#SupportLocal has a new face and it’s Food Folks @ Lau Pa Sat. The national monument (gazetted in 1973) has seen multiple facelifts but none quite as welcoming like its recent makeover. Plus a cheery cat mascot to boot.
With its history dating to 1824, the former Telok Ayer Market (the malay name for bay water) served predominantly as a fish market along the Singapore River. Prolific Irish architect George Coleman designed the hawker centre’s unique octagonal shape and ornamental columns in 1824, and much of its elements remained when Scotsman James MacRitchie was tasked with its relocation, perfected with the graceful addition of iron filigree and the iconic clock tower in 1894. As the oldest market in Singapore, it has definitely earned its name of Lau Pa Sat (Chinese and Hokkien for old market).
History lesson aside, reclamation works turned its surrounding area into a bustling commercial and financial district - an area no longer fitting for a wet market. 1972 marked the year it transformed into a hawker centre brimming with what’s considered the creme de la creme of local cuisine.
26 November 2020 was when it unveiled its latest look, courtesy of Food Folks, an initiative by the Fairprice Group. Much of its epochal structure remains, with a renewed focus to support long-time hawkers and local F&B brands.