Sunday, September 23, 2012

Singapore's Identity: Roti Prata

Today we went to a prata outlet at Clementi. It is located below the public housing estate. It occupies 2 shops space and one of it is allocated as the sitting area for customer and has air-condition.
When we enter the shop, a guy actually greeted us with a big smile. It was not common for a prata shop to do this.

We sat down and the menu was served. It is in a thick folder.
I ordered: 1 egg prata, 1 plain prata and a coke light.
Samantha ordered: 1 Nasi Goreng and 1 Teh Halia.
The bill came out to be about $10.

I think it is a good business selling prata. They could modify the prata by adding some other ingredients and 1 prata could cost up to $4. Such prata shop would be quite profitable. I noticed that there is a trend of upmarket prata shop to hire PRC to help out.

Singaporedream team would rate this outlet as an expensive and yet normal standard prata shop.
The prata shop trend is not about food. It is about hanging out.

The prata shop is always a place to go after clubbing. It also served as a meeting point for bikers to hang out. Although some prata shop are very pricy but the owner allow us to stay and chit-chat as long as we want… if our cup is not empty. Usually they will not chase us away even we do not order any big meal from them. Also, many prata shop is located at places where we could park our vehicle within our sight and so convenient for vehicle owners.

Importantly, what we notice is that prata is something very Singapore. All races would come to the prata shop to eat and hangout. The 3 main races: Malay, Chinese and Indian. This is one of the very few places that we, Singaporean, has an identity.

The PRC would eat at the Sze Chuan food outlet.

The Pinoys would eat at the San Jose Papa restaurant.

The new India immigrant would eat out… hmm, never see them eat out before… they are always in a pair and have a stroller. We witness many at Clementi Mall and Jurong Point. Their baby/child would ridiculously do something, like sitting down on the floor crying and shouting for something, doing things as if he/she owe the whole shopping mall. Their parent would quickly attend to he/she and pamper them. these new baby/child are our new immigrant. What can you see in 15-25 years when they are older which they carry such family and social values? I can see.

Point here, I am not talking bad things about our new immigrant friends. I would want to welcome them and help them to adopt to Singapore life, but this is not my first priority. What come very first is our own citizens, like my dad. He came from China and served his National Services for 6 years in the police force in the 1960s – 1970s. He contributed to nation building when Singapore back then was much simpler. So as your parents, when the nation needs you, we would step forward and help.
Going back to the prata topic, it is one of our very own identity where all our races share…

Don’t you agree?

1 comment:

Keith Hooper said...

Hi Goh - I found your blog from Horizons Unlimited ( We are on a RTW motorcycle trip (in stages) from New Zealand back home to England. Our motorcycle is now stored in Kuala Lumpur, and we will re-start our ride again from KL later this year, on December-27. See my blog for details:

We are home in England now, but will be returning to KL on Thursday October-18, to deliver some spare parts for the bike, and to go to the Malaysian Moto GP. After the Moto GP we will take a bus down to Singapore on Tuesday-23 October. We fly back home to England (from Changi Airport) on Friday-26 October.

So we will have three days to take a look around and explore Singapore. During this time we would love to meet-up with a friendly local biker for a meal, or just a drink, who could tell us where to go and what to see in Singapore. So can we meet-up with you when we are there?

Contact me by e-mail if you would like: keithooper[at]


All the best