Day Night Fried Kway Teow: The Search for the last Char Kway Teow Men!
With the publication of my book, “The End of Char Kway Teow”, this particular hawker dish has suddenly become an icon for endangered hawker dishes. So I am on a mission to find the last of the Char Kway Teow men and in particular, I am hoping to find some Gen Y Char Kway Teow men, if they are any out there.
This particular stall was recommended to me by Soundman who has been eating here since he was only a tweeter. (Now he is a subwoofer). The first thing that I noticed about the Char Kway Teow is that instead of using the usual Kway Teow, they have a thinner version that looks very much like the Penang kway teow. But make not mistake, the taste of the Char Kway Teow is distinctly Singaporean as it has the cockles and the sweet black sauce.
The Char Kway Teow man here is in his fifties and is a 2nd generation Char Kway Teow man after his father passed on the wok ladle to him. He tells me that he has been sourcing his thin kway teow from his supplier for years and he likes it because the kway teow has a better, more lively texture. Another interesting thing about this Char Kway Teow man is his wok. Its got no handles! It looks pretter wierd, almost like the back of some sort of Mongolian shield.
Speaking of Char Kway Teow woks, I don’t know if you notice, but most of the famous Char Kway Teow men I know have their own specially designed woks. They all seem to like a shallow, wide brim wok because they like to spread the kway teow and noodles over a wide area. Some of them even have specially made wok ladles. I remember one guy even had a wok ladle that had 80% of it sawn off so he was using a wierd looking contraption with a ladle the size of a tablespoon at the end!
Soundman was right. The Char Kway Teow here is indeed very good. This is definitely another “finish the whole plate” plate of Char Kway Teow. When it is piping hot, the kway teow is quite wet, but quickly settles to a nice consistency. The Kway Teow is lively and leaps off the chopsticks easily into the mouth to coat it with the magic combination of sweet sauce, lard and charred kway teow flavour. 4.25/5
Aside from the visual difference, I wasn’t quite sure if the narrower Kway Teow was that much better than the normal width Kway Teow. Overall, its a plate of Char Kway Teow worth spending a few calories on.
This food centre has closed for renovation – does anyone know where this fried kuay teow stall has relocated to?
I have no idea.