Sunday, 5 August 2012

Singapore is an island that is blessed with lots of good eating places. By that, I am not referring to the fanciful restaurants that we find at all shopping malls. We are talking about streets lined with eateries and our popular food centres that both tourists and locals must check out.

This post will be on a popular food centre that most Singaporeans and even tourists are familiar with.

Indeed, we are speaking of this food centre which gets really crowded in the evenings. Rows of food stalls line the food centre. This place serves what most Singaporeans would say 'local fare at its best'. We arrived shortly before 6pm which is a good time to check this place out before it starts getting packed. We saw famous local treats such as Prawn Noodles, Char Kway Teow, Rojak, Ngor Hiang and freshly made kuehs. What was also an interesting sight was a long queue in front of a stall selling pasta and several food stall serving Western cuisine. Nothing is complete without the Tze Char stalls which serves up cooked food and the seafood stalls.

And so, the first dish we decided to try was the Char Kway Teow. Scouting the place, we were drawn to this stall which had a long queue. This stall was also introduced to us by a member of our Facebook group Makan Time! and so we decided to check it out.

We were in the queue for half an hour and as the legs started to ache, the level of expectation increased. I remember saying "This have better be good!". This stall is called Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow located at #01-12. Pricing starts from $3.00 per plate up to $10.00. Choice to add prawns is available. Operating hours is from 10:00am to 12:00am (Weekdays) and 11:00am to 12:00am (Weekends) with their rest day being Tuesdays.

Here is our order of $4.00 Char Kway Teow with chili and cockles. With the smoke till rising, we dug in and oh... I must say, it was worth the wait. The noodles were tasty and not too spicy. It was loaded with Chinese sausage, beansprouts, spinach, egg and a generous portion of cockles. The plus point being the 'Wok taste' as the noodles were fried over high heat. Nice.

Next up, we decided to try out the Western food. Well well, I have heard of the the London Grill but since there was quite a lot of people eating from the other stall, Holy Grill, we decided to order from the latter. 

Well, the ordering system is pretty simple. Just order a main course and choose 2 side dishes to go along with it. They have a variety of poultry, fish and steaks that you can choose from for the main course. We decided to order a simple grilled chicken chop with sides of baked potato and pasta salad for $5.90. They will serve it to you so all you need to do is to provide them your table number.

Hmm... This was actually quite disappointing. The meat felt a little overcooked. It was not tender but a little hard and dry. The sauce was a diluted version of brown mushroom sauce. The pasta salad was normal and the baked potato was dry and bland. So I guess we should have just stuck with local fare instead. 

Moving on, we decided to try from stall selling seafood. I didn't get the name of the stall but it has a white color signboard and is located opposite the Taiwan Porridge stall. We ordered a dish of Crayfish and since it was a famous stall, we were quite certain that it would be alright.

Perfect. The crayfish was fresh and its natural sweetness preserved in its flesh which is moist and tender. The shellfish was lightly seasoned with salt and steamed. It comes together with chili and lime as side condiments and costs $18.00. The price is not fixed as most Singaporeans would know. Seafood here is charged usually by weight and season so avoid seafood if you intend to stretch you dollar here. Also, from what I hear about this stall, there is no definite operating hours and they do not open every day.

With our stomachs filling up, we decided it was quite enough that we have eaten since we needed to leave some space for our stomachs. So, dessert here we come. 

I guess everyone has heard of Lao Ban Beancurd. They currently have outlets at Maxwell Food Centre and One Raffles Place too. The length of the queue was an approximate of 3.5m long and it is a common sight to see people holding on to several bags of beancurd. Each container of original flavor beancurd costs $1.50. From our observation, the average number of beancurd ordered per customer is 10 containers.

Smooth as silk is its texture and it is light on both the palate and stomach. Every spoon of it is simply irresistible. So it is no wonder that we too, left the place with bags of beancurd too. 

I supposed the next time we come back for dinner here, we will check out the other popular dishes such as Rojak, Claypot Chicken Rice and more. Till then, we will continue to check out other food centres.



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