Friday, 28 June 2013

Our local Hawker centre

Block 54 Marine Parade

Thought I would mention our local Hawker Centre at Marine Parade. It was opened in 1976 and has 54 stalls.

According to google there are 107 hawkers centres in SG and thats not taking into account the indoor food halls that are air-conditioned and replacing some of the traditional outside hawkers centres.
Hawker centres were introduced in the 50s and 60s to replace the unlicenced and unhygienic street hawkers. They are predominantly in HDB areas (Housing Development Board - local housing). They had a reputation as unhygienic, although some say this added to the flavour!! Things have now improved and are still improving with yearly awards for the best Hawkers stalls. Gordon Ramsey is currently facing a challenge where he will face a cook-off against 3 hawkers voted for by the public from a choice of 12.

When you decide what you wish to eat the first thing is to find a table (easier said than done!!) These are plastic tables with small plastic stools reminiscent of school days, but this all adds to the experience. Once a space is found you then need to "chope" it. This is marking that it is taken before going to order. Choping is done by placing a napkin, pen and yes I have even seen mobile phones, on the table or seat. Your space is then reserved and you can order....

We decided on sharing three mains - as normal we ordered far too much!
You will notice the interesting use of food colourings.......

Mee Goreng   S$4

Spicy fried noodles. Thin noodles with fried onion, garlic, prawns, meat, loads of chili, cabbage, tomatoes and egg

Kway Teo Goreng   S$4

Stir-fried rice cake strips with similar ingredients to the above...mmmmm one of my favorites with many variations

Indian Rojak (mamak rojak)  S$1 per piece ours was S$6

There are 2 types of rojak which in Malay means "mixture" although we have also been told its a "salad". Indian rojak is made up of usually a choice of dough fritters, bean curd, potatoes, prawn fritters, eggs, bean sprouts, fish, cucumber and the accompanying spicy peanut sauce.There is also a fruit rojak, which we have had several times already and I think after my first reaction of "not sure of this" I now really enjoy. This consists of cucumber, pineapple, apples, bean sprouts, fried tofu and fritters,  chilles, with peanuts sprinkled over the top and tossed in a spicy sauce of shrimp paste, sugar, chili and lime....yes I know it sounds strange and initially it is but now "delicious"

All this was washed down with our favourite Lao Ban Beancurd milk S$1.50 as you can see from the picture most of it was drunk before I got around to taking the photo. Our local store holder now knows us as we regularly buy her beancurd from there, S$1.50 for the original flavour and S$2 for the almond. I personally just can't get enough of the stuff and its cholesterol free...bonus!

Our evening meal came to a grand total of S$17 for the 2 of us and not all was eaten. What makes our Hawker centre special?......... nothing, and thats the point, around every corner in SG you will come across one, they are one of the things that make Singapore what it is.

not the clearest of photos but the stall where we bought our meal with our fav bean curd stall next door

NB Just had to add; for lunch today a new try..... Peanut pancake (mer jian kwueh) S$1.20.  A thick spongey pancake filled with a peanut, sesame seed and sugar paste. To me if seemed like a soft crumpet filled with very sweet peanut butter. Was nice but very rich and filling and I couldnt finish it.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The start of my journey.......

Well this is my first ever go at blogging. Hmm...... well I've been contemplating it for awhile but thanks to being cooped up indoors last week due to the "haze" problem from Sumatras burning of farmland and Rainforest, it has spurred me into action!. Thanks also to my clever son over in the UK for setting it up for me. All I have to do now is have a play.......

I moved over to Singapore back in March thanks to hubbies new role for the next 4 or so years. It was both exciting and terrifying at the same time but an opportunity that could not be missed. It was extremely hard to leave behind my 3 children (well not so much children now as adults) and also my gorgeous dog Oscar (Sssh don't tell the kids but it was more difficult saying "goodbye" to him!!) plus extended family and of course my friends, although the many leaving do's were fun :)

All in all its has been a pretty smooth transaction. We found a condo and moved in after a month and I have conquered my fear of heights, now living 20 floors up. Singapore is a very easy Asian country to relocate to as there is such a mix of cultures and with English being spoken by almost everyone makes it even simpler.

For the past four months my experiences have been posted onto my personal facebook page but now I shall give my "friends" a break. Whilst very few will be able to visit during my time here hopefully they will log onto this blog, along with new followers, and enjoy along with me my "Tails from the Lion City"............