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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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This usually sells out very quickly so if you happen to see it in the display case, don’t hesitate to order.
The fish roe is cut up and fried till crispy so it is really addictive eaten by itself or thrown into your bowl of porridge.

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Felt like having something simple, so off we went to “Ah Chiang‘s Porridge” in the charming neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru.
It had been at least half a year since we dined here so I decided to have their basic Mixed Pork Porridge which comes with sliced lean meat, minced pork, liver and intestine. On a side note: Weirdly enough, as much as I love eggs, I have always felt they have no place cracked into a bowl of porridge. Does anyone share the same view about this?
Anyway, we rounded off our order with a plate of watercress stir-fried in garlic, fried fish roe (this usually sells out fast so I was glad there were a few plates of it left) and some 油条 (“you tiao” or fried dough sticks).
Hmmm... I guess in the end it wasn’t that simple a meal after all 😆.

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Decent but not quite as good as when I use to have it on an almost weekly basis more than a decade ago. The main reason being the fried pieces of pork are much thinner now which means a less satisfying mouthfeel when you chew but at least, they are still tasty from the marinade. I don’t see the point of getting the small serving because it only has two slices of the meat. Makes more sense to opt for the large and add a fried egg.
Actually, this isn’t even the signature dish at this eatery. It is, like their name suggests, the fried wanton mee (they do it with a dark sauce) that most people come here for. I haven’t eaten it myself in years but judging by the tables of customers having the #friedwanton noodles that day, I’m guessing it is still very popular.

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Just because a brand has several branches, it doesn’t mean that all are equally good. So for example when it comes to “Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh”, I for one, prefer to visit the outlet on Rangoon Road.
Besides the pleasant laidback ambience of the standalone eatery, it has a little station for me to help myself to as much raw chopped garlic, and big and small fresh cut red chillies as I like. It may be a small thing but it matters a lot to me because those condiments make all the difference to my enjoyment of their “bak kut teh”.
In addition, I feel that operations here run smoothly and service is good. All of which contributes to a satisfying meal.

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Thanks to my parents, I just learned that the popular “百年 Yong Tau Fu” has an outlet in Viva Business Park in Chai Chee. If I am to split hairs, I think their version is a little different from the original stall in Albert Centre Market & Food Centre. The pieces of “yong tau foo” here seem a tad smaller, are cooked a little softer and are available in a wider variety. Not that I mind any of that because ultimately, it‘s still really tasty.
They offer a bowl of beehoon soup with a fixed assorted mix of handmade “yong tau fu” pieces at either $4.90 or $5.90. I liked how fresh and flavourful every item tasted. Even the clear soup had a good depth.
The chilli sauce is quite the killer despite its cheery bright orange colour. So if you are the kind who can’t handle spicy food, I suggest you approach it with caution.

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This is the unhealthiest thing you can order from the stall but everyone doesn’t seem to mind because (strange) logic dictates that fried chicken wings is the ideal thing to complement the healthy “yong tau fu” 😆.
A serving comes with 4 wings, and each has the drumlet separated from the mid-joint and tip, so you get 8 pieces in total to munch on. I am guessing they marinate the chicken in some kind of fish sauce because of the strong, savoury and slightly pungent aroma. The skin is fried till very crispy but the meat within, is juicy. Can be too addictive 😅

When I am unsure if I will like the chilli sambal at a random stall, I prefer to order my noodles 白 (baí) or “white”. Which means it’s prepared sans chilli, ketchup and vinegar. But sometimes, if the rest that makes up what’s left, that is, the invisible sauce (usually soya sauce and some sort of oil) is a good blend, the outcome can be a heap of surprisingly tasty noodles. More often than not, pork lard oil is the reason for that. I then just toss in sliced red chilli and dig in.
The sole “meepok kway teow” stall inside Brunners Coffeeshop proved to do a most enjoyable version that I would definitely return for.

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It is clear that the egg pratas are made with attention. I like that compared to the average one out there, they are slightly bigger in size and not oily. I like to order mine with sliced green chilli as I feel its fresh, almost-fruity spiciness is a nice addition to the fried dough.

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I don’t think I am wrong to say Hainanese Curry Rice is the messiest hawker food around. But at the same time, that is what makes it instantly recognisable to most Chinese Singaporeans. Whatever you pick from the few dishes on display, unless it has a distinct shape (like my piece of fried fish), inevitably becomes indistinguishable once the signature curry gravy and dark braising sauce are poured over.
I am honestly, not one for gravy-drenched rice but will make an exception for this hawker food because well, what’s the point of eating it otherwise. So when my dad and I visited “Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice” in Tiong Bahru recently for lunch, I gave a nod to aunty’s raised brow and poised ladle. She swiftly drenched our plates in their signature coconut milk-rich, slightly sweetish curry, followed by a chaser of braising sauce.
We were satisfied with our lunch and I was pleased to see the deepfried pork chop is as resolutely crunchy as ever, standing up to the flood of curry like a champion. The steamed egg was lovely but it would have been better if I could have had a fried egg. There’s nothing quite like a runny yolk, don’t you agree? 😊

What I really enjoy here is the “shui gao”. Skin is thin and the filling of minced pork and prawn is one of the more memorable ones I’ve had - fresh, juicy and tastily seasoned.
I recommend getting a bowl of these babies to share when you visit Koung’s Wanton Mee.

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I blame my foodie friend Leon. After seeing him post about his last few visits here, I had “Koung’s Wanton Mee” suddenly squatting in my head and refusing to budge until I got my butt there. Glad I got my fill of their traditional taste wanton mee after so many months although I must add, I don’t recall their chilli being so sweet previously. Or maybe it is because my palate has grown familiar with the more savoury taste profile of the one at my go-to stall: “Joo Chiat Ah Huat Wanton Mee” 😅

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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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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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