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Curated by KF Seetoh, founder of the World Street Food Congress and Makansutra, Urban Hawker is an authentic Singapore street food center located in the heart of New York City. It is the first of its kind in the United States to feature stalls from the UNESCO hawker centers of Singapore. 17 vendors total, representing essential cuisines like Malay, Peranakan, Chinese, Indian, Southeast Asian, Asian-style Western favorites, and many more shine at Urban Hawker. 


I took a trip to NYC mainly to check out Urban Hawker.  They have several vendors serving the most iconic dishes of Singapore.  I was especially intrigued because I haven't been to Singapore.  

The first dish I had was the Laksa with shrimp.  It's about $20 before tax and tip but it's a big bowl.  I loved the broth instantly.  The few shrimps were perfectly cooked.  You have an option between egg and rice noodle but the rice noodle is the traditional noodles.

I then had the Chili Crab.  At $59 for a whole crab, it's a bargain since buying a crab from a grocery store is probably $40-$50.  The sauce is sweet and spicy.  They give you a bib because it will be messy.  At one point I think some sauce landed on my head.  They cracked the claws but nothing else.  I used my teeth but you can use the cracker they provided ($5 deposit).  Not my favorite dish but I will have to try it when I go to Singapore.

You could order Hainan chicken with just rice but I opted for a set meal with some greens and soup.  The chicken is moist and tender but not particularly flavorful.  But I loved the rice cooked in chicken broth and aromatics.  

The Laksa was so good I ordered it again with meatballs.  They taste like lionhead meatballs but breaded and fried to add some texture.  Really really good.  

The last dish is char kwai teow.  There's some shrimp and Chinese sausage in there.  Overall it just wasn't a good version.  I actually like the Makan version better.  There were 2 kinds of noodles used, both flat rice noodle and egg noodle.

There were other places in there worth checking out but I couldn't spend all my meals there.  There's a bar that opens at noon.







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Several months ago, I was in mid-town and had read about Urban Hawker and so checked it out for a quick to go lunch. It is a big food hall with lots of vendors serving up fresh dishes. It was a bit overwhelming with so many choices. I originally planned to get the Hainanese chicken I had read about but it seemed a bit plain and had a long line. I opted for a different stall - can't remember name - and ended up with a really good rice/salad with fresh grilled mackerel that I really enjoyed. Definitely worth stopping by if you are in mid-town and want to grab something casual.

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Agree with Eric, the Nyonya Laksa from the Daisy's Dream vendor is really good.  The kind of hangover bowl of curry noodle soup you don't realize you need until you are slurping it down.  I went with the fish cake, bean curd, boiled egg, and bean sprouts (#3 on the menu).  Also good was the kopi coffee from Kopifellas, which is a pulled coffee with condensed milk.  

A couple of notes.  The food hall opens at 10am, but at 10:30am on a Sunday, most of the vendors were not yet open for the day and still doing setup.  So you probably don't want to get there before 11am.  Urban Hawker is very close to MoMA as well as Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, Rockefeller Center, and a short walk from the southern edge of Central Park.  It's a good choice if you are doing tourist things in midtown.  


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