Punggol may be a little remote for most people but it seems like there’s now another reason to pop by this corner of Singapore. A pasar malam like no other is currently going on right outside Punggol MRT Station.
In fact, with the hipster food stalls and carnival games available at the venue, it would be more accurate to term it a bazaar. The Punggol CNY Bazaar 2018 is currently underway, and you can expect to see four to five rows of food stalls and a few rows of stores selling Chinese New Year decorations, clothes, games and electronic accessories.
Aside from the typical pasar malam food, popular hipster food stalls from previous night markets are making a reappearance here. Hipster food has a reputation for looking good and tasting not-so-great but some stalls here are really worth a try.
This Taiwan Cheese Potato (S$5.90) was my favourite purchase of the night. Yes, it looks just like a box of mess but hear me out – it was delicious. I wasn’t the only one who thought so, seeing as this was the stall with the longest queue.
You can choose three toppings to go along with the deep-fried potato, which is later drenched in flavourful nacho cheese and drizzled with mayonnaise. Bacon bits are sprinkled on top to add more crunch and flavour. We chose to have chicken sausage, smoked duck and sweet corn with ours.
When we dug in, we were surprised to find yellow yolk flowing out. It turns out that the potato was actually enveloping an egg!
The heaviness of the cheese and mayonnaise gets slightly jelak after a while though the flavours from the bacon bits and the assorted toppings offset it slightly.
This S$1 seafood stall had me so excited because we could smell the fragrance emanating from the grilled seafood from a few stalls away.
The food-on-skewers are sold at a dollar each, while the shellfish and crustaceans are slightly more expensive, with the mini lobsters priced at S$4.50 each.
We opted to try the Garlic Butter Oysters (S$1.50 each). However, I was slightly disappointed because I felt that the oysters could have been more flavourful.
Also, we found them to be a little gritty. There are many other options available so perhaps you can try the other seafood instead?
One thing I noted about this bazaar was that it takes the rainbow food trend seriously. Besides these colourful drinks, there are other options like…
This Rainbow Tamagoyaki (S$6.50)! Rainbow eggs, anyone?
The tamagoyaki consists of a piece of chicken ham enveloped by three layers of fluffy eggs. The appeal lies in the vivid colours but my favourite part was the mentaiko sauce that came with the eggs. I found myself scraping the box for every last bit of sauce – it was that tasty!
Strangely enough, my friend and I both agreed that this tasted just like takoyaki. Perhaps it was the combination of the mentaiko sauce, bonito flakes and chicken ham?
Even buying a cup of thai milk tea was a dilemma because there were so many stalls selling variations of this drink.
Eventually, we opted for the Charcoal Matcha (S$4) drink from Broti and it was huge. The charcoal taste wasn’t that strong after we stirred it though, and it tasted just like matcha milk tea.
Other interesting food we saw at the bazaar include churros, Poffertjes (Dutch baby pancakes), and crowd favourites from previous bazaars, like fried Oreos and S’mores Dips (Geylang Serai memories anyone?).
Some stalls also offer heavier meals like Tom Yum Spaghetti and Omelette Rice.
In addition, you’ll find your usual pasar malam food like Ramly burgers, assorted fried food, and more!
Besides boasting an overwhelming selection of food, you can also get Chinese New Year decorations at this bazaar. Just look at this super cute puppy ang pow!
Now that’s what I call a fitting red packet for the Year Of The Dog.
The whole activities area was very festive with the laser light beams whirling around at the bumper cars station. In fact, the arena felt like an old school discotheque.
Besides the bumper cars, there were other games and rides like an inflatable slide, spinning cups and a mini Viking ship. These rides are more suitable for young children and families.
If you’re here with your special one or a group of friends, try the carnival games instead!
Besides the ring toss, there were games like catching the fish, throwing the ball into the bucket and basketball. Most games are priced at S$5 per try.
Though the Punggol CNY Bazaar is slightly inconvenient to get to for those who don’t stay in the North, the variety of food options alone makes it worth a visit! There were so many other food options I wished I could have tried but I was simply too full.
A piece of advice is to avoid visiting the bazaar in the day. Though the bazaar is supposed to start around 11am, half of the stores and all the rides were closed when I arrived around 3pm on a Friday.
Dropping by at night means having to brave a larger crowd and longer queues but the ambience is so much better, especially when the lights of all the rides are switched on. The whole area is transformed into a technicolour festival of fun!
Dates & Time: 15 January – 15 February 2018, 11am – 11pm