With Hougang, Sengkang and Sembawang set to see new hawker centres by 2017, my home town of Bukit Panjang will be embracing its own in 2014. Though no official word has been given as to where it will be situated, I have a hunch that it is due to occupy the (formerly sloping) vacant plot of land (which is currently filled with cranes and construction-related vehicles) opposite the main gates of Zhenghua Primary School.
For those who are new to the food scene in Singapore, hawkers and hawker centres are the backbone of what food in Singapore has become today. As with most born-and-bred inhabitants of this island nation, I prefer the comforting fare and ambience offered in the unpretentious and humbling hawker centre, as opposed to fancy-schmancy restaurants that tend to pass on their operating costs to its customers. Local food is best served up by locals and there is no better way to establish that fact with a visit to a proper hawker centre (think the likes of ABC Brickworks Food Centre, Ayer Rajah Food Centre and Changi Village Food Centre – just to name a few).
However, only time will tell as to whether the imminent and deafening construction works would result in (yet another) forgettable and wasted pile of concrete or a proper gem for the residents of this fast growing town in north-west Singapore to be proud of. For the sake of my town, I really hope it’s the latter.