Happy Hawkers

Happy Hawkers

Because these food gets such deserving special mentions, you will be willing to forgo the air-conditioning (in many instances).
Siming T
Siming T

This Knife Shaven Noodle came from the Farmosa Delights stall at the entrance of Food Opera (a more “atas” version of Food Republic). Although the noodles were shaved off the large roll of dough in full view of the customers, it somehow did not have that chewy texture that I was expecting. Nonetheless, it was a decently large portion of noodles with pieces of beef hidden under the dark, densely-flavoured broth.

With just a S$0.20 top-up, one would get peanut butter squeezed directly to their Peanut Mee Chang Kueh (S$1.00) to get the extra sticky, extra yummy experience.

But I must say that the best reason to buy a Mee Chang Kueh as dessert or snack was because regardless what flavour you would choose, you would still get these pancakes slapped with generous serving of toppings, making it so enjoyable.

On the other hand, the only downside that I could identify was that each piece of Mee Chang Kueh would come in different sizes. From the photo, the one with coconut was apparently the largest because of the part of cut. Whether you would get the “bigger slice of the pie” or not, perhaps, was solely based on luck, since you could not choose the part of the pancake anyway.

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Tucked at the deep corner of the second floor of Hong Lim Market & Food Centre was this stall that almost seemed to be famous for their Curry Fried Chicken Cutlet Noodles / Rice (S$4.00). Fortunately, I was able to place my order at around 1-plus in the afternoon, as they would have closed for the day if I arrive after 2.00pm (largely depends on whether they still have anything left to sell).

But coming back to the curry noodles (still puzzled me if curry was a Cantonese thing), I was impressed by how the freshly-fried chicken cutlet complemented so well with their curry gravy. The noodles did not disappoint either, as I was happily slurping them down as well. And I must say that self-service garnishing and fried pork lard just added extra “shiok”-ness to the already awesome meal!

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Perhaps it was time for the famous Chef Pang of Antoinette to answer the calling to sell something closer to his heart, he wound up the chain of patisserie restaurants and founded Pang’s Hakka Noodles in July this year.

While it was a little disappointing that I did not get to meet Chef Pang in person at his stall, I was quite happy that their Signature Hakka Noodle Set (S$9.50) was quite worth the deal, with two fermented beancurd fried wings to go with the Hakka Yong Tau Foo. The noodles was cooked just right with a nice bite to it. Some might argue that the noodles was too oily, but the oil was also the reason for the noodles to stay fragrant (say yes to lard) not to turn lumpy.

However, my only gripe about this meal was that takeaway paper containers were used in place of reusable crockery, which somehow eroded a bit of the feels for authentic cuisines.

Selling at S$1.50 per piece, this beauty was made of braised pork belly of a golden proportion of lean meat and fat, making every bite so intensely flavoured, yet so sinfully delicious. And so, it did not make sense to just stop at one.

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Teck Ghee Court had a congregation of some really awesome hawker food. Ren Ren Chicken Rice and Snacks, might be one of those Halal-certified places that was located at the car park entrance, away from the Food Centre. Being a stand-alone restaurant, they also sold other items like Wanton Noodles and Chicken Porridge, but it probably did not make sense if I did not want to try their Chicken Rice (S$3.50) at all.

I would say that their rice was done pretty average. While it captured most of the essentials that fragrant rice should have, it might still be a familiar taste like what one could normally get. Their roasted chicken had juicy meats, but I thought the skin was towards the dry side.

With a top-up of 50 cents, the restaurant would throw in a cup of iced calamansi juice. Service was quite fast on the whole, so especially if you would want a quick meal, this place could get you covered.

I was drawn to this place thanks to mothership.sg’s publicity, because the Lok Lok food truck in Johor Bahru (yes, those with those loud techno music playing at the background) was usually a mandatory pitstop for me for supper before heading back to Singapore. Now, with this stall’s opening at a Ang Mo Kio coffee shop, did that mean that I would not have to go to JB for this anymore?

Business was brisk over here, possibly because the owners were still selling each skewer at an introductory price of S$1.00. However, I was not expecting a waiting time of 30 minutes or so, so my bag of drink was almost finished before the food could come. Guess that somehow also revved up the expectation by a bit, as other tables were supplementing their Mookata and Zi Char with this.

To be honest, I really liked the broccoli because they tasted just like how most Lok Lok stalls in JB would have cooked them. However, I was really hoping that he other items could taste as exciting as the only green vegetables that was available for ordering today. The heat of the oil might also not be hot enough to cook the items fast and to ensure that the cheese in the tofu could at least reach the molten stage.

While it might be impossible to prepare 60-over items like how those food trucks had amazingly presented to us hungry foodies, I somehow left wondering if the other skewers could have tasted as addictive as those from the opposite shore. To conclude, for now I would think that this stall would serve the nearby residents acceptably, but nothing would beat the real deal that could only be accessed with a valid passport.

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While Ah Heng Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee could be found in more than one location in Singapore, it was actually my first time patronising this stall and eating it for breakfast.

I knew there were many Michelin-endorsed food stalls housed in this food centre, but I would suppose this one, in particular, stood out with flavoursome curry that was not as dense as Laksa, forming a bath for the noodles and silky chicken with Tau Pok, sliced fish cake and curry potato. With a very swift set of movement, the cook scooped and drained the curry from the bowl a couple of times before finally serving the dish, with the plating of the bowl kept intact. Skilful!

A S$6.00 medium bowl of this was definitely worth the try!

Let’s face it: a no-frill Iberico Pork Bowl from Ishiro that costed only S$5.00 dine-in (S$8.90 at delivery) was a hidden gem, little known to the masses.

I did not know what I had missed out until I got this via GrabFood, and when received I was a bit shocked by the big portion of rice topped with sliced Iberico pork, tempura crumbs and an Onsen egg. Such a neat presentation was alluring to make me want to dig in immediately.

While the scrumptiousness of the meal was undeniable, the only thing I would ask them to cut down on was the sauce, as the over-supply of it resulted in some difficulty trying to cleanse away the sweetness halfway through the meal. Yet, as I had said that the price was reasonably affordable, I might eventually try all their Japanese rice bowls to determine which ones I would favour the most.

4 Likes

This takeaway concept had recently attained their Halal certification, which means that they had extended their reach to a larger customer base.

From S$5.00, one could get a box of Egg Fried Rice that was cooked “a la minute”. The chefs stood behind a glass window, showing the whole process of cooking the fried rice in front of customers. As the short-grain Japanese rice was tossed in the wok with hot oil and egg, I could not help but marvel at how these chefs could stand there all day, frying rice and noodles non-stop.

Apparently, their fried rice was quite an impressive product, with television viewers voting Wok Hey as the best among hawkers in conjunction with the premiere of Fried Rice Paradise serial drama. While I must admit that the fried rice was not as consistently cooked over my few orders, the flavours of their Egg Fried Rice was on point and outstanding from most hawker stalls. To mark the double celebration with their certifiation, Wok Hey offered a free Tobiko (flying fish roe) topping for every pack of fried rice purchased on 6, 13 and 20 Sep. Very premium, I must say, but somehow I still preferred my fried rice as-is — it’s good enough!

5 Likes

It was a shame that Zhong Yu Yuan Wei was closed on Mondays and Fridays, but Lee Hong Kee had put up a worthy competition with their roast meats. How popular it was was simply reflected by the long queue in front of the stall, even before the lunch crowd could swarm in.

Their Char Siew with Roast Pork Rice (S$4.00) came with an option of sauce or no sauce. Obviously, the sauce could add some flavours and moisture to the meats and rice, since it would not come with soup by default. I liked the Char Siew for having a decent proportion of fat and lean meat (not as perfect as the 不见天 cut but still good enough), but the roast pork was a little disappointing for having a very thin layer of skin, and as a result the crunch was not as “shiok” (I preferred Roast Pork with the crackling effect).

The flavours were nice, but I wished I could feel fuller after the meal.

2 Likes

Putu Mayam, or Idiyappam in South Indian and Sri Lankan context, was essentially rice noodles pressed to a pancake form and steamed. Over at Belinda’s, her version of Puttu Mayam (S$1.60) came with two pieces of rice noodles that was already cooled, but they would also come with a pre-packed palm sugar and freshly steamed grated coconut which was packed upon order.

Ordinary as it might seem, it was unpretentious with very little room for error (unless if the grated coconut would go bad because of prolonged exposure to room temperature). And while the stall would not open on certain days, the Puttu Mayam would be available for sale by 6.00am in the morning. However, go a little later and both their Puttu Mayam and 面煎糕 (Chinese traditional pancake) would be sold out for the day.

1 Like

Siming T

Level 9 Burppler · 1009 Reviews

First world problem: What to eat for the next meal?

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