Lau Pa Sat – Satay Street of Singapore

The hawker centre at Lau Pa Sat(old market) in the middle of Singapore’s CBD is situated in the original wet market building featuring beautiful colonial architecture. The original structure was relocated to this spot at 18 Raffles Quay from the waterfront in 1894 and a stunning clock tower which still chimes in the hour was added.

Beautiful colonial architecture of Lau Pa Sat hawker centre, originally a wet market
Beautiful colonial architecture of Lau Pa Sat hawker centre, originally a wet market

Now the building is home to a thriving hawker’s centre filled to the brim with stalls featuring cuisines from all over Asia and other parts of the world. Apparently at lunchtime all the local office workers flock to the centre for lunch.

Each evening the street in front of the Centre transforms hastily into what is know as Singapore’s Satay Street with stall after stall specialising in different styles of satay. The smoke from the charcoal fires fills the air with the it restive bbq aroma of satys cooking and plastic tables and chairs quickly become occupied with diners – locals and tourists alike!

A good tip is to sit towards the back of the street away from the cooking fires to avoid rhe smoke getting in your eyes and clothes. Also take wet wipes or extra napkins to avoid getting harassed by passing salespeople. We chose to eat at Stalls #7&8 which comes highly recommended. Table service is provided by waiters attached to each of the stalls. Servings are chosen by the number of sticks of satay and the mix of types you would like. We went for the mix of prawn, chicken, beef and mutton. Menus from other stalls in the hawker’s centre are also available so we ordered some rice and klankung to add a bit of green to our dinner.

Jugs of cold Tiger beer are $GD20 and the way to go if there are a few of you dining.

Charcoal grills set up for Satay Street market in front of Lau Pa Sat in Singapore
Charcoal grills set up for Satay Street market in front of Lau Pa Sat in Singapore

The satays arrive without fanfare but are some of the most delicious I have tasted. The spice mix on the prawn satays is especially good. The taste of the charcoal grilled meat With a delicious satay sauce is quintessially south-East asia.

Mixed satay at Lau Pa Sat outdoor satay market straight from the cbar coal grill with spicy satay sauce.
Mixed satay at Lau Pa Sat outdoor satay market straight from the char coal grill with spicy satay sauce.

A great way to get a quick, tasty and atmospheric dinner, in the midst of downtown Singapore, maybe before a visit to some of the amazing rooftop bars like One Altitude nearby?

Cajun boiled shrimp and corn – Sydney style

Inspired by Adrian’s recent trips to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico for work. He has been talking about the traditional boiled shrimp and crawfish that he sampled there since he has been home. Checked out a variety of recipes online but most featured brand name spice mixes that we don’t easily find on the shelves here in Australia. Luckily Adrian had brought home a container of authentic “Slap Ya Mama” Cajun spice mix and with some research into what goes into Zatarain’s crab and shrimp boil mix, we turned out and excellent result that Adrian assures me is very authentic! We held back on serving the shrimp on newspaper but still got our hands dirty like real Southerners do! Great light dinner after a lovely visit to the Sydney Fish Markets on a sparkling Sydney winter’s day to pick up “small” prawns that are needed for this recipe.

Ingredients:
1kg small green prawns or shrimp
2 corn on the cob
2 tablespoon(tbspn) hot cayenne pepper
2 tbspn Slap Ya Mama or additional cayenne pepper and onion salt
3 dried chillies
2 tbspn onion salt
2 tbspn dried thyme
1 large brown onion cut into quarters
2 sticks celery chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 juicy lemons
2.5-3 litres water

On the side:
Crispy bread and butter
Louisiana hot sauce or Tabasco
Lemons to squeeze over prawns

Method:
Put water into large stock pot
Add all spices, onions and celery(not lemon) into water and bring to boil
Boil for 5 minutes to let water absorb flavours of spices
Add corn and boil for 10-15 minutes until almost done
Add Apple cider vinegar
Add juice of lemons and lemon halves themselves into water
Bring back to boil
Add prawns and boil for 5 minutes
Strain prawns and corn into serving dish
Warm bread to crisp up and serve immediately with prawns and corn with sauces and spices on the side.

spicy, light and easy dinner spicy, light and easy dinner
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