Have you ever tried such good, comfort hawker fare, feeling both familiar & familial, that it fills a long-lost gap left behind by the inexorable outcome of every stall we love?

Food, arguably the only stimuli for our sense of taste, hence weaves integrally into our bedrock of memories. A child's tastebuds are most alive; compensating inexperience with receptiveness, and explaining why most children hate the detected bitterness in vegetables.

When I was in primary school, my family's favourite stall in Dover Market was a Teochew Porridge-esque stall, simply affectionately nicknamed "Maid Stall" for their seemingly endless work hours & diligence, which on hindsight, was terribly un-PC of my parents. I guess that's how it is with our favourite hawker stalls; ask for its name and we'll stumble, ask where it is and we'll bring you there on the double.
It was the stall that introduced me to the concept that vegetables, specifically cabbages, could actually taste great; not mere formalities to a balanced diet, but highlights of a meal.

But "Maid Stall" eventually succumbed to every hawker's Death & Taxes - old age, increased rentals and a dearth of successors, and while some stalls can be 'resurrected' by "Our Makan Places Lost & Found", my childhood stall stayed dead.

Thankfully, I had an Anton "Ratatouille" Ego moment with West Coast Market's 吉星 Hainanese Curry Rice.
Perfectly braised & delicious Cabbage, with an almost pink complexion, as well as overboiled Brinjal which was just the right texture of mushy, are both terrific vegetable choices.
Skip the obvious Pork Chop, which theirs is rather skinny & dry, and opt for their Meatball, which is tender, moist & flavourful.
Added an egg, cause why not.
Finish off with a ladleful of curry, which isn't spicy but delivers on its Hainanese taste in spades.

Our best hawker food picks may not be still around, and our hawker food picks may not be the best, but when a good stall hits close to home - I'm open to suggestions but mm, it's good enough for me.