Monday, 26 August 2013


I have always loved satay.  As a kid, satay was the easiest, tastiest thing to eat.   In those days, it seemed to be a regular feature at every coffeeshop you visit.  So, aside from selling kopi and teh, each coffeeshop would make their own pau and there will be someone grilling satay along the pathway outside the coffeeshop.  That was at least how I saw the world as a kid.

It seems to me that Satay has seen better days.  I think it must have peaked in popularity during the days of Satay Club at the Esplanade.  Nowadays most of the stalls don't make their own satay anymore, but buy them from a supplier instead.  There are a few reasons for this.  Firstly, it is much easier for the satay man as he does not have to go through the trouble of making his own satays.  But more significantly, our local authorities make it very hard for anyone who wishes to make their own food.  A lot of hawkers I spoke to tell me about the strict guidelines on food production.  So much so that if you wish to make your own stuff, you need to invest in a central kitchen.  Now, I can understand the importance of food safety issues but I think it can be done in a way that still encourages our hawkers to make their own food. With increasing rental costs, it will just mean that there will be less and less hawkers making their own stuff and just re-selling factory made food and that is not good news for all of us!

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