13 May 2007

Joo Chiat - Past and Present (2) - 2 Food Delights

This post is a sequel to an earlier one written last year. Today I am featuring 2 of my personal favourite food stalls. Both are located in Dunman Food Centre which is situated along Dunman Road. At this food centre, your S$2 can still buy a decent bowl of noodles from the wanton woman (not the type who works in a nearby bar).

The weather in Singapore is particularly hot at this time of the year. Daytime temperatures can hit close to 40 degree C. In this intense tropical heat, a cold dessert is especially refreshing and thirst-quenching. Kens' Delights (Unit #01-01) sells scores of different types of hot and cold desserts, most of which are priced from 80 cents to around $2. The stall is run by the Lee family - father Jim (photo below), mother and son (Ken).

Most of their desserts that I've tried are nice and not too sweet. I particularly like the following 3 types:

1. Water chestnut (cold) - You will bite into lots of crunchy pieces of fresh water chestnuts in this dessert. Cooked with just the right amount of egg-white, it adds a distinctive texture and flavour to this very refreshing dessert.

2. White fungus (hot and cold) - You can find a lot of white fungi in this one. (No, they didn't grow in the pot while the dessert is waiting to be sold because this is a very fast-moving item.)

3. Barley with gingko nuts and beancurd stick (hot and cold) - One thing you will notice is that there are a lot of gingko nuts (fresh and not canned ones) in your bowl. For a cold bowl ($1.50), you can count anything between 5 to 10 whole nuts - certainly very good value for your money because gingko nuts are quite expensive.

If you are hungry for a snack, just order some soon kueh (60 cents each, main ingredients are turnip and dried shrimps) from First Delight (Unit #01-08) which is located just opposite the dessert stall. They also sell other types of cakes including png kueh (glutinous rice cakes), ku chye kueh (chive cakes), yam kueh (yam cakes) and chui kueh (steamed rice cakes).

This 10-year-old stall is usually manned by the cook Mdm Ng Hwee Kiang, 57, and his son Mr Patrick Goh, 37. Their kuehs are all handmade and freshly cooked at the stall. The skin of their soon kueh is soft, smooth and thin. (No wonder there is a Sunday Times newspaper article dated 5 Apr 98 displayed at the stall which is titled "Beauty really is skin deep". The article was written by Teo Pau Lin.)

Have a big bowl of dessert plus two soon kuehs and you'll still have change left over for $3. Eh, where to find? Some time ago, I even brought Chris to try out the dessert stall. (I can't remember whether I treated him or vice versa though - got to ask him since he seems to recall such details better.) Recently I brought another friend to sample their desserts. Both of them liked the desserts very much. You should try them too.

Disclaimer: I am not related in any way to either stalls and I am not paid in cash, desserts or kuehs for writing this post.


tigerfish said...

I miss soon kueh and choo and ku chye kueh. Png kueh is also my dad's fav !
I must ask him if he buys from here before.

And Dunman Road food center used to have this wonton noodle stall where the chilli is duper hot! Long long time ago, we used to call it lao sai mee since after that plate of wonton noodles-dry, with their chill, sure to visit the toilet *lol*

Victor said...

Tigerfish - Yes, I remember the wanton mee on the upper level with the fiery hot chilli sauce and you had to wait quite long to be served too. I think the name of the stallholder was "Eng Ko" or something like that. The stall had probably changed hands already.

I can't cook but I can review my favourite food stalls. Next up will be a nasi lemak stall nearby that has people queueing for it. (Inspired by your recent nasi lemak post, hehe.)

Lam Chun See said...

Saw an interesting slogan in a Malay/Muslim food stall in Serangoon recently.

"If you don't like our food, tell us. If you like our food, tell your friends."

Victor said...

That's a good one, Chun See. Since you're not telling us where this stall is, I guess their food is "so-so" only.

Shilpa. said...

Halo, this must be where you took me, too! :) Sorry for the parking ticket and thanks for everything else!

Victor said...

Shilpa - Yes, you are one of the friends I was referring to. (Wish I have more than 2, haha.) Wah, you sure have a good memory yourself - I've already forgotten about the parking ticket. I take it to be my share of contribution to "Gahmen's welfare". Don't mention about everything else either - it was my pleasure.