Soon Heng Hot and Cold Desserts: Hawkers we grow up with
I get a lot of different reactions whenever I pull out my DSLR camera. Some hawkers ask why I am taking photos. Others continue to work as if I wasn't there. But when Mrs Yang saw my camera, she quickly struck up her kawaii pose!
Liang Zhao Ji has been around since the 1960's and started off as a roadside stall outside of the Hoover theatre in Balestier. The stall moved to its current location at the Whampoa Drive Food Centre in 1978 as part of the government's initiative to clear the hawkers off the streets.
The Original Katong Laksa: It really is the Original!
We are living in the days of fake news, fake food, fake brands and fake accolades. I don't know about you, but it really irks me when new restaurants pop up claiming to trace their lineage back to the 60s or to be the original one from Tiong Bahru or Toa Payoh or Queenstown. But if you try to dig a little deeper, you hit bottom pretty soon, because the claims turn out to be as shallow as the soup in a fine dining establishment.
I have been a fan of Wah Kee since the earliest days of the blog. In those days, I was quite crazy and would identify all of Singapore's most famous prawn mee stalls and go blog about them. I was on a quest for the best and after the first round of tasting in 2007, I already felt that Wah Kee was the winner.
Legendary Bak Kut Teh: The future is bright for BKT!
In recent years there has been a spate of new Bak Kut Teh restaurants opening up. We can probably attribute this trend to the success of Song Fa Bak Kut Teh which managed to strike upon the right formula in translating the traditional dish for a new generation of Singaporeans.
Ye Shang Hai Teochew Porridge: Taxi Driver’s Haunt
This Teochew Ah Hia is your typical “hao lian bah“. The saying goes that Teochews are “hao lian” (like to brag), Hokkiens are “dua bian” (big cons). If you don’t believe it, just pop by Ye Shang Hai and talk to the boss! But the good thing about being “hao lian” is that they make extra effort to make the food good so that they have something to be “hao lian” about.
This is one of the few stalls I know who still insists on using pork lard to fry the oyster omelette. Their typical plate of oyster omelette is 70% crispy and 30% gooey which is a very nice combination of textures. For those who have dentures, you can also request for them not to fry it too crispy, so that you can still gum the the gooey bits.
Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbeque: Classic Hainanese Western Food!
You can find all sorts of authentic Italian, French and American cuisine in Singapore nowadays but back in the 70's when I was growing up, western food meant Hainanese chicken and pork chop and steaks served on sizzling hot plates.
Ho Guan Satay Bee Hoon: Pioneer Generation Hawkers!
Satay Beehoon and cuttlefish kangkong belong to that category of hawker food which may be best described as "niche". Some hawker dishes like chicken rice, roti prata and carrot cake are so much a part of the Singaporean identity that one really cannot be considered a true blue Singaporean if you have tried these dishes in your life. (Ok lah, vegans excepted) But I am very sure that there will be some readers here who have never eaten Satay Beehoon before, right?
Teck Seng Soya Bean Milk: Handmade Heritage Beancurd
If you visit Tiong Bahru food centre in the mornings, you will notice a few stalls with long snaking queues. One of them would be a stall selling beancurd. On the face of it, this looks like a typical beancurd stall that you can find at any market. So, what makes this stall so special that people are willing to queue up for half and hour for a bowl of bean curd?
Hong Heng Fried Sotong Mee: Michelin Guide Hawkers!
The Michelin Guide has put Singapore’s hawker food on the world gastronomy map with the announcement of 2 One Michelin Star Hawkers this week, viz Hillstreet Tai Hwa Bak Chor Mee and Hong Kong Soy Sauce Chicken. Now we can boast that Singapore is the cheapest place in the world where you can eat at a Michelin Star establishment! Two dollars! Yes $2 is all you need to eat a Michelin Star meal!