Located off the southern coast of mainland Singapore, Sentosa (Isle of Tranquillity) was initially known as Pulau Blakang Mati (Island Behind Death). Starting from the 1880s, the island was an important British military base with a number of forts built on it to protect the southern shipping lanes. In 1970, the island was renamed Sentosa following a naming contest organised by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board (STPB). The development of the island into a tourist and recreation resort came under the management of the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), which was formed in 1972.In 1980, the STPB announced plans for a second round of development to attract more visitors to Sentosa. The plans included the creation of a food centre on the island to curb the “hunger pangs” of visitors. Opened in April 1982, the $200,000 Rasa Sentosa food centre was located near the island’s ferry terminal. Some of Singapore’s top hawkers were invited to set up shop in the centre, where the stalls resembled pushcarts commonly seen in Singapore before the Second World War. Top hawker names among the centre’s 15 tenants included Albert Street Fatty Seafood, A1 Laksa and Prawn Noodles, Hung Kee Chicken Rice, and Charlie’s Peranakan Food.In 1983, the SDC announced plans to expand the popular food centre and the corporation’s food tasting committee went about scouting for potential new hawkers. Upgrading works began the following year and was completed by August. Food options on the island were further improved when the Island Food Centre, a new $500,000 open-air hawker centre, was established next to Rasa Sentosa in 1987.