I do miss the cheap hawker fare that is popular with the majority of the population, and make it a point to indulge every time I return home. Yes, very unhealthy, but still much cheaper and better than MacDonald’s. 🙂 A friend and I had breakfast at the Whampoa Food Centre next to the Whampoa Market on the third day of the Lunar New Year. Most of the stalls were not open, everyone was still in a holiday mood. My favourite chai tow kway (fried carrot cake – savoury) stall was open, but I was disappointed to learn that there was no carrot cake on offer that day, and all they had was the char kway teow (fried noodles with sweet soy sauce). We also shared a plate of mee siam, a Malay dish of spicy soup with rice vermicelli.
The thing I dislike about the food centres is the sensory assault – tacky sticky grubby tables, chairs, grimy floors and a crazy mix of smells as all the different kinds of food are being cooked inside the individual stalls. If I weren’t such a foodie, I’d never step into a local food centre at all. But the prospect of gustatory pleasure helps to make up for the sensory overload that I suffer. I of course prefer to get a take away, and enjoy the food in the sensorial comfort and cleanliness of home, however, that is not always convenient.