Saturday, May 29

Chinatown and Kreta Ayer food centre

Non Chinese Chinatown food haha!

Location: Chinatown (Kreta Ayer) food centre (near Outram Park MRT)

Website: more about the food centre (go to the part about Chinatown complex food centre)

Price: ~$1.50 each for popiah (薄饼), $1 for 4 chwee kueh (水粿), $5 for bah ku teh (肉骨茶)

Food:




Popiah: I never heard of this before coming to Singapore. My host family said the Vietnamese spring rolls reminds them of popiah. I guess the shape is similar but the taste is not! The skin is crispy and a bit transparent like a crepe - the filling is a sweetish sauce, with crunchy peanuts, bits of egg, and lots of preserved vegetable. Like durian, this was another Singaporean food that I disliked when I first tasted it, but the taste is growing on me.




Chwee kueh: I was surprised when stores with the label "水粿" (which means fruit in Chinese) sold these white rice cakes with diced (oily) preserved vegetable filling and chilli. There seems to be an interesting history behind the name and origin of this dish. Anyway, I personally can't tell the difference between chwee kueh from one store to another. Some stores are said to have better texture in their rice cake but I like the smooth, soft and melting texture of them all (perhaps it would take me another few years in Singapore to notice the subtle differences).

P.S. this is cheating because the picture was taken when I ate chwee kueh at Changi village a few months back. But it's ok because to me all chwee kueh looks the same, except the one at the market was served on a sheet of brown paper vs a plate.

Bah ku teh: had bah ku teh the last time I came to Kreta Ayer food centre. I wrote about it recently in my other blog. The one I had here was peppery and white (Singaporean version vs the herbal Malaysian one). Tasted good, but it was pricey and too much meat makes you feel a bit sick after awhile...

Other: not too fond of this kind of food markets because it's large and you walk around many times before deciding on anything to eat! Environment is dark even in broad daylight and a bit ugly?

Rating: 2.5/5 (food is ok but I don't like the place much)




Later my friend and I had dessert at Chinatown food street (hawker centre)

Location: Smith Street (near Chinatown MRT) - see here for more precise directions

Website: see what the place looks like

Price: ~$3 for the bowl of glutinous rice balls

Food: We had the glutinous rice balls (see above) in peanut soup. My friend especially likes the peanut soup, I thought it was surprisingly nice too. We had one of each flavour which (if I remember correctly) were green tea, yam, lotus paste, red bean and sesame. The yam was my favourite :)

Other: the food and environment here looks nice (but crowded). But hey, isn't it weird that the middle of food street in Chinatown is Singaporean hawker food rather than any "real" Chinese food!

Rating: 4.5/5 yum!

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