Anthony Bourdain is Bringing a Singapore Hawker Center to Lower Manhattan

From 10 Questions for Anthony Bourdain:

Everyone is anticipating your new, international food market in Lower Manhattan. Care to dish on what’s coming — venue, concept, offerings?

It’s about what turns me on. I’m a huge fan of Singapore and Hakka centers and the Asian-Hong Kong and Dai pai dong and the way that Singapore has been able to keep the integrity of their street food in a modern, germophobic world. I think it’d be very cool to have that in New York and I hope to riff on that model. I hope to have some great Singaporean and Southeast Asian and South American vendors and craftsmen bring in the kind of delicious food that many other people around the world see as a birthright and for one reason or another we really haven’t had. It’s a business model and style of eating that I think would be good for New York and even if I wasn’t involved with creating this space, it’s a place that I’d like to be a customer.

Somehow I missed the news in January.

As for location, the Post speculates on 3 World Trade Center or Hudson Yards. And while Singapore’s Hawker Center’s are a primary inspiration, he espects food from Spain, Hong Kong, and elsewhere as well.

Here’s my Introduction to Singapore’s Hawker Centers.

And here’s a 10 year old putting the smack down on Anthony Bourdain for his rough life.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. to be completely authentic , will diners be allowed to spit out chewed bones on the floor?

  2. Why do I know that the prices will be 3x Singapore’s? 🙂

    And it’s funny because Singapore keeps getting named as one of the most expensive cities in the world. That is certainly not the case for its street food, however.

  3. @iahphx – there are lots of things that are hugely expensive, eg real estate and cars, but food can be cheap (expensive too) and cabs are reasonable.

  4. Right, that’s the paradox I was pointing out. NYC, while not cheap, ranks much lower on the list of “the world’s most expensive cities,” yet will be more expensive to eat in than Singapore.

    The only really dreadful expense I encounter in Singapore is hotel cost — undoubtedly attributable to real estate prices — but solvable with loyalty points.

    Of course, Singapore “suffers” as a tourist destination by being adjacent to two of the (currently) cheapest countries in the world: Indonesia and Malaysia, where the food is similar, and probably 1/3rd the cost of Singapore prices!

  5. @iahphx – And going down the list, your comparison of Singapore to NYC is what I see every time I go from here in DC to NYC. You can eat GOOD food a lot cheaper in NYC than here. Chinatown, delis, the halal carts, etc. Here in DC everything is a “concept”. If they brought Bourdain’s hawker center down here to DC, it would be 2x the price of NYC!

  6. Eater confirmed that it will be at the WTC. Looking forward to some great new lunches nearby.

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