Balek Kampung (@ Simpang Bedok)

So my hubby started talking about this social enterprise food stalls at Simpang Bedok one day, and I couldn’t quite make sense of what he meant till I saw the opening ceremony covered on the news on telly.

The soundbite I remember is “Whether you make it, or whether you don’t make it, we will help you”. Apparently, some wonderful folks decided to operate this hawker centre as a social enterprise, leasing stalls to disadvantaged families, or giving them a salary instead of affordable rental if they preferred.

The theme of the hawker centre was “Balik Kampung” and it did have a very Kampung feel – after all that chest-thumping and head-shaking over white papers and the like lately, this was the intense feel-good-about-being-Singaporean-thing I really needed.

Awesome. Of course we should go there.

And so we did – the very next morning. But we were a bit too early (like 8+ am) so all the stalls were closed. But it was nice to look around, and soak in the atmosphere.

This sign was one of the first things we saw – kewl.

We liked the simplicity of the plaque – also the plain, short, NON-AUTOMATED curtains.

the wide range of food available – there was a prawn mee stall that looked like it had great soup

Apart from the usual hawker centre bolted down tables and chairs, we saw this corner that had a particularly relak kampung feel to it.  Pleasantly surprised to see that the teak furniture was sponsored by The Helping Hand, one of my favourite charities to support.

oh yes it is, and crazy heavy to boot
As if they knew what would completely seal the deal for me, the amazing folks who are in charge of this place, saw it fit to include baby changing rooms!  Bless their hearts!  I mean, this could seriously be the first hawker centre in the island to have dedicated baby changing rooms!! (not one, but TWO, mind!)

There was a little stall selling tees and dresses, and I would have loved to buy my whole family this tee (it has cute stick figures on the front) but alas it was unmanned.  So go back we shall, sometime soon!

  4 comments for “Balek Kampung (@ Simpang Bedok)

  1. February 19, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Wow indeed, coolness! I look forward to your part 2 post!

    • February 19, 2013 at 3:42 am

      🙂 just recalled, apparently they have famous vadai there, if you like that!

  2. agy
    February 19, 2013 at 2:17 am

    Having a hawker centre as a social enterprise is a great idea. I wonder whether there will be anyone to teach them how to cook though.

    • February 19, 2013 at 3:43 am

      I think it’s esp apt for a social enterprise to be premised on cooking, since most lower income households have SAHMs that are great cooks. 🙂

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