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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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Even though I was feeling under the weather yesterday, I had a massive craving for this Mee Siam from “J and A Snacks Delight”. It’s been my go-to ever since I discovered it a few months ago.
Unlike many others with their insipid gravies, this eatery’s is “pekat” (thick) and wonderfully potent in sourness and spiciness. I also like that besides a whole hard-boiled egg, they throw on both “tau kwa” and “tau pok” (most places omit one or the other). Other plus points include the fat, crunchy blanched bean sprouts and fresh “koo chye” (chives).
The ironic thing is since this Mee Siam is so intense in taste, the lady boss had to cut back to serving it only on Sundays and Mondays. She explained that the older folks in the matured HDB estate of Jalan Batu found it too much to handle.

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I think this could do with more dried longans but overall, it’s decent tasting and the serving is large (which at $2.20, it had better be).
I got it from stall #02-113, one of the very few (if not the only one!) local dessert stalls in this hawker centre.

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The “beehoon” or rice vermicelli is pre-fried in “rempah” so the strands are a vivid orange in colour and already a bit spicy. Although this is touted as “dry”, there is a bit of thick sauce ladled on around the side which tastes like a reduction of the Mee Siam gravy. I like it actually as I think the dish would be a bit too dehydrated otherwise. For toppings, there are pieces of “tau pok” (saturated in the same gravy) and a whole hardboiled egg. Not bad in terms of portion size either.

After all the rich and heavy meals I’ve been having of late, this fried beehoon with luncheon meat, egg and cabbage was the one thing I wanted for breakfast today. Obviously, it isn’t light or healthy by any stretch of imagination but for sheer comfort food, it was the embodiment right then and there.
The bonus is finding out that stall #01-20 at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre does an above average rendition. Furthermore, they seem to cook their toppings in small batches so they taste fresher. Will be back for more soon.

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This plate of braised chicken feet is not typical in any way.
It’s sold at “Joo Chiat Ah Huat Wanton Noodles”, a stall in the basement of Dunman Hawker Centre that’s very popular for their wanton mee (I’m a fan). Plus, it doesn’t taste anything like the ubiquitous chicken feet you get at dim-sum places because well, it’s cooked with sliced ginger, dark soya sauce and sesame oil. The smell and taste is exactly like “Mua Eu Kway” (Teochew for “Sesame Oil Chicken”) but there is more sauce due to the braising method used.
The chicken feet itself is fall-apart tender and I can’t think of a better way to eat it than to stick the whole thing in your mouth, suck and chew all the flavourful bouncy skin and gelatinous cartilage off, then spit the bones out into a spoon (do this gently so no one gets hurt).
One order is $4 and is enough to be shared between two if you’re also having noodles. Let me warn you though that you might be reluctant because it is really tasty.

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The easiest way to avoid the headache of choosing is to order both of your favourites. In my case, it happens every time I pay a visit here.
The dry version of their “mee pok” is a must because of the stall’s incomparable sambal chilli. I am so glad they cook the noodles al dente too.
Equally satisfying to me: their “kway teow” soup. Those slippery-soft rice noodles are served in a clear pork-based broth with crunchy beansprouts, minced meat, prawns and fish cake. Spammed with loads of fresh coriander and spring onions, it’s really tasty and proves a great foil to the spicy “mee pok”.
Finishing both bowls by myself can be a bit challenging so I always share the latter.

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When #makansutragluttonsbay reopens in early December this year after renovations, there’s going to be some interesting changes. One of which is the addition of a @meatsmith_sg stall headed by Chef @nicolwyw. On offer: a brand new menu of dishes that marry local flavours with Meatsmith’s experience and know-how in the American South’s style of cooking. And there’s going to be a range to suit different-sized appetites.
After receiving a message from the company’s manager, asking if I was keen to give their specially-developed menu a try (price: $25++ per head), I immediately agreed, and promptly rallied a few people including Burpple Tastemaker Jason Wong, for the lunch. The four of us managed to put away a substantial amount of food, washed down very nicely with #picklebacks and beers to start before moving on to the “Panch Phoran Punch” cocktail.
Prices at this place will start at a very reasonable $3 to $5 for smaller items like the very tasty housemade Jalapeño Cheese Sausage, Pulled Pork Deepfried Wantons (served with a Sweet & Sour Sauce) as well as sides like Salt & Pepper Fries with Sambal Mayo and Garlic Fried Rice.
The biggest ticket item we ate was the Roasted Suckling Pig Stuffed with Glutinous Rice. It came in a thick cross-section piece (all the better to enjoy the very crispy skin) and topped with a Fried Egg ($28).
I found the mid-price items of Salted Egg Chicken Chop ($9) and Char Siew Pork Ribs ($10) to be superb value as they’re hearty enough to be complete one-dish meals. In fact, the former, served with cucumber salad and garlic rice, was my favourite of everything I ate that day. The thick sauce was fragrant with curry leaves, sufficiently spicy and intense with salted egg flavour. I like that the chicken chop it smothered was grilled, so there’s an extra facet of smokiness to the taste profile.
You can check out all the food shown above at “Makansutra Gluttons Bay” from early December onwards.

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I got swept along in the current of promised pork. So today’s lunch became a roasted meats pig-out session with Burpplers Muriel and Raine.
Yes, ”Foong Kee” may be more famous for their smoky, dark-coloured “char siew” but their “sio bak” isn’t to be sniffed at. The crackling on it is very crispy and it dares to flaunt layers of fat as proudly as the hottest plus-size models of the world.
What’s not to love about that? 😊

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Possibly rarer than the pig trotter version these days is the shark meat jelly, another traditional cold dish popular with the Teochews.
Each springy piece has chunks of shark meat which are very soft, almost disintegrating to a powdery texture to be specific. Have no fear of fishiness as the smell and taste is neutral. To eat, just give it a quick swish in the accompanying dipping sauce which has a bit of chilli.
This delicacy is fast disappearing from our local food scene. So if you are open to trying it, please visit “Lao Liang Pig Trotter Jelly & Shark Meat” (stall 37) at Jalan Berseh Food Centre.

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Overall, this bowl of curry mee from “Sheng Lee Curry Chicken Noodles” (stall no. 45) was pretty good. Toppings for my $4 bowl include chopped-on-the-spot boiled chicken, fishcake and the soft “tau pok” and potatoes that had been simmering in the curry gravy. Speaking of which, it is fragrant and easy to slurp as the consistency is not too thick. The sambal chilli is memorable too for its roasted edge. But like I told the hawker who asked for my feedback very earnestly, the dish and/or the sambal, needs a bit more salt to hit that mark of real tastiness.

“Lao Huang Hakka Niang Dou Fu” is one of the tastiest “yong tau fu” stalls in Singapore in my opinion. I have been visiting it for years, sometimes at least once every week over a period of time.
Located at stall #01-108 inside North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre, this is a family-run gig. At any one time, dad can be spotted busily stuffing the “yong tau fu” ingredients while mum does the cooking and the daughter manages the orders.
Speaking of orders, we paid $15.30 for ours today but I am perfectly happy to do that as their food is very tasty and “yong tau fu” is undeniably labour-intensive, more so with different types of filling - 4 versions in total to be specific: boiled fish paste, fried fish paste, boiled minced meat and fried mince meat.
The highlight for me however, has to be the special minced meat they scoop on your order of noodles or rice. It is so appetising I could eat that on my own.
They start operations in the morning and tend to sell out by early afternoon so go early for greater variety.
One important thing to note is the stall is closed 3 days a week - every Monday, Thursday and Friday. So please remember to avoid those days if you don’t want to make a wasted trip.

The famously crazy-with-“wok-hei” Fried Mee Sua is well worth the many, many calories, contributed generously by the strips of boiled pork belly, prawns and crunchy pork lard.
It is served with a splodge of savoury sambal, fresh cut lime and chilli padi. But to be honest, this is one of the rare occasions I find the noodles so full-blown in flavour, I actually prefer eating it sans condiments.

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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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