Are you aware that Singapore’s largest Chinese dialect group is the Hokkien community? There’s no better way to get a taste of their culinary culture than at The 50 Cents Fest 2019, back for its fourth edition at the bustling Chinatown Food Street on 27 and 28 July. The event is part of the popular Singapore Food Festival, so there’s no doubt it will get hectic. Here’s a curated list of highlights so you can better prepare your visit – or stomach, for that matter.


Take a trip down memory lane as you sample Hokkien dishes from over 40 stalls and mobile vendors. If you’re worried about breaking the bank, and while most dishes start from S$0.50, nothing goes over S$3. Feel free to eat to your heart’s content! Must-tries include the spicy Tapioca Noodles (S$0.50) and Buddha Jumps Over The Wall (S$3), a nutritious goody filled with premium ingredients such as abalone and ginseng. End your dining experience on a sweet note with a range of pastries and ice-cold desserts like the Ai Yu Jelly (S$0.50) to cool you down from the sweltering heat.


Upping the ante for the food selection, the Fest isn’t fooling around when it brings in established names in the local scene. Expect melt-in-your-mouth tender Kong Ba Bao (S$1, braised pork belly bun) from Beng Hiang and traditional Rice Dumplings (S$1) from Kim Choo Kueh Chang.

Having been in the industry since 1978 and 1945 respectively, their creations are treasured by generations of foodies. Be sure to keep your eyes open and search away as there’s are several hidden pop-ups along the roadside – ideal if you want to get away from the crowds.


Once you had your fill, embrace your competitive side by participating in Jiak Ba Buay (have you eaten?), a unique take on the classic bingo game. For those wanting to dive back into their childhoods, opt for old-school arcade romps that will entertain children and adults alike. A wholesome family day out isn’t complete without memorabilia, so this is the time to #supportlocal with the brand Wet Tee Shirt Singapore, offering Hokkien-inspired merchandise that you can take home with you.


If you’re like me and most millennials out there, the tunes played at getai performances aren’t exactly our first choice to vibe to. However, there’s something fitting about listening to olden Chinese songs while being surrounded by heritage and a buzzy atmosphere. Be serenaded by the ‘opera’ while tucking into authentic delights. Who knows? You might even walk away with a newfound fluency in Hokkien. Belt it out!


Paying with cash is so yesterday. Cut the queues by downloading the OCBC Pay Anyone app, which allows for seamless and fuss-free transactions through QR code payments. Here’s a heads up: be one the first 10,000 users at the Fest and be entitled to S$1 discount coupons. It might not sound as much, but that’s two free portions to try! Coupled with exclusive vouchers that you can purchase through Klook, you can score a further 50 per cent off signature dishes. That’s a good steal, isn’t it?

The 50 Cents Fest is happening on 27 and 28 July 2019, 11am – 11pm at Chinatown Food Street, Smith St, Singapore 058938.

This article was first published in City Nomads.

This content was originally published here.