Hawker Delights

Hawker Delights

One of the best things about living in Singapore is our hawker food. Even though prices have risen over the years, I still count myself lucky to be able to enjoy such variety in freshly-cooked dishes that are easy-on-the-pocket.
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

Although my firm favourite is #fengjikwaychap at Jalan Batu Hawker Centre, I do make it a point to try “kway chap” from different stalls. More so when they are operated by older hawkers.
Such is the case for this one located inside the not-many-know-it-exists Jalan Benaan Kapal Food Centre. If you go during peak hours, do note you’ll need to exercise patience as the elderly couple takes pride in how they serve their food but are, quite understandably, a little slow in their movements.
I always order a mix of everything for @huatkaliao and myself. Their style of “kway chap” is decidedly “gao” (thick) and that applies to the “zhup” (braising sauce) and bowls of “kway” (rice noodles). The mouthfeel they’ve seemed to aim for is the opposite of Feng Ji’s which is light and clear. I must admit, the heavier textures of stickiness and starchiness have their own old-school appeal which is hard to find these days.
If you enjoy “spare parts”, don’t miss out on this stall’s pig’s tongue and very bouncy pig skin. They do them exceptionally well, in my opinion.

To be fair, I shouldn’t even draw comparisons between this massive serving of Singapore-style Fried Hokkien Mee for 8 pax and the typical smaller plates served at hawker centres or coffeeshops, because Henry Lau, our host and chef, had mentioned that his food costs for this dish is disproportionately high (seems like it is due to what is needed to make the stock).
Anyway, as he was frying this dish, I was thinking to myself, how much better can Fried Hokkien Mee be, right? But trust me, THIS WAS MIND-BLOWING! No wonder @ramenking2018, the organiser of our dinner, sang such high praises of it.
I swear there is some kind of powerful chemistry at work in Henry’s version. Obviously, the components that play vital roles are the concentrated stock (which Henry quite understandably, preferred not to divulge anything about), the equipment used, the extremely strong fire, Henry’s finely-tuned cooking sequence (he is careful about what goes into the wok and when), the insane amount of pork oil (it tasted so full-bodied and fresh) and minced garlic in frying, and the cubes of pork lard that remained miraculously crunchy on the outside even after being simmered for a time (Henry said it took many attempts to perfect them). All these and more amalgamated into a swoon-worthy shiokness I couldn’t resist having three servings of.
And when his homemade sambal belachan was mixed in (it sings with a lyrical note of fresh lime juice), shiokness went right off the charts.
I will create a video post soon about our entire meal at @liufusifangcai (it costs $80 per pax, and the menu is decided by Henry) but as you can see, my number one dish of that evening needed its own post first.

To make a booking, please Whatsapp Henry at:

8525 0020

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Never really been a fan of 包 or “bao” but I’ll make an exception for the pork one at Tanjong Rhu Pau at Blk. 7 Jalan Batu.
Produced fresh daily by hand right on the premises, theirs are a mouthwatering combination of thin skin and a very generous amount of deliciously-seasoned, juicy filling. Yums!

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G I F T
How good is @kinhoi.sg’s food? Well, after trying the food they had delivered, my family insisted I place an order IMMEDIATELY.

It was the Cockles that reigned supreme ($20 per box). They ranged from big to huge but what impressed most was how spanking clean they looked and tasted! None of us had ever encountered fresh cockles like these. In the mouth, they were slippery-smooth, and had an almost muscular crunch which was close to pornographically good. The bloody, metallic flavour I associate with cockles was really quite undetectable. To top it off, the accompanying spicy-sourish Thai chilli dip was excellent.

We liked the Collagen Soup with Clams too as it lived up to its name. Swipe to watch my video and you can see the unmistakably thick consistency. The shellfish in there were plentiful, decent in size and fresh.

Even the meats held their own very respectably. We loved how tender and well marinated the Thai Honey Grilled Pork was. And unlike what its name suggests, the pork wasn’t too sweet ($12).
Although the Melting Beef or “Nuea Yang Suea Rong Hai” ($12) didn’t appear as sexy as the pork dish, it was on par in terms of deliciousness.

We are looking forward very much to lunch this Saturday because that’s when I’ve ordered another round of Kin Hoi’s delicacies for us to enjoy again.

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Although the casual eatery is named @_sweetelicious_, I’m pretty sure it is their food menu that draws the crowds.
Occupying a corner unit on the ground level of Bukit Timah Shopping Centre (#01-03/04) this family-run business, from what I’ve heard, make their own noodles.
Having tried both their Mee Hoon Kway and Ban Mian ($5), I would say pick the former if you like a firmer bite and the latter, if a slightly softer and slurp-able chew is your thing. I am happy with both - it comes down to the mood I’m in when I visit.
Because their soup is on the sweet side (and that isn’t my thing), I am firmly “Team Dry” when it comes to how I prefer my noodles. Also added into each serving is minced pork, two kinds of meatballs, crispy ikan bilis, Chinese spinach (if you want extra vegetables, just pay 50cents more - it’s what I do) as well as delicate frills of lacy fried egg. The main reason why I zero in on their dry version is the savoury sambal and sauce mix they toss the noodles in - I find it really shiok.
Do note, unlike most “ban mian” stalls, there isn’t a visible whole egg in theirs.

I was intrigued after seeing @renztan post about her favourite hawker for roast duck being resurrected, so when I found myself in the area, it was a no-brainer to pop by People’s Park Food Centre to give Toh Kee Roast Meat (stall #01-1016) a try.
Ordered the roast duck, “sio bak” and char siew. All were good with the first two meats being my preferred, and the super juicy and crunchy-skinned roasted pork belly edging out the duck for number one position. This stall does not do sliced cucumbers or sweet sauces. Instead, they scatter some nutty boiled yellow beans (which I love) over the meats, and serve a bowl of runny, savoury dark sauce alongside (it is recommended to be splashed on your rice).
I was told by Sky, grandson of the founder of the now-defunct Toh Kee Roasted Duck stall (note the small name change due to the expanded offering), that he uses the same recipe for his duck. Since I have never had the original, I am unable to draw a comparison but it was tasty (breast meat could have been tenderer though). Enjoyed it most when paired with their customised plum sauce.

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A gem of a Penang-style Char Kway Teow that was too good to not repeat. So after we wolfed down plate number one, I sprang off my chair to put in another order - also a large ($6) and with extra chilli as well.
We agreed the young man manning the stall, did a great job with the frying. The plate of rice noodles had proper “wok hei” and a respectable amount of beansprouts and chives. Unlike the Singapore-style Char Kway Teow which can be a little (or a lot) wet and sweet, this was dry-ish and savoury through and through. Which is exactly my preference when given a choice.

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I could very well be the last person in Singapore to try “Mr & Mrs Mohgan’s famous crispy prata 😂 And my first visit wasn’t even planned. It was a spontaneous decision after I found my favourite “Joo Chiat Ah Huat Wanton Noodles” in the basement of Dunman Food Centre closed.
One of the items I ordered was the Coin Prata (an order has six pieces) and it was outrageously crispy. Each small swirl of slightly flattened dough was fried to a gorgeous golden-brown, and when I pressed down on it with my cutlery, it broke into thick, flaky chunks that were crunchy yet still slightly chewy in the middle of the folds. Amazing. Considering I tend to gravitate towards the cushiony style of Prata (which is why my default is an Egg Prata with Green Chillies), I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Will definitely return soon for more.

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Brunched at Toa Payoh the other day and decided to give “Da Cheng Kway Chap” (stall #02-14) a try, mainly because I liked what I saw on display - namely pig’s ears!
To be frank, I still prefer “Feng Ji Kway Chap” at Jalan Batu but I did enjoy this stall’s. Their braised items have an old-school taste which I appreciate and variety is wider than most. For dipping, they provide a chilli sauce with a decent kick and proper acidity. The “kway” (rice sheets) is on the thick side and tends to clump but nothing a bit of chopstick action can’t fix.

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One of my favourites for “chap chye png” (economical rice), a perennial comfort food at hawker centres for many of us, is “Hong Kee Chicken Rice”, a stall located in Jalan Batu Food Centre.
What I like very much about it is that besides the assortment of vegetable stirfries and other dishes, this hawker also offers roast chicken, duck, “sio bak” (roasted pork belly) and dark sauce-braised pork belly which he chops up when you order. His food has a very appealing home-cooked tastiness and is hearty in portion. You can request for a bowl of chicken soup as well. Once in a while, he does a simple stirfry of cured bamboo shoots with chilli which I love. Whenever I spot it, I need to get double servings of it.

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While sauntering towards a noodle stall, we did a double take when passing “Golden Scissors Curry Rice” (#01-40) because their display was just too enticing. @Huatkaliao and I immediately decided to get a plate each. While he picked their Set A which consists of a piece of tender, properly braised pork belly, a fried egg (if only the yolk was runny!) and soft stewed cabbage with rice, I decided to go the a la carte route. That’s how my order ended up being the bigger of the two because besides the fried egg and cabbage, what I really wanted to try were the Pork Chop (it‘s thin, very crunchy and well marinated) and Stirfried Brinjal (enjoyed this a lot as it had a tasty and mildly spicy sauce). I found the stall’s #curry gravy more fragrant than most, and it possessed a consistency that suited my tastebuds - not too thick nor starchy. Plus it paired deliciously with the “zhup” (dark sauce from the braised pork belly).

Bottomline: I would definitely return when the urge for “Curry Png” hits, especially since it is located close to home. As their meats fall on the small / thin side, I plan to add on an extra piece the next time.

I know the other stall at Old Airport Road Hawker Centre is very popular but my parents and I have been happy ordering from Xiang Ji Lor Mee (stall #01-18) for a couple of years now. Anyway, rumour has it that the owner of “Xiang Ji Lor Mee” use to work at that stall but modified the dish to make it his own when he started this business (FYI - the only other dish he sells is Zha Jiang Mian).
What makes us return customers is the gravy which is decently flavourful compared to many others, and the generous toppings (to be fair, I always order the $5 bowl). I like that their fish comes in big chunks and isn’t fried till crispy oblivion but I do feel the braised pork belly, as flavourful as it is, could be sliced a little thicker for a more satisfying chew. Another plus point is they don’t blink an eye if you ask them to spam a Lor Mee’s all-important condiments of raw minced garlic, sambal, chilli padi, cilantro and black vinegar.

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