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03      Makan Time

Walking down streets in New York City, you cannot get away from sights of street vendors. Fruit, hot dog or the popular pretzel vendors. They are all over the city.

Hot Pretzels, anyone?Breakfast from a cartA typical street vendor in NYC

The latest ones are the lunch vendors. They are everywhere in Manhattan, where most major businesses are. They vary from Kebabs, BBQs, hot/cold sandwiches, Teriyaki meats. The prices are not too bad. They range from US$3 for a meal that consists of Grilled Chicken on top of rice with some green like lettuce or tomatoes, up to US$5 for a complete meal that consists of a lot of meat, greens and a drink. Not bad at all, compared to lunch meals at fast-food restaurants that can set you back at least US$6 with tax, and that is the lowest price.

Meanwhile, in another big city like Jakarta, it seems like wherever you go, the street vendors are everywhere. Jajanan like Pempek Palembang, Batagor, Gulai, Nasi Uduk, Martabak Telor/Manis and Otak-otak are all over the city.

Pempek PalembangOtak-otakMartabak Manis

Whether in gang kecil or jalan besar, the jajanan are the most common meals. They are not only affordable, delicious, they are fulfilling too. Not to mention, the convenience of the street vendors everywhere.

A discussion on street vendors would not be complete without mentioning hawker centers in Singapore. Foods at hawker centers are so cheap that it seems like nobody there needs to cook, ever. Anytime, anywhere. Singaporeans are well-known to makan on any occasion, as late as 3 o'clock in the morning, all over the Island.

Hawker stallHawker centerFruit stall

Places like Chomp-chomp, Tiong Bahru, Bedok Central, Changi Village, Maxwell Road, Lao Pa Sat, East Coast and Newton Circus offer yummy meals like Chicken Rice, Char Guo Tiaw, Carrot Cake, Satay, Nasi Lemak, Fish Head Curry, Hokkien Mee, Laksa, Popiah and so on. They are easily located, very cheap (a rice meal is as cheap as S$0.80 — that is a lousy eighty cents) and scrumptious. Nobody can resist them.

No time like Makan time. Do you like to makan ?