attract talent into the industry a few years back and this year introduced a $90 million programme to breathe life into the hawker trade.
But is it enough to rejuvenate our disappearing local delights? One which our parents enjoyed on dates and outings?
- Proud to be a Singaporean...although I have always wished that our temperature can be 3-5 degrees lower!!! ^^
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