Dabaogram: An Instagram account that restyles hawker food into elaborate works of art

Restyled laksa from Alexandra Village Hawker Centre. Photo: Dabaogram/Facebook
Restyled laksa from Alexandra Village Hawker Centre. Photo: Dabaogram/Facebook

Hawker food is fuss-free, affordable and convenient. We’ve all had our fair share of hawker meals — whether it’s lunch at your favorite neighborhood food centre or a dish you ordered to dabao (takeaway) back to the office.

However, for all its virtues, the one thing hawker food does not possess is beautiful plating. Of course, that’s hardly a strike against it — no one expects busy stall owners to spend precious minutes delicately crafting a $4 bowl of noodles. But if you’ve ever wondered about the aesthetic potential behind local classics like laksa, nasi lemak, chicken rice, kaya toast, and chwee kueh, look no further than Dabaogram.

This impressive Instagram account that transforms regular ‘ol takeaway hawker food into fine dining-esque works of art is the passion project of a group of friends — essentially, the team behind local production company Casual Media and a chef who goes by the alias Vanesse.

Building off the idea that hawker food is better savored on the spot than packed to go, the guys decided to experiment with local delicacies — to take them apart and reassemble each element — to see if the public would deem each dish tasty-looking enough.

Check out a few of their gorgeously restyled plates below.

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