Sunday, September 20, 2020

Teochew Meat Puff (潮州香饼) - Stationed at Permanent Location in Woodlands (Wave9 Food Court [Singapore] #teochewmeatpuff

Temporary night markets were commonly held all over Singapore before COVID-19 and now; they are not allowed to operate due to the risk of congregation and challenges in imposing safe distancing. 

One of the food stalls I super missed during this period of time was Teochew Meat Puff (潮州香饼) and the good news is; they have finally secured a permanent spot at Admiralty (Woodlands) which isn't that far from Yishun! 

Opened for operation from 17 September, I deliberately went there the next day as I happened to be on leave and mooncake baking ended earlier than expected. Timing was at the tail end of the busy lunch period and the queue of 3 persons (red arrow) would definitely be manageable.

Shortly after, I realized my mistake. The queue was a bloody L-shaped and it didn't dawn on me that some of those in the queue were seated down! Oh well, I already expected a wait of at least an hour and came prepared with a fully charged power bank to play my Homescapes

My spot about half an hour later - it was earlier shared on the Facebook page of Teochew Meat Puff that there wasn't any need to queue. However, the first day of operations was chaotic according to the boss and the traditional queue system was imposed.

90 minutes later; finally about to reach my turn!

Time to look at the menu again to determine how many you would want to buy. My take is that after queuing for so long, I wouldn't be happy to purchase just two or three. Ten would be the bare minimum! I had assumed that the pricing for the puff would be higher than pasar malam but it wasn't! 

Order taking; do keep in mind that you can't add on any more once you confirm the order with the elderly uncle. Okay, technically you can add on although you would have to rejoin the end of the queue which I personally don't think you should. 

Keep this order sheet with you and protect it with your life! 

The moment your order is ready, the familiar boss would call the last two digits on the order sheet. Ensure your order is correct and pay for the puffs once everything is loaded into the plastic bag. Don't tie up the plastic bag as the puffs would still be hot! 

From start of queuing to receiving the puffs; it was a ridiculously long three hours to get my hands on the delicious teochew puffs! It actually didn't feel that long as my sister and niece were with me and I can still chit chat and even have my lunch while they stood in for me. We even had a good chat with the old couple in front of us! 

Queue was even longer when I left; god knows how many hours the last person would have to wait. Turned out they didn't have to wait too long; just that the puffs were sold out about an hour after I got my teochew meat puffs

How you know whether the puffs are still selling or not? Look at the signboard; once the lights are switched off; it means the puffs are sold out for the day! Guess it only means that it's best to go and queue before they start their business for the day! 

Back home and I was all ready to indulge! It's been more than half a year since I last had teochew meat puffs and I am so going to enjoy it slowly.

Trying their octopus-pork; still so yummy! Crispy on the outside with the meat filling continuing to give so much satisfaction! It's a must to pair it with some Kimball Thai chilli sauce! Not bad, quite a bit of octopus meat. 

Scallop-pork; you don't get a layer of rich scallop flavour and I think I would be better off with the slightly cheaper prawn-pork. Just wondering, how come there isn't a pure pork puff? Shall ask the boss next time I am there! 

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Address
60 Woodlands Industrial Park E4, 
Singapore 757705

Map
As above. 

Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/TeochewMeatPuff

Menu
As above.

Pricing
Prawn Pork Meat Puff - S$3.50
Octopus Pork Meat Puff - S$3.50
Scallop Pork Meat Puff - S$4.00

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Piggy Mooncakes (猪仔月饼) using 30g Mold from Phoon Huat #piggymooncake #pigmooncake

The eerie 7th month is finally over and with the upcoming mid-autumn festival, many avid home bakers are ramping up their production for mooncakes! I would of course be baking some traditional mooncakes using this recipe and it's common to have a little bit of leftover dough and filling.

This is when this old school wooden piglet mold comes into the picture. Purchased from Phoon Huat at less than S$5.00, each can fit, comfortably, 30 grams of dough and filling and you can adjust accordingly to your preference! 

Like many others, I love more filling though dough and hence, would use a dough-filling ratio of 10:20. Frankly, leftover dough is more an issue for me although you can still freeze them for re-use in the near future. You may also consider piggy mooncake that's just made of dough with no filling.

Using a cling wrap and a rolling pin, flatten the 10-gram dough. Do follow this recipe if you would like to know how I made the dough. This would allow you to easier wrap the filling.

After wrapping, it's important to dust with fine flour and made sure the dough has a leathery 'feel' before you put t into the mold. Failure to do that would result in the dough sticking to the dou
gh and you would need time and effort to dig them out using a toothpick.

Molding time! As the "nose" is the thinnest area, do ensure the cavity is given due attention. If not, you would be faced with an "injured" piglet that would not be suitable as giveaways. 

Ta-dah! Not the prettiest piglet around and it kind of reminded me of the suckling pig that used to be served in many Chinese wedding banquets. I know some talented bakers would hand-mold the piglet mooncakes; pity I don't possess such skill! 


A closer look.


Wrapped up the filling with the dough using the ratio shared earlier. This was done as our dear Jovyn would like to have a go in giving the final makeover for the plain-looking ball. 


The use of wooden molds and the subsequent loud knocking were part and parcel of traditional mooncake making in the past but it's not that easy. For me, the mooncake-press is more straightforward in saving both time and effort.


Jovyn was actually pretty good for a newbie! 


Time to bake! As mentioned in the recipe, spray with water before throwing them in a pre-heated 170-degree-celcius oven! I go 15-15-15 rule; 15 minutes of baking, take out and leave them for 15 minutes, brush egg wash before putting them back into the oven for another 15 minutes! 


Cooked piglets.


Ready for immediate consumption but do note that the texture might be a tad crunchy right after baking. For traditional mooncakes, we would usually store them in an air-tight container for about 3 days so that the texture would soften. However, Jovyn loves the piglets better in their crunchier state.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Hup Kee Fried Oyster Omelette @ Newton Hawker Centre [Singapore] #newtonhawkercentre

Newton Hawker Centre was featured in a Hollywood film (
Crazy Rich Asians) and it's embarrassing that i have never featured any of the food stalls before. Heck, i didn't know where it was! My understanding is that it would be close to the busy Newton Circus roundabout. 

My first thought after stepping into the food centre; chillax atmosphere with open-air seating area, and a light breeze cooling us down in our hot and local climate. Tourism has taken a hard hit due to COVID-19 and the usual foreigner clientele had trickled to a drip; making the place not as crowded as expected. Or maybe because it was a Wednesday. 

The primary aim today; Hup Kee Fried Oyster Omelette. Said to be extremely popular, i was thinking it would be a wait of no less than 30 minutes, especially when i saw customers anticipating their takeaway orders around the stall. 

It was a wait of less than 15 minutes! Despite wearing a mask as part of the government's regulations to curb the spread of COVID-19, it's amazing i can still catch a strong whiff of fried oyster as i brought the plate to my table! 

From the look of it, this was the kind of fried oyster omelette that i like; eggs that were fried to a crisp, with just a bit of starch. Fried oyster omelette is a common enough dish sold in many hawker centres but the truth is; many stall-owners simply used too much starch to reduce their operational costs.

Furthermore, many would also add in small oysters that didn't add to the flavour at all. Compared that to Hup Kee with its plump juicy oysters that are guaranteed to elicit screams of satisfaction from oyster lovers! I am not into oysters but i couldn't help biting into one; surprisingly not as 'fishy'! 

It's been a long while since i last enjoyed fried oyster omelette and Hup Kee sure didn't disappoint. It was eggy with crispy edges, filled with an incredibly strong flavour from the oysters and paired nicely with the tangy chilli sauce; which, by the way, i thought had too thin a consistency. With nine large oysters (yes, i counted them), it's a steal that this only cost S$6.00! 

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Address
500 Clemenceau Avenue North, 
Newton Circus, #01-73,
Newton Food Centre, 
Singapore 229495

Map 
As above.

Menu
As above.

Pricing
Fried Oyster Omelette - S$6.00

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Xu Zhong Xing Pork Satay @ Chong Pang Hawker Centre [Yishun, Singapore] #chongpanghawkercentre

Back in year 2010, i blogged about the pork satay at Chong Pang Hawker Centre, which remained one of my favourites when it comes to the local delicacy. It's been 10 years and i guess it's time for an update! 

Compared to then, Xu Zhong Xing's signboard remained unchanged but the queue can be insane (like an hour) when it comes to weekends! Thankfully, i stay pretty near which means if i visit on a lull weekday like Wednesday, the wait would be less than 15 minutes.

My order - 20 sticks of pork satay! 

Reasons why Xu Zhong Xing remains one of my favourite satay stalls; the chunks of juicy pork fat, the slightly charred edges and the strong taste of turmeric marination with a level of smoky sweetness i found to be optimal. In some satay stalls, the marination was so weak; i might as well be the one making the satay myself. 

It's a must to pair the satay with the peanut gravy! Now, i have tasted gravy that totally lacked substance with a thin consistency and not flavourful. The gravy at Xu Zhong Xing wasn't the best but hey, you get peanuts bits and it's thick with a nice peanut, curry taste. 

Remember to eat the accompanying cut onions and cucumbers; must balance with some healthy stuff. Personally, i prefer to takeaway the satay from Xu Zhong Xing as i can load with more cold cucumbers when i am at home! 

Cleaned up! What's the best and easiest way to eat satay? I learnt it from a Muslim stall at Amoy Hawker Centre; it had a dish known as satay tarik and the way it was served was to remove the meat from the satay sticks after grilling and then mixing them with the gravy! I don't do that when i am having satay outside as i would likely be judged but at home, that's how i enjoy my satay.

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Address 
Block 105, Yishun Ring Road, 
Chong Pang Hawker Centre, 
#01-176, Singapore 760105 

Operating Hours

4.00 pm to 10.00 pm
(Closed on Mondays)

Number to Call to Pre-order
9027-8004

Menu
As above.

Pricing 

Pork Satay - S$0.70 a stick
(Minimum 10 sticks for takeaway)
(Minimum 5 sticks for dine-in)

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