Sunday, November 20, 2005

“All we need is just a little patience”

As most of our Hawker centres are tragically begin replaced by cleaner and more uniformed white floored food courts, I hope Hong Lim Market & Food Centre and our remaining “old school” hawker/food centres will remain and never ever torn down and have another ultra modern glassy multi-story building with a white floored food court at the basement. Hong Lim Market and Food Centre is quite a treasure trove of good food – char kway teow, prawn mee, bak chor mee, hor fun, etc – all you need is a little patience and preferably a cool afternoon, with a breeze.

Outram Park Fried Kway Teow
Blk 531 A Upper Cross St.,
#02-18 Hong Lim Market & Food



Our lunch was had a char kway teow agenda, we were headed for the famous and relatively cheap Outram Park Fried Kway Teow. The wait is about 20-30 minutes, so get a table, place your order and then order nibbles from the other stalls to fill up the time in between. The char kway teow is worth the wait, the kway teow is silky and soft, the sauce is garlicky and sweet and the hum (cockles) that it comes with and super fresh. When you think about it, char kway teow is pretty much a poor man’s food, much like the pomodoro in Italy. With the pomodoro, they bulk it up with bread and the easily accessible produces like tomatoes, and for us, we add a cheap meat, the seahum. Nonetheless, our forefathers have all found a way to make food tasty, and this dish and numerous plates still consumed everyday.

Tai Wah Pork Noodles
(Opposite Outram Park Fried Kway Teow)

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Other than the char kway teow, I made a beeline for the queue for the Tai Wah Pork Noodles stall, which is located opposite the bustling Outram Park Fried Kway Teow. The downside is that you have to stand in line for this award winning bowl of noodles. It can get rather hot, so what you can do (as I did), order a packet of sugar cane juice (or soya milk/chin chow) from the nearby stalls, and sip away to keep cool while standing in line. I watched the dance between the two stallholders: one takes the orders and assist the cook by keeping watch on the ingredients and topping them up when necessary. The other focuses the cooking with his all his moves - with a quick flick of his wrist, he adds the vinegar, chilli, sesame oil and lard – together they form a pretty well oiled noodle stall. The noodles were yummy. I think the secret of their success is in the vinegar, it was tart with a slight mellowness and the dumplings that came with it had a good skin-filling proportion.

The downside of these two stall is the wait, but if you have a little time, patience and a love for food, why not?

“All we need is just a little patience”
- Patience, Guns and Roses

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2 Comments:

Anonymous spots said...

gosh, this is so near my house - i must try it! thanks for the post!

1:46 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

I think Zion Rd's food court has the best Char Kueh Teow shop in Singapore. Similar to those I get back in Malaysia. It's at this little corner, in the food court.

1:41 PM  

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