Food Folks at Lau Pa Sat Market is a themed dining and supermarket sector located at historical open-air food center. You may know Lau Pat Pat as its other newer name, the Telok Ayer Market. Still Lau Pa Sat has its history as one of Singapore’s oldest hawker centers.
It sits in the heart of the Central Business District and serves mostly office-goers, breathing new life into the popular Central Business District hawker centre. Let’s check out the new Food Folks establishment with a dinner dine-in.
Additionally, Food folks is a themed hipster like food establishment. It comprises of five retail zones, housing 10 F&B brands over an area of 7,000 square feet. Launched by FairPrice Group. It was opened on the 26th Nov which aims to showcase local retailers and food and beverage (F&B) concepts.
Welcoming you into the sector is the food folks cat mascot. This cartoon character can be seen scattered all over the area inside the tiny food mall. Also, you can find is demarcated by the sector’s theming with a grey cat being the establishment mascot. You can see these adorable critters littered throughout the sector such as stickers, and standees by the entrance which offers great photo opportunities.
Asian and pizza food options
Moreover, you can expect a range of modern-Singaporean dishes exclusive to the Food Folks sector. It comprises of Local Delights and World Favourites. Selections include prawn soup ramen at Chef Kang’s Prawn Noodle House, Lixin fishball and Shin Hui yuan. General price range of products is from $2 to $15.
Chef Kang’s prawn noodles is an off-shoot of one-Michelin-starred restaurant. Though, I found the Michelin starred stores is tad bit like a gimmick and tad bit overhyped for the offerings. The prawn noodle and Teochew noodle stores are notably the less popular stores here.
However, I would recommend Shin Hui yuan tubby twin ($8.50) or their belly-full tubby dishes ($9.30). Their dishes offer an interesting potpourri of rice mixed with meats, eggs and vegetables and is rather hearty and tasty. They tout to offer the ultimate Plant-based Combo Rice and are Bib Gourmand-rated. Do expect to pay a premium for the dish though. Also, it tad reminds me of a Taiwanese “messy” rice bowl staple. There is a cheaper Horfun alternative at $7.80 called the “blissful set”.
Moreover, if you fancy a pizza, Gopizza offers personal pan pizzas is one of the more popular stores here. Here, you have a selection of about 16 different pizzas and 6 pasta options. They are priced from a rather affordable $7.90 to $12.90 each dpending on your toppings, with seafood and Burrata cheese options taking the higher price point. Also, standard Hawaiians and veggie pizza sets you cheaper at $7.90 to $8.90 a pop. Also their pizzas are individually oven fired and served rather quickly in 10mins made to order.
General dining ambience and Kopitiam discounts
Seating is offered through a mix of long tabled and regular hawker seating tables for a capacity of 150 patrons. Also, the food folks sectors notably having newer bright white tables as opposed to the regular Lau Pat Sat hawker tables.
Notably, these less popular stores closes early before their 10pm. Well the more popular Shin Hui yuan and Gopizza stores are opened till the advertised opening time of 10pm.
In addition, the sector is mapped with a mini food map in cartoon lively which you could use to find your way among the different offerings. Not that the sector is large enough to warrant one. The area is small and compact, but feels largely incomplete on the opening week. There are only an assortment of 4 food stores, an indoor food deli and a mini supermarket. Notably, not all the stores here are occupied, with several being vacant.
Furthermore, thankfully, you are also able to use your Kopitiam card here at food folks, as it is operated by the Kopitiam group. Hence you are able to use Kopitiam card here for the regular discounts off your meal. The discount however, is not extended to the supermarket.
Food folks market sector comprises of two separately air-conditioned huts. One being pack-and-go dining area and the other being a more conventional supermarket setting.
Furthermore, the mini supermarket has shelves stocked with local snack delicacies, with a curated section of local premium chips, snacks, condiments and bottled craft beer.. Also, the retail front spots an offering of home-grown brands. They include the Gryphon Tea Company brought to you by Janice Wong, and Kut Teh and Brass Lion Distillery by Ng Ah Sio Bak.
Also, you can find Edens exclusive selections of mala shiitake chips flavour here, which you can also find online. Local brands comprise as much of 70 per cent of the items on sale, with the rest being rare food items not commonly found in major supermarkets. The store feels tad like a hipster supermarket
In addition, Food Folks has also partnered with other Singaporean brands – Fossa Chocolate and The 1925 Brewing Co and Artisan (Lego) Bricks to launch exclusive co-branded food-related merchandise and edible products. Notably, food folks also have their own house brand label of craft beer on sale too.
Ready to go meals
Furthermore, the supermarket sector features counter-style grab-and-go stores offering ready to go meals, notably situated for busy people. Stores here includes the Smol and The Grill knife selling quick rice grain bowls and meat dishes respectively. There is also a Soup spoon and Creme and Cone ice cream shop.
I can see the stores here, especially the salad and soup store catering largely to the day office lunch crowds here along Shenton way. In the evenings, a crowd favourite store here would be the Creme and Cone’s ice cream stand.
Also, the ice cream store is notably popular with children who can’t seem to get enough of the dessert, though Creme and Cone’s service times are really painfully slow. On offer interestingly are exotic gelato flavours such as Java Banana Chips and ondeh ondeh. This Lau Pat Sat branch is Creme and Cone’s first permanent gelateria offers freshly made Waffle Cones and Waffle Lollies.
Interestingly, there are sofa seating areas for small gatherings, as well as an instagrammable photo booth here. There is even a small photo booth beside the ice cream stand.
Commendably Fairprice waived the initial set-up fees for these retailers as in to support them through this trying times too.
Cash and cashless payments via Visa, Mastercard and NETS are accepted. Kopitiam cards are accepted only at the F&B section, where you can enjoy a flat 10% discount. It is open from 10am to 10pm daily.
Still the Lau Pat Sat we know
Still, Lau Pa Sat still maintains much of the look and feel. The other parts of Lau Pa sat is business as usual, with a large selection of food stores catering to various tastes, and the satay club located along Boon tat street too filled with the aroma of seafood BBQ and of course, flame grilled satay.
Notably, the Food Folks sector notably is demarcated by different floor tile colours different from the main sector of the food center. You can tell that this food folk sector was independently renovated from the rest of the market
Nonetheless, you can purchase drinks and desserts from regular Lau Pa sat stores and bring them into food folks for consumption. With Fair price having bought over all of Kopitiam operations a year back, you are entitled to all the Kopitiam membership cards benefits here at all stalls here too. Additionally, Recommended dines includes a “Pepper rice” look-alike store. These are operated by the Kopitiam group.
All in all, Food Folks Lau Pa Sat is a rather new refreshing addition to the nine otherwise rather dated Lau Pat Sat. I question the longevity of the establishment, though interesting in its own right, without being too intrusive to what is a UNESCO acknowledgement of Singapore’s hawker culture.
Must Go! | Actually pretty Good | Worth Trying | Shortlist Optionally | Should Avoid
Food Folks Lau Pa Sat Locality Map
18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm daily
Market center is open 24 hours