Saturday, July 5, 2008

Gimme more Ghim Moh

Neighbourhood hawker centres in Singapore are an incredible concept - an intoxicating amalgamation of cuisines from different cultures and countries, brought together within walking distance of your home at a fraction of the prices you will pay for a restaurant meal. More often than not - incredible dishes are born from these culinary communities and some hawkers have achieved rock star fame thanks to the plethora of food guides, TV shows and blogs that publicise their greatness.
Breakfast in a local hawker centre is a great experience - so much to choose from - will it be Roti Prata? Wanton mein? Cantonese porridge? What about all of the above washed down with freshly brewed local coffee sweetened with gooey condensed milk? Heaven.
Mum and I found ourselves in Ghim Moh market this morning for breakfast after an early game of tennis. I'm not sure if it was the exercise or just the amazing blend of aromas at the hawker centre that prompted us to want to order... everything. But we restrained ourselves.
We decided to start with fried carrot cake ($2) from Hock Soon Carrot Cake (Stall #01-18). This came highly recommended by a friend and it was pretty good. A good amount of chye poh (pickled radish) and pork fat was evident and the chilli used had just the right amount fire power. The radish cake and eggs were fried to a crisp without too much grease often found in other versions of this dish. Delicious.

We then proceeded to order from one of our favourite stalls at this market - the steamed yam cake and steamed glutinous rice from Rong Yuan (Stall #01-19). The yam cake ($1.50) is always consistently good - fresh from the steamer, this dish wins with its great texture from the right mix of yam and tapioca starch. Filled with dried shrimp and garnished with sesame seeds and crunchy fried shallots, this is one dish you could eat lots of. Rong Yuan also does a fantastic steamed glutinous rice ($1.50). Filled with chopped up Chinese sausage that has been pre-fried, dried shrimp and topped with roasted peanuts, fried shallots and spring onions, the rice with its just right bite is accompanied by a delicious sweet chilli dipping sauce. Awesome.

Sipping on the freshly brewed local coffee - we decided that we still needed that final dish to satisfy our ravenous breakfast tummies... and what better way to finish it than to meet the Ghim Moh rock star himself - the char kway teow hawker. Guan Kee (Stall #01-12) is a bit of a legend at this market and has been recommended in food blogs, food shows, food everything. And the indication of his fame? Perpetual long qeues and an average waiting time of 25 minutes for your plate of char kway teow (starting from $2.50). What I discovered however was that part of the reason for the long waiting time is due to the owner being very... very slow at frying each plate of char kway teow. So slow because unlike most hawkers - he fries his rice noodles - twice. Yes - he removes the char kway teow after the initial stir fry before throwing it back into the hot wok for a second fry up with seasoning and the all important cockles. The result? Tasty - very tasty char kway teow with great "wok hei" which is well seasoned without being too greasy or sloppy.
Ahh... what a way to start the day and what a way to end a very satisfying breakfast. Breakfast at Ghim Moh? Rock on...


  © Blogger template Brooklyn by 2008

Back to TOP