Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Hawker food at Newton Circus


Newton Circus Food Centre is probably the second best known hawker centre in Singapore, next to Lau Pa Sat, so much that both are usually crowded with tourists rather than locals. Nonetheless, there are still some good stalls if you know where to go. I usually hit my regular stalls here, but I ventured out to other hawkers to try my luck. I got mixed results.

The first one was a hit. Carrot cake, or probably better described as Chinese pan fried turnip with egg and spices, is a nice grease bomb to have. Instead of two usual stalls that I know to be pretty good, I tried stall #13, which was just as good as those two, if not better: greasy, spicy, and with an edge of crispiness. Thumbs up!


Unfortunately, the neighboring chicken wing place was horrendous, as if it were undercooked. So I tried another guy (stall 58 or 85? don't remember - am I dyslexic?) whose wings were much better, and also had some decently spicy-gingery satay. Thumbs up for him too.


Next was kambing mutton soup, from an aggressive hawker #33 that was raving about his "Power Chops." I should have known better than to buy from an aggressive hawker. The soup lacked spiciness (especially compared to other places), and he even got lost trying to find our table. When I passed by him later, he asked how I liked it, and I told him that it wasn't spicy enough. He responded that it was because tourists from Hong Kong generally don't like spicy food, so he kept it that way. Crap - I knew better than to order from an aggressive touter. He later explained to me that his "power chop" was nothing more than a western-style lamb chop served on a plate with potatoes.


Hokkien mee (local Chinese noodles with seafood) was also present, but I never really like Hokkien mee. When it's cooked, it smells amazing due to the heavy garlic and grease. But it doesn't taste like it smells as there is this slimy texture in it, instead of a dry texture that is needed to bring out the garlic and grease combo. Actually, the taste is still OK by itself, but I just dislike Hokkien mee because of how "misleading" the preparation stage is.

A pleasant way to finish the meal was "honey sea coconut" (some kind of a coconut infused with honey) and nata de coco (a white gelatin-type thing), in shaved ice. It didn't look too appetizing, but it was a very surprisingly sweet yet light and refreshing dessert with a good punch of honey taste. I was wowed by this one. Good stuff. Don't judge a book by its cover, I guess.

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