Long-running pasar malam vendor The Original Vadai has permanently parked on two brick-and-mortar locations. Both shops, one at Joo Chiat Road and the other at Golden Mile food Centre, recently got halal-certified.
Today (March 1) is also the opening day for their third stall in Amoy Street Food Centre.
In a Facebook announcement on successfully attaining the green MUIS certs, they said that they “have always wanted to give our Muslim friends a peace of mind when purchasing our food and we finally got it.”
Family business for over 30 years
The vadai specialists had their beginnings in the Hari Raya Puasa Bazaar at Geylang Serai old taxi stand back in the 90s, and it became popular amongst the Malay community first.
Throughout the years, The Original Vadai continued to be present in the annual bazaar as well as smaller scale night markets that sprouted around the country every once in a while.
Since COVID-19 had stopped all kinds of events last year, The Original Vadai reacted by setting up not one, but two, permanent shops in a span of nine months.
Led by the business’ second gen owner, the first shop opened in April in a Golden Mile Food Centre unit that they still occupy today, just in time to catch the Ramadan demand. A second stall in Joo Chiat opened the following month.
Both stalls only received their MUIS halal certification at the end of February this year.
Uniquely Singaporean snacks
To call the prawn vadai, a type of savoury Indian doughnut, a popular pasar malam snack is an understatement. It has received numerous media mentions and more recently, a spot in Makansutra’s 2021 e-book guide.
Furthermore, it is believed that the prawn vadai is a uniquely Singaporean fusion dish, as it can’t be found elsewhere, even Malaysia or India.
Here’s a look at some items on their menu:
Prawn vadai (S$1)
The O.G. vadai. The 30-year old fritter recipe features a crispy shell on the outside, a pillow center, and a sizeable curled-up prawn for that moreish flavour and crunch.
Ikan bilis vadai (S$1)
Generous coating of crispy, fried anchovies on their signature batter.
Grago vadai (S$1)
Grago, a type of dried mini-shrimp or krill, adds to the vadai’s crunch factor.
Veg vadai (3 for S$2.50)
Plain/Veg for those who like it simple. Price is for 3 pieces.
Chilli vadai (3 for S$2.50)
For those seeking extra spicy Vadai, this one’s for you. Super spicy and shiok! Price is for 3 pieces.
Dhal vadai (3 for S$2.50)
Also known as the Masala Vadai as it is made with dhall, chilli, onions and various spices to give a perfect masterpiece. Price is for 3 pieces.
Onion vadai (3 for S$2.50)
Fried batter with onions. Price is for 3 pieces.
Mini vadai (12 for S$4)
Bite sized fritters in assorted flavours. Available in Veg, Chilli, Chicken, Fish, Crab and Ikan bilis. Price is for 12 pieces.
Cheese vadai (S$4.50)
A fusion twist and a new favourite for the younger generation.
Chocolate vadai (S$4.50)
Another modern vadai incorporating an unbeatable pairing: Chocolate and Bread. The vadai is topped with melted hot chocolate.
Other fried items on the menu
Besides the vadai, The Original Vadai also offers other fried snacks in the menu. They are mostly chicken parts on skewers, possibly to appeal to meat lovers out there.
Take your pick from Chicken Wings (S$2), Chicken Liver (S$2) or Chicken Gizzard (S$2), all generously coated in their signature batter and deep fried to crunchy perfection.
There are also fried Chicken Skin (S$4) for a very indulgent post-meal snack, and a rather peculiar Bishop Nose (S$2) for the adventurous foodie.
Three stalls opened
With three accessible food stalls across the nation, The Original Vadai is a rare success story amongst businesses of its ilk.
For us foodies, its re-emergence has given us newfound hope and appreciation for street food that is at danger of becoming extinct.
So, the next time the cravings for vadai hit you, you’ll know where to go to get your fix.
If you’re on a hunt for other pasar malam favourites, check out:
Beach Road: Golden Mile Food Centre #B1-31, 505 Beach Road, Singapore 199583
Joo Chiat: 82 Joo Chiat Road
Amoy Street: Amoy Street Food Centre #02-84, 7 Maxwell Rd, Singapore 069111 (not halal-certified yet)
Halal status: only Beach Road and Joo Chiat outlets are MUIS Halal-certified
Opening hours: 12pm to 7pm daily
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