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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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When it comes to good “ban mian”, there are three stalls that I automatically think of. They are “Geylang Lorong 32”, “China Whampoa Handmade Noodles” (although I need to ask for less of their black sauce as I find their default amount much too sweet) and “133 面粉果“ at Blk. 216 Bedok North Hawker Centre. Visible in my video is the reason why I have been besotted with the Bedok one for many years.
Made by hand themselves, the “mee hoon kueh” is cut large but it is thin and a lot flimsier than others. It is always cooked perfectly al dente for a delectable springy chewiness with no flouriness whatsoever.
The dry version sees the #noodles tossed in a light mix of housemade fiery hot chilli, a little dark sauce and a touch of vinegar for lip-smacking tastiness.
Opened very early in the morning, there is a perpetual queue in front of the stall until it sells out. Their “mee hoon kway” is the fastest to go so if you want to give that a try, remember the saying about the early worm.

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I have always thought of “Kway Chap” as our local version of nose-to-tail dining.
In this dish you can find the less commonly eaten parts of the pig such as the large and small intestines, stomach and skin. They’re braised in a dark sauce along with other more normal items like the meat itself, “tau pok”, “tau kwa” and eggs till tender.
You can pick what you like or leave it to the hawker to mix and match a plate for you (he will do it based on the number of people sharing). Everything is chopped into bite-sized pieces and served with a splash of the braising sauce. The accompaniment is a bowl of “kway” (rice noodles that either come rolled or in broad, flat sheets) and a chilli sauce for dipping.
I revisited “To-Ricos Kway Chap” today after what seems like forever. To be frank, I was a little disappointed with my meal. Granted the innards were cleaned properly and didn’t smell at all but the meat wasn’t tender and the gravy tasted rather flat. I have also always preferred fried garlic and coriander on my “kway” but theirs comes with fried shallots. Guess I will stick with “Feng Ji Kway Chap”, my go-to stall in Jalan Batu Hawker Centre from now on. Besides, their chilli dip is way hotter and has a strong sourish tang that I adore.

While rambling around the old Arcade building in Raffles Place in search of an early lunch, I stumbled upon this four months-old eatery that specialises in “mee hoon kueh”. Their signature is the soup version but their handmade noodles (there are the usual three types to choose from) are available with laksa gravy or prepared in a dry style as well. I ordered the latter with a soft-boiled egg added on for an extra 50 cents (total price: $$6), and was delighted at how good it turned out to be.
The al dente pieces of “mee hoon kueh” were wonderfully soft and smooth with zero trace of flouriness. They also had a nice chewiness that made me think of a rather firm mochi that’s been sliced flat. With the egg broken and stirred around, the noodles became even tastier coated in its lusciousness.
The toppings were blanched “mani cai” (马尼菜 - the dark green bitterish vegetable that I love), some minced pork, sliced mushrooms, fishballs and meatballs. For the price and given the location of this eatery, the amount was good.
In terms of condiments, you can help yourself to sliced chilli padi in soya sauce, a savoury sambal and a thin, sourish chilli dip.
There is very, very limited seating here and it is pretty warm, so unless you go for a very early or late lunch, takeaway is probably a better option.

Check out how the hawker at “Syed Mohammad Drinks” at Amoy Street Hawker Centre “taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrriiiks” (pulls) his “teh” (tea).
Run by the third generation, the teas from this stall (#01-67) are worth a try because according to Dr. Leslie Tay (@ieatishootipost), their technique of aeration is unbeatable. He says he himself had tried replicating the drink using the exact same tea and milk but could not achieve the taste and foamy head that they are known for.
You can also give the “teh halia” here a try because they add grated young ginger that’s imported from Indonesia.

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M E D I A T O U R
From “Quan Ji”, stall #01-57 at Amoy Street Hawker Centre that specialises in “zichar” dishes, comes the utterly sinful and unbelievably tasty “Wong Po Lou Meen” (literal translation: Yellow Cloth Noodles).
The thin egg noodles and “chye sim” are first blanched then tossed in a criminal amount of pork lard oil and oyster sauce. Over this fragrant heap goes a freshly-cooked prawn omelette that is thick, silky-soft and perfumed with a maddening amount of “wok hei”.
There is only one portion size for this dish and it costs $20 but it is big enough to be shared among 3 to 4 people. I can’t wait to return for this soon - it is just too delicious.
Thank you Dr. Leslie Tay (@ieatishootipost) for introducing this stall to us as part of Singapore Tourism Board and City Gas’ “Heritage Hawker Spotlight 2018” for the Singapore Food Festival’s media tour.

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Some time ago, my friend Jo Lee had responded to one of my Instagram Stories that this stall’s fried oyster cake is the one she likes most. So it has been at the back of my mind to give it a try. Today, after slurping up a bowl of Sungei Road Laksa, I waddled over to Berseh Food Centre to hunt it down. And I’m so glad I did because this is gratifying to the nth degree. Thanks Jo! 😄
Made fresh upon order, each Fuzhou oyster cake takes form through the process of spooning batter onto a flattish ladle, arranging the filling of oysters, prawns, minced pork and fresh herbs, then on goes a little more batter to cover that plus some peanuts and ikan bilis, before the whole thing is carefully lowered into very hot oil and deepfried till audibly-obvious crispiness.
All the effort pays off as the result is incredibly delicious. I love how fluffy and soft it is on the inside and the exceedingly fresh seafood and minced pork have such a lovely natural sweetness. If you want to enjoy more of that filling, order the $2.50 option like I did.
There’s a bottle of chilli sauce on the side to spice things up if that’s your preference but I thought the fried oyster cake tasted very good on its own. So I suggest trying it naked first.
Understandably, some waiting time is needed as it looked to me they don’t pre-make their food here. So thank goodness for beepers. Each person is handed one that will go off when their order is ready for pick-up.

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Took my parents to try the new “Eng’s Char Siew Wantan Mee” and I am glad to report it met with their approval. Whew! 😅
Besides giving a thumbs-up to the more comfortable space to dine in, my dad said the noodles were very good and my mum praised the dumplings. Being the chief spicy food-lover in our family, she also squirted Eng’s signature fiery chilli sauce onto every boiled wantan she popped in her mouth.

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Sometimes I get a craving to have this simple dish of rice noodles and clams simmered in a light sweet broth. I wouldn’t say this one was that tasty but at the point in time, it was good enough.
I had ordered it from the “zi char” stall located closest to the beach at East Coast Lagoon Food Centre. Like their neighbour, they also take up two units. If you want to give the food here a try, just look out for their blue signboard (sorry, didn’t take note of the stall name or number), or just sit around the area because sooner or later, someone is bound to approach with laminated menus in hand.

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Since the Mee Siam at “J & A Snacks Delight” has become a recent favourite of mine, I was curious to see if their Mee Rebus would impress me just as much.
Well, it turned out to be really tasty. I liked that the fragrant gravy wasn’t too starchy and had a lovely hint of curry. The yellow noodles were cooked just right and came topped with a decent amount of “tau kwa”, a whole hard boiled egg, slices of green chilli, fried shallots and fresh “kng chye”. With a squeeze of the lime, the flavour profile brightened, making the entire bowl even more appetising.
I have to say though, as satisfying as this was, I feel the Mee Rebus at “My Makan Place” on Tanjong Katong Road still wins by a tiny margin with their more complex tasting gravy. It is however, also almost twice the price.

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I had unearthed this gem one afternoon from a little eatery named “J&A Snacks Delight” located at Blk. 7 Jalan Batu. And it is my favourite Mee Siam at the moment.
The bodacious gravy is super “gao” (thick) and packs a spicy kick (even without sambal) as well as a mouthwatering sourness that keeps my picky tastebuds deliriously happy.
A must-try if you love your Mee Siam cooked in this style. And while you’re there, order their Popiah too. They do a tasty one.

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Because of Boon, one of Burpple’s engineers who’s also really into finding good food, I found out about a stall named “Fresh Fish Soup” in the basement of Golden Mile Hawker Centre.
This $5.50 serving has a yin-yang combo of clean and sin. On one hand, there’s the thin slices of mackerel and light tasting soup ($5) to trigger smugness in me because I felt like an angel for choosing a healthy lunch. On the other, because I topped up 50 cents worth of wispiness, I went hurtling down to the lowest level of unHELLthiness. But what can I say, fried egg tendrils will always have me in their deadly clutches.

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Inside Fengshan Hawker Centre are two stalls with the same name of “Chai Chee Pork Porridge”. My parents say the one that is open at night (#01-23) is much better than the other. So naturally, I had to try a little from their bowls of fish and pork porridge when we dined together last weekend.
Although I haven’t eaten from the other stall, I do trust my parents’ taste in food. True enough, I did find it very tasty despite not being really into porridge all that much.
This hawker cooks the rice grains till very fine and extremely smooth, almost creamy in fact. Its plain looks also belie how flavourful the porridge is.
The slices of fish were clean-tasting and fresh but if forced to choose between that and the pork version, I would pick the latter. Only because I love the sweetness of pork in porridge.

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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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