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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
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A long-time love of mine, this stall’s handmade noodles are still the freshest in taste and the most refined in texture in my opinion.
My go-to is the dry “mee hoon kway” (can’t believe a $2 serving is still available here) because I am, and will forever be smittened by the piquant blend of the aunty’s homemade chilli, black vinegar and dark sauce. It’s a must to drop in cut chilli padi too for that extra kick.
The soup version is just as good, albeit lighter in taste. Hence, why I caved and ordered both this morning for breakfast. #sorrynotsorry
You can choose to have their handmade noodles with “yong tau fu” or sliced fish instead of the standard minced pork and fishballs. Just make sure to reach the stall early to avoid disappointment.

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One of the dishes I use to have quite a lot whenever I visited China was the 番茄炒蛋 (“Egg with Tomato”). A simple stirfry of fluffy eggs and soft, juicy wedges of tomatoes, it’s the kind of comfort food I frequently seeked out, especially during the colder months. And I always had it cooked fresh with a bowl of hot rice.
Recently, I found a stall inside Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre that specialises in mainland dishes, and they happen to serve the same 番茄炒蛋 with noodles. It’s a combo that works well too because the soup becomes sweetened a little by the tomatoes.
The stall also has about half a dozen 小菜 (appetisers) on display that you can pick - they make a good side dish or an appetising snack with beer. I tried the crunchy strips of pig’s ears tossed in a mild “ma la” dressing and found it really addictive.

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As I was queuing up at “Xin Fei Fei Wanton Mee”, I noticed an elderly couple at the stall alongside preparing “ngoh hiang”. Once they were ready to take orders, on came the lights. After taking a closer look at their food, it dawned on me that what they’re selling is actually pretty special so I abandoned my noodles for the more sinful “ngoh hiang” at #01-07 instead.
No regrets though because it tasted even better than expected - traditional in style and really delicious. The prawn fritter was the most impressive of all the items as it’s made on the spot with fresh prawns and beansprouts. I also love that their sauces include pickled onions for an extra dimension. A word of advice: Don’t skip the beehoon no matter what, because it is incredibly flavourful having been fried in pork lard oil.
What’s sets this “ngoh hiang” stall apart from others is that you do not pick the items yourself. Instead, just let the aunty know how many of you will be eating and the uncle will prepare an appropriate portion of a mix of whatever he has. From what I gathered, the cost for one person is $5 and two, $10.
Do note they only open from 12noon to 2pm daily. So don’t arrive too late in case their regular customers (and they have many it seems) clean the stall out.

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I have come to two conclusions regarding my favourite prawn noodle stall in Singapore.

1. It is best to visit it on Mondays.
This is possibly the quietest day for them so it’s easy to find a seat and the wait time for your food to arrive is brief. As you can imagine, weekends are usually a bit crazy with an endless stream of customers.

2. The $10 bowl is the one to order.
I graduated from the $5 bowl to the $8 eons ago but have realised in order to feel gleefully sated, nothing beats the large serving. My go-to these days is shown above - the soup version with a mix of yellow mee and beehoon, prawns, pork ribs and pig’s intestines. Sometimes, depending on my mood, I also add on liver.

As a few of you have pointed out, “Da Dong Prawn Noodles” is not cheap compared to other hawkers but I believe in paying for quality and what gives me joy. Plus that broth of theirs is seriously to-die-for.

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Although not quite as challenging as the queues commanded by Michelin-starred hawkers, the one at the much-talked-about “Ma La Hotpot” stall inside Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre is still a test of patience. Especially at dinner time on a weekend. #whatwasithinking.
Regardless, the reward for my long wait to order, followed by another wait for the food to be prepared, resulted in a massive bowl filled with a very fragrant and tasty stirfry of mixed vegetables, “tau pok”, luncheon meat, sliced pork belly and I-can’t-remember-what-else-because-I-just-kept-pointing. The price? $9.50.
Anyway, I liked that the dish was not too oily and every item in my bowl was cooked to its optimum. For example, the radish retained its juiciness and crunch while the “tau pok” was soft enough to soak up the sauce. Considering this was achieved during the mad dinner rush only goes to show how good this stall really is. You can colour me impressed.

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The couple who owns and runs this stall are true blue Penangites, so you can be sure their food lives up the name of “Penang authentic”.
They take great pride in ensuring accuracy in the taste and go the extra mile of making their own chilli to deliver on that front. I also find it impressive that their pork lard is prepared fresh daily so there is no stale smell when it’s used for frying. I like to get the $6 medium portion and add on cockles for $1.50. Makes the long journey here more worth it 😄
If you like Penang style Hokkien Prawn Mee, you can give theirs a try too. It is available in soup or dry versions.

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“Wok hei” that can bowl you over. It is this invisible ingredient which is integral to the success of the “Fried Mee Sua” and other fried noodles at the popular “Yong Huat”, a stall inside AlibarbaR coffeeshop in Katong.
Be smart and leave your conscience at home when you plan to visit because the indulgences here can leave it scarred for life.

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I know many people zero in on the dry version of the noodles here because this stall is well known for adding a lot of black vinegar to give a tangy flavour. But I find that the way they prepare the soup, so rich from the concentration of minced pork, makes the soup version of the noodles a winner.
You can taste the freshness of the ingredients in every bowl. Even if you don’t really like liver, you must give the ones here a chance because they are cooked perfectly and are very soft, almost creamy.

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Housed in a corner coffeeshop next to the huge Smith Street Market and Food Centre in Chinatown is this porridge institution. I have always gone there for their frog leg porridge but I tried the pork one last night and liked it very much too.
For $4.50, it sure was chockfull of sliced pork, meatballs, pig’s liver and intestines. The porridge itself was properly seasoned and fortunately, not too sludge-like. I am not fond of eating porridge that has the texture of wet cement.

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Although technically, it cannot really be considered as the healthiest thing. Especially not when the dishes picked include braised sesame oil chicken, “giam chye buay” (stewed preserved mustard greens) and “chai por nng” (fried egg with preserved radish).
I guess it is the simplicity of the hot, plain porridge (sometimes with sweet potato making a cameo) that has always given me the impression I am eating clean and light, and therefore, healthy.
Oh, the lies we tell ourselves 😂😂

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Fried one plate at a time, the “char kway teow” here has an intense smokiness, almost to the point of a charred fragrance. It is what blows me away about this hawker’s version of the dish. He also throws in crispy pork lard which in my opinion, is mandatory. Two kinds of vegetables are included - beansprouts and “chye sim”. I like how they give the noodles a bit of a lift and crunch.
Do note this stall does the Singapore-style of “char kway teow” which means a thick and sweet black sauce is drizzled in. Frankly, I prefer the savoury Penang style but because of the way this hawker does his frying, that sweet sauce gets to be a bit caramelised. The result is a very tasty plate of noodles I would queue for again.

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Introduced to me some time ago by Burpple Tastemaker @blueskiescottonclouds, this fish soup stall is one of those at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre that I frequent when I am in the area. They offer a slightly wider variety than the usual, so besides the commonly found “batang” (Spanish mackerel), they have prawns and red grouper, as well as more unusual items such as fish roe and “shirako” (sperm sac).
My most recent order was red grouper with fish roe and “yee mee” for $8. For greens, I picked the bittergourd over the other leafy choices this time.
In case you are curious, the other carbs available are thick and thin beehoon and rice.

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Can't cook to save my life but boy, can I eat! 😄 (I pay for all my meals unless otherwise stated)

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