Makansutra: Gems in Teck Ghee food centre
Have mee siam, fried carrot cake and old-school drinks in Ang Mo Kio
This week, I hit another spot in my hawker centre series.
I will not be surprised if the choices offered at this food centre are changed by the time I visit it again after making my way around the other hawker centres we have in Singapore, which come to more than 100.
But I am not complaining.
Here are my three picks from 409 AMK Market & Food Centre in Teck Ghee Square, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10.
#01-24, 7am to 12.30pm. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
This stall may have one of the longest queues in the food centre. We waited patiently for about 15 minutes for its mee siam and mee rebus.
They looked plain but came with generous slices of boiled egg, lime and sambal (even for the mee rebus).
Remember that Ratatouille movie moment when the unforgiving food critic drops his pen and is reminded of his childhood after taking a bite of the dish? I had that experience here.
The mee rebus had a simplicity to it, reminding me of the now-defunct Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak stall in Bedok.
Shi Xian's dish was neither complicated nor enriched with lamb stock or flower crabs - it had a good stock made with just dried krill and rempah and thickened with potato starch.
The lime gave it an alluring twist.
The dish had the old-school "Waterloo Street sarabat stall" sensation I had as a schoolboy.
Plus, the beehoon used was smooth, soft and slurpy, just how I like and remember it.
FRIENDSHIP COLD DRINKS
#01-09, 7am to 8pm daily.
It is hard to spot such a retro drink stall these days.
Old-school "wayang push-cart drinks" - named after the itinerant hawkers who sold food and drinks near Chinese street operas in the old days - are offered here.
The colourful selection includes bandung, pineapple, coconut, soursop, longan and homemade lemon barley.
Since the stall caters to a sugar-fearing older generation, it goes easy on the syrups.
Skip the canned drinks here.
LONG KEE CARROT CAKE
#01-19, 8am to 12pm or until sold out, with ad hoc days off.
This is a one-person show, and she is diligent and meticulous in her methods, although she does not smile much. The magic is her homemade kway, or turnip cakes.
Soft and wobbly, they are made with a blast of flavourful chicken stock. The eggs, roastiness of the turnip cakes and shot of fish sauce play second fiddle.
The stall offers only "white" carrot cake, and not the "black" version. When asked, the lady shrugged and pointed to the menu, which shows just one version.
Also, do inform me if you know of some hidden or vanishing hawker centre makan gems that needs a proper airing here.
K.F. Seetoh, the founder of Makansutra, dabbles in street food businesses like Food Markets and has his own TV shows on cable. He publishes food guides and online content. He is also the creator of the World Street Food Congress. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.