The best reason to visit outdoor markets: food

I was on the cusp of abandoning the idea to attend the 90s-themed art market at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station when it struck me that I had never been to that historical building before.

So I went.

I was greeted by grey skies and a lot of people.


The sky was overcast, the humidity at an all time high. But every nook and cranny of the railway station was covered in humanoids. Can you spot that couple at the bottom, right in the centre? Yeah, they decided to attend the market to take their wedding photos. Crazy.

There were families lugging their kids for a fun day out at this “rare and magical place” – yeah cause kids, this is where trains used to come! And of course, a billion and one hipsters and swaggy teens admiring the architecture and raw hipster-power that emitted from the old tracks.

I was sweating my balls off, so I told Abel to hurry up. I was on a mission to find food.

I don’t know about you guys, but markets like these, run by The Local People and other organisations like Public Garden fascinate me for two reasons:

1) Lots of independent artists who do great work get their first showcase here.
2) The same thing can be said for new foodie places.

We decided to start the great migration at the back of the herd – squeezing past the multitude to get to stores of interest.

First up, hydration. We stopped by the first decent-looking drink stall we could find, and joined the sweaty masses trying to buy some drinks.

For all the fancy beans procured from far away magical places, the coffee was… okay. Maybe it was watered down cause of the ice melting so quickly, but meh. It did not rock my world. But the way they went through their disposable plastic cups, plastic bags of ice and cans and bottles of beverages reminded me of my school fun fair. Back when they taught us how to be entrepreneurs.

Did you school ever do that? Gave you and a group of friends the option to set up a store and sell stuff. My friends and I sold fried ice cream and sausages. We made lots of money. Also we walked away pretty sticky-fingered and oily at the same time. Hold frozen ice-cream wrapped in bread long enough and that’s what happens. People tend to crave easy-to-hold, bite-sized noms that they are familiar with. Think coffee, chin chow, or stuff they remember from their childhood. Here’s proof of how much they crave it:

Too hot not to get a drink.

Whinging about the crowds of the platforms, we continued on in search for interesting stores. There were a couple of interesting designers. None that stuck to my mind except for these:


These homemade mallows are to die for! You can order them in boxes at home, but here they stuck them on a stick and torched them for a caramelised touch. Too yummy. I had it once before, so I didn’t get it this time round. Besides, the crowd was crazy. Literally stretched across three stores.

Here’s a picture of what it looked like the last time I got it:

That’s Pink Moscato Vanilla Bean, Matcha and Chocolate flavours.

Order from them here: WickedCreamSG 

Honestly, it seemed liked the buzzword of the day was matcha. 101 things were matcha. A store literally just sold matcha:

The macarons looked pretty good so I bought them.

The more I walked around, the more I felt that this was just a conglomoration of hipster-preneurs. But hey-ho, that’s what makes the money go right?

Where millenials go, food trucks go too.


Fried Mac and Cheese balls and Chilli Crab Nachos

I was disappointed with the nachos. They tasted like salted cardboard, and the chilli sauce, though spicy, simply made them unbearably soggy. Also, there wasn’t enough sauce to dip and scoop.

The balls. Though. Little globules of heaven:

The only trouble was that it was a 45min wait for the balls. Luckily, that was the amount of time it took to squeeze through everyone to get a decent spot to rest and chill at on the edge of the station.

We wrapped up everything pretty quickly after. We bought a handful of things and sat down enjoying the breeze that came with the cloudy day.

Macarons, iced latte from The Federation, IndoMie flavoured chips and a gorgeous ring with a snow-globe like centre full of glitter.

Despite the heat, the crowd and the sparse offerings of stores to check out, it was still pretty enjoyable. I got to sit pretty on the edge of a train platform station, pose with a coquettish smile and people watch.

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