4 October 2019

Hawker Culture by Maybank, a Showcase of Popular Legacy Hawker Institutions, Aims to Help Promote Asean Culinary Traditions

The inaugural two-day event gathers 12 heritage hawkers from Malaysia and Singapore at Gardens by the Bay

4 Oct 2019


For the first time, Maybank is presenting a food festival to pay tribute to our region's long-running hawker businesses - family-run enterprises that have successfully handed down culinary skills, family recipes and businesses from generation to generation. Hawker Culture by Maybank is the first of a series of regional culinary events showcasing some of the most popular legacy hawker institutions in Singapore, Malaysia and other ASEAN member nations. Over a weekend from 5 to 6 October 2019 at Flower Field Hall, Gardens by the Bay, visitors to the inaugural edition will get the chance to enjoy specially-curated signature dishes from Singapore and Malaysia.

Six hawkers from different parts of Malaysia join six hawkers from Singapore to form an impressive line-up that no food lover will want to miss. Highlights from Malaysia include Kwong Wah Cendol (Petaling Jaya) which boasts a brand name that dates back to 1958. Run by the third-generation owners - a pair of siblings - the stall is famous for its authentic traditional ais kachang (also referred to as cendol) consisting of house-made fillings, freshly squeezed coconut milk, a pure gula melaka syrup, and shaved ice prepared from ice-blocks made in-house from filtered water. Robert Khoo, proprietor of over two decades old Robert's Char Kway Teow (Petaling Jaya) will be here to dish out his classic Penang-style kway teow which is now considered among the best in Kuala Lumpur. Cult burger joint, Kaw Kaw Burger (Kuala Lumpur) is famous for its vertiginously stacked burgers. Food aficionados can't wait to taste the limited edition Impossible Burger. Nasi Lemak Ong (Alor Setar) has been serving nasi kandar (traditionally rice with a selection of curries sold by Indian-Muslim hawkers) for over two decades in Alor Setar, where it is called nasi lemak. It is famous for its coconut milk-free curries and popular signature nasi kunyit infused with ginger. For thick, Klang-style herbal bak kut teh, look no further than Samy & Min Bak Kut Teh,which has been dishing theirs out with tender ribs and melting pork belly for over 25 years and now has multiple outlets since daughter Min joined the family business. For the perfect pairing of classic roast meats with green chilli sauce and char siew sauce, and hae bee hiam (spicy dried shrimp sambal), keep an eye out for Roasted Chef House (Subang).

These hawkers join Singapore's Michelin-starred Hawker Chan (soya sauce chicken), Haig Road Putu PiringFu Zhou Poh Hwa Oyster Cake (a fast disappearing hawker dish), Pandan Gardens Fish Ball NoodlesTuan Yuan Bak Kut Teh (Teochew style, with a sharp peppery bite) and Rong Guang BBQ (popular for their barbecued seafood).

Being at the heart of the community

"Food brings our community together, and hawker food is such an integral part of our lives," says Mr Alvin Lee, Maybank's Head of Group Wealth Management and Community Financial Services Singapore. "Yet, Hawker Culture by Maybank is not just about food. It is also about the culture of family and friends gathering for a meal to bond over comfort food and build comradeship."

Hawker Culture focuses on popular heritage hawkers in Singapore and Malaysia because of Maybank's deep roots in these two countries. The food festival strives to promote the shared cultural legacy of these two ASEAN nations and highlight the passing on of time-honoured culinary traditions from one generation to the next.

"While we help our customers preserve their wealth, we are also keen to help Singapore and the ASEAN region promote its heritage in the form of hawker culture," explains Alvin Lee. "It is heartening to know that many second- and even third-generation hawkers have emerged in recent years. Through this event, we want to highlight the stories of resilience and resourcefulness of hawkers in ASEAN. While they may come from different countries, they have all overcome tremendous challenges to contribute to each country's food history."

The bank hopes to bring similar Hawker Culture events to other parts of ASEAN. This new Maybank initiative complements its ongoing efforts to engage customers through lifestyle events that match their interests.

Link to event details:

UPDATE: At present, tickets are only available for Saturday (5 October 2019). All tickets for Sunday have been sold.