This is one of those places I'd passed many times but never really taken a lot of notice of. My friend then suggested that we go for lunch at a hawker centre which was said to be the oldest one in Singapore and as a result I found myself at Lau Pa Sat.
Having since done a little research, I've found out that Lau Pa Sat (which means Old Market in Hokkien) was Singapore's first wet market with origins dating back to the time of Sir Stamford Raffles. It was eventually converted into the Lau Pa Sat festival market having originally been known as the Telok Ayer Market. The market was gazetted as a national monument in 1973. In 1986 it was completely dismantled due to damage caused by nearby tunnelling for MRT line construction, each piece was carefully labelled and restored and the rebuilding of the market was completed in 1989.
We visited during the week over the lunch time period and as you'd expect the market was heaving with workers out to get their lunch. There were queues at many of the stalls and not a lot of spare tables (particularly for three of us to sit together). As is the case whenever I visit a hawker centre / food court I wandered around in slight awe trying to decide what I wanted to eat from all the options available to me. How do you decide what to have generally, I'm always overwhelmed by the amount of choice, does it ever get any less so? In the end we all settled on Indian food and I enjoyed a rather good chili chicken curry and rice. We had to queue to get served at the stall we chose as well, always a good sign in Singapore.
As we were leaving I noticed a Thunder tea rice stall which happens to be a favourite dish of mine. This and the fact there is an awful lot of other food there waiting for me to try will ensure I visit Lau Pa Sat again before long I'm sure.