The word “hawker” conjures up images of singlet- clad middle-aged men or women toiling away in a hot cubicle while cooking up a storm. The origin of Singapore hawkers harks back to humbler roots in the 1800s when their forefathers peddled food from street to street, carrying portable makeshift kitchens.
While the working conditions have vastly improved today as they are resettled at hawker centres, the life of the modern-day hawker is not easy. At the same time, we are hearing of a new wave of next generation Singaporeans who are rolling up their sleeves and jumping into the trade, all in the name of passion.
We chat with several next generation hawkers to find out more.
Burgs By Project Warung
Bukit Batok West Avenue 6
#01-11 Block 451, Stall 4
Established in 2017, Burgs was a “passion project” created by Muhammad Shah Indra bin Jasni and Mohammad Ridzuan bin Ayob, who both previously worked in the food and beverage industry. “We wanted something more – something of our own that we can be proud of at the end of the day,” says Mohammad Ridzuan.
Today, there are three Burgs stalls islandwide, in Bukit Batok, Chai Chee and Ayer Rajah Crescent, with a fourth in Punggol opening in the third quarter of 2020. They serve up yummy halal gourmet burgers with flavours ranging from nacho fish and chips and pulled beef brisket to crispy rendang chicken, as well as sides such as honey butter wings and cheese fries.
“Back then, we noticed there wasn’t much competition and that no one wanted to start a burger joint at a coffee shop. Even though the hours were long and we faced various issues such as not having enough storage space, we stuck to our passion and pushed on.”