Singapore-inspired Urban Hawker market opens in NYC

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For nearly a dozen food vendors hailing from Singapore, an American dream is being realized through food.

New York City’s first Urban Hawker market soft opens in the heart of Midtown (135 West 50th St.) Wednesday, spanning 11,000 square feet with 17 food vendors serving up cuisines passed down from generation to generation.

New Yorkers will be able to experience a melting pot of Malay, Peranakan, Chinese, Indian, Southeast Asian and Asian-style Western dishes.

The project was first conceived by Anthony Bourdain — but is only being realized now four years after his death.

Of the vendors, 11 hail from Singapore. Here are some standouts stalls hailing from the island nation.

New Yorkers will be able to experience a melting pot of Malay, Peranakan, Chinese, Indian, Southeast Asian and Asian-style Western dishes at the new Urban Hawker market.
Stefano Giovannini

Hainan Jones

Chicken and rice is Singapore’s most celebrated local dish. The humble platter was elevated in the 1970s by chef Joon Toh Kiang, the founder of the original Hainan Jones in Singapore. Now, his son Raymond is at the helm of Hainan Jones at Urban Hawker, serving up succulent chicken three ways: poached (the original version of the beloved dish), roasted and fried. It’s served with broth accompanied by lime chili, dark soy sauce and minced ginger for under $20. The stall also serves up a chicken porridge dish ($12) and sides like oyster sauce veggies for $4. 

Raymond Kiang with the signature chicken rice dish from Hainan Jones, an Urban Hawker vendor hailing from Singapore.
The signature chicken rice dish from Hainan Jones, an Urban Hawker vendor hailing from Singapore.
Stefano Giovannini
The signature chicken rice dish from Hainan Jones.
The signature chicken rice dish from Hainan Jones.
Stefano Giovannini

Padi 

Nasi ambeng, a heaping rice platter with myriad spices, beef rendang and sambal squid is the star of this Malay-inspired stand from husband-and-wife team of Sulaiman Rahman and Annie Ali.

“Our restaurant in Singapore is eight years old. This is our first expansion in the US. When we heard Anthony Bourdain’s project had been revived, we said we were interested in getting involved,” Rahman told The Post, adding that they are already planning to open up a stall at forthcoming Urban Space in Los Angeles. 

The satay is another standout. Chicken ($15) and lamb ($16.50) come six sticks per order and are marinated overnight and served with peanut sauce, cucumber and onion. 

Husband and wife team of owners Sulaiman Rahman and Annie Ahmad with chicken satay from their stand Padi at Urban Hawker market.
Husband and wife team of owners Sulaiman Rahman and Annie Ahmad with chicken satay from their stand Padi at Urban Hawker market.
Stefano Giovannini

Mamak’s Corner

Breakfast will be served all day at this Singapore Indian stall by chef Rajan Belani. He’ll offer up favorites like nasi goreng mamak — rice noodles wok-fried with tomato, sambal sauce, minced meat and veggies ($12.50).

Belani’s saffron basmati rice is another staple that’s infectiously fragrant and flavorful. He also churns out Indian flatbreads served with lentils and coconut chutney.

Daisy’s Dream

Nyonya Curry Chicken from Daisy’s Dream.
Nyonya Curry Chicken from Daisy’s Dream.
Stefano Giovannini

Roy Tan is offering Peranakan cuisine, a unique fusion of Chinese and Malaysian food. His inspiration is his mother Daisy, who opened her first stall in Singapore at age 60 as a retirement gig. Tan will serve up dishes like nyonya curry chicken, an aromatic coconut curry dish served with turmeric sticky rice, and laksa, a coconut curry rice noodle soup. It’s a family affair with Daisy’s daughter, actress and writer Selena Tan, serving as part owner. 

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