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Hawker Gems

Hawker Gems

Sometimes the best foods are hidden in the heartlands
Lee Pei Yi
Lee Pei Yi
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Small ytf with 2pc fried chicken wing ($5.80) and large ytf ($5.50)

Not quite the usual yong tau foo we know because you can’t choose any of your ingredients. Instead, you get a selection of fried beancurd, white, gold and black beansticks and prawn and pork balls.

All their ingredients are homemade but my favourite has got to be the pork balls!! With well-marinated meat and black fungus to add an extra crunch, the pork balls were just so springy, juicy and YUMMILICIOUS. I also liked that the soup was clear and savoury without being too salty to the point of unslurppable. Since you’ve already queued, might as well try the fried chicken wings while you’re here - pretty damn good too!

Overall, not quite mind-blowing but definitely a comforting bowl to have on a rainy day (like when I tried this!) 😌😌

Interesting take on Hokkien mee served sizzling in a claypot! While I wouldn’t say this is the best Hokkien mee around, this was still quite shiok with thick slices of pork belly, fried till crispy and fresh prawns and squid. The broth itself is flavourful but I think I still prefer the drier kinds of Hokkien mee with much more wok hei!

Tried the nonya chap chye, fried pork chop, ngoh hiang, lor bak, curry chicken wing and fried egg over rice drenched with curry sauce, lor (braised sauce) and a tad bit of chilli. The end result was simply HEAVENLY - comfort food that leaves your mouth exploding with umami and your belly so satisfied and so so happy. (Your pocket will also thank you - 2 plates with total 7 ingredients for $9.40??)

The show stunner was the ngoh hiang which was packed full of minced meat and lots of water chestnut, giving it a crunchy bite. Another shout out goes to the chap chye which was stewed to a perfect softness but not compromising on flavour. Last but not least, I HAVE to rave about the curry. It was thick and creamy yet not too surfeiting with just the right amount of coconut milk.

Pro tips:
1. FORGET YOUR DIET, get rice with all 3 sauces and enjoy this plate of curry rice on roids :)
2. There may be a queue but it moves really fast and it is totally worth queueing for.

Was craving popiah like crazy and when we went to Chinatown, I knew I had to get my craving satisfied at Ann Chin Popiah! I like to think of popiahs as pillows and for $1.60, you sure do get a fat fat pillow filled with lots of ingredients. The addition of crispy crackers really added an addictive crunch to contrast the flavourful and cooked until mushy radish. There was also a nice touch of garlic - just the right amount unlike some places where the garlic just overpowers everything.

Will miss this when Chinatown complex is under renovation for 3 months :(

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Looking at all this colour just makes me so happy!!! All ingredients on this plate are freshly prepared so they’re never ever soggy or cold and stale. Since I’m not a fan of ikan bilis that most leichas have, I like that this version comes with sweet radish instead. You can also choose between beehoon or brown rice.

Pro tip: While you’re queuing for your food, just pay attention to the boss who takes so much pride in cooking the food. Doesn’t it make you feel happy just seeing someone enjoying the whole process of food preparation? 😌😌

Practically can’t find any fault with this bowl of sickass chendol. All the ingredients were in the right proportion so that it wasn’t too sweet from the gula melaka or creamy from the coconut milk. Shoutout to the green jelly thing (sorry HAHA I really don’t know what it’s called) which was so soft that it basically melts in the mouth, making way for a strong pandan fragrance. You can tell that the stall owner auntie really puts in a lot of effort for every single ingredient and that’s what makes me really happy - people who use their heart to cook!

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Finally tried this one-Michelin starred BCM and I gotta say that I’m in love... The sauce, with vinegar, chilli oil and soya sauce in the perfect golden ratio, was absolutely UMAMI. There was also generous servings of the ingredients, special mention goes to the dumpling and fried flat fish which were verehhh yummehhh. Oh and how can I forget!!! The pork liver!!! Mind you, I don’t normally like pork liver because of the pungent smell but the ones here at Hill St Tai Hwa were not too overcooked and had a texture almost like foie gras. Swirl each slice a few times in the sauce and BOOM no stinky smell. So yes, never thought I’d like pig liver but I’m officially a convert.

Pro tips: Must order with chilli! Heard from a friend that without chilli, the flavour can be rather blunted so even though my spice tolerance isn’t very good, I went ahead with the chilli version. NO REGRETS.

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I find it difficult to find the herbal type of BKT in Singapore since most places just do the white peppery type. And so I was pleasantly surprised when this one proved to be so good! Unlike the white peppery type that tends to get a bit salty and just pepper overload after a while, this rich herbal soup broth has multiple layers of flavour that you can never get sick of. Plus it’s packed full of goodness of the pork ribs, mushrooms and taupok, it’s totally the kind of nutritional tonic soup your mother will ask you to drink more of, except this one actually tastes good! So it’s a HELL YES from me and I’ll definitely be back when I need some warm, comforting soup for the soul on a cold, rainy day.

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At $4.50 each, these two dishes provided far more satisfaction than I had imagined! I loved the lor mee broth that was thick and sweet, packed full of the goodness of the seafood ingredients (clams, prawns, squid).

I personally liked the fried mee sua more as I found it tastier (but that’s just me, my taste buds favour the heavier tasting foods). If only there was more fried pork belly!!

Overall, Heng Hua restaurant is an unassuming eatery to visit for simple, comforting Heng Hua cuisine, which may remind you of your mother’s home cooked food. While it pales in comparison to the Michelin star awarded Putien, what’s not to love with these budget-friendly prices?? I will be sure to visit again to try the honey coated yam slices that I loveeeee.

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Beneath the crispy golden exterior lies cubes of soft radish cake well covered in fluffy egg and studded with generous servings of chai poh (preserved radish). The chai poh was crunchy, sweet and a little salty, heightening the flavour of the whole dish.

You’ll notice that they have 2 stalls just a few stalls adjacent to each other. But fret not, they are essentially the same - business is too good so they had to open one stall just for dining in and one for takeaway. Yay to shorter waiting times!

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Original kekoumian and spicy kekoumian ($3/$3.50/$4)

Simple yet delicious bowl of goodness! Who knew maggie mee would taste this good in a thick and flavourful broth? This stall is run by an elderly couple, the auntie takes orders while the uncle cooks. Both of them were really friendly and nice. Had this on a cold rainy day and it definitely warmed my tummy and heart 😌

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Always on the lookout for good nomz

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