Can you see a bright future for Char Kway Teow?
It’s good to see that at 62, this Char Kway Teow uncle is still going strong. He has been frying Char Kway Teow since 1967 and like many hawkers, he used fry with a charcoal fire on a pushcart, always running away from the Dae Gu (Health Inspectors). He got caught so many times that he became friends with the Dae Gu. I suspect that perhaps the Dae Gu might be a Char Kway Teow fan too! So much so that the Dae Gu would often ask him to run away with his pushcart when he comes! Since settling at Margaret Drive Food Centre, this uncle has been getting a steady stream of fans and you can easily spot his stall from the long queue that starts to form from around 5pm when he starts frying.
There is another reason for the long queue apart from the fact that he has many fans. This uncle fries each plate of Char Kway Teow individually. Most Char Kway Teow hawkers tend to fry a big batch and might fry 4 or 5 plates at one time. This man insists on frying each plate one at a time. Of course, he would pre-fry one large batch first and then leave this in a big steel bowl before dishing it out for the final fry when you order the Char Kway Teow. This is the reason why he only frys around 200 plates in the old days at Queenstown. Since moving to his new locations, business has been slowly picking up again but it is a good time to visit him since his queue is nowhere as long as it was before.
The Char Kway Teow might lack the nostalgia of the old stall but it is still very very good. He is still very generous with his cockles despite the fact that he is still selling at the same price but the rental had increased five fold. This uncle is an expert at preparing the Pork Lard. He uses only fats found at the rib portion of the pig and prepares it so that the Pork Lard disintegrates with one crunch, releasing its alluring flavour. Combined with the slippery, savoury Kway Teow, every mouthful really is well worth the calories! 4.5/5
This is classic Char Kway Teow fried with passion. If you are a Char Kway Teow fan, then a visit to this stall is a necessary pilgrimage.
You can read the previous blog post here.
Hai Kee Char Kway Teow