Color-changing drinks, liquid nitrogen dessert and gourmet marshmallows — fare for a music concert or the Muslim holy month of Ramadan? It may be unconventional, but in Singapore, hipster food crazes are all the rage during the Islamic celebration.
Every year, a mega market pops up on the island nation in honor of the month-long Ramadan period, in which Muslims typically fast from dawn to sunset. The bazaar sells all the necessary preparations for festivities, such as lights, traditional clothes and carpets, but its food offerings are the biggest draw.
Grilled meats, rich gravies, jellies and densely baked cakes are traditional Ramadan dishes in Southeast Asia, and while they remain prevalent in the market, they now share the stage with rainbow-hued confections and fantastical fusion snacks — key pillars of hipster food.
"In the (Geylang Serai) bazaar, there has always been a lot of focus on trending food and new combinations," said Yushendra Jalil, a vendor selling anchan tea — a multi-layered Thai drink that changes color when stirred.
Singapore is well known as a foodie's paradise, with its rich tradition of multi-cultural street treats, but cutthroat competition has food and beverage operators constantly vying for customers' attention.