Sunday, November 21, 2004

 

S.G. Holland Village Food Corner - Part 1

Warning for overseas Singaporeans: The following images may induce homesickness and cravings for local food. The author will not be liable for any damages arising from such effects. So turn away now, or proceed at your own risk. :)

Whenever I turned into Holland Avenue from Commonwealth Avenue West, I would, without fail, notice this coffeeshop at the corner of the junction because of the huge crowds dining there. Business at night is usually so good, that scores of extra tables have to be set up outside the coffeeshop to accomodate its dine-in customers. Heeding the adage that "crowds must mean the food is good", I went to sniff out S.G. Holland Village Food Corner for myself.

The wide variety offered certainly doesn't disappoint. The usual suspects in local hawker favorites were there: braised duck rice, kway chap, fish ball noodle, pig organ soup(!), economy rice, fried radish cake, fried hokkien prawn mee, fried kway teow, rojak, popiah, etc. There is also a zi char stall that seemed to be doing very well. I saw at least six chefs in clean, white uniforms and hats in the open kitchen. There were also posters proclaiming their signature dish: XO Crab Beehoon. Well, I didn't feel like ordering something so extravagant that day, so I went for the cheaper humbler dishes.


An overview of the food. From bottom right-hand corner: fried kway teow, kway chap, kway chap side dish, and popiah. And no, I didn't devour this whole lot of food on my own!


Kway chap (S$3.00). When you order kway chap, you get a bowl of flat rice noodles in broth, as well as a dish of accompaniments. The accompaniments above are (clockwise from right): braised hard-boiled egg, pork belly, taupok (beancurd puff), chilli sauce, and fishcake. Usually, pig intestines are offered instead of fishcake, but R, my companion, requested that they substitute the intestines for a healthier choice. The braised pork belly was tender and delicious.


The kwap chap noodles, which are steamed, flat rice noodle sheets cut into squares or triangles, were soft and silky smooth. The broth was just right, flavorful with a slight hint of herby fragrance. Good choice!

By the way, R made me take photos of HIS kway chap first, so that he could start eating while I continued taking pictures of the rest of the food. Don't you think he's such a sweet, sensitive guy? While he was tucking into his food with gusto, I was battling with my own hunger to take these photos that you see. So dear reader, do drop me a note if you've enjoyed reading my post. Please?


Fried kway teow (S$2.50). Compared to other places that charge the same price, this portion is huge. But I think there should be less of the noodles and more of the cockles, fishcake, Chinese sausage, and vegetables. The version here is more "wet" and not so greasy. Mmm...it was so good, although I wouldn't have minded if it was more "dry".


Popiah, two rolls (S$1.00 for each roll). Filled with turnip (or jicama), mung bean sprouts, lettuce, carrot, egg, fried crunchy bits, and crushed peanut. Not bad. The chilli sauce packs a huge wallop! The popiah skin was rather different. Instead of being soft and chewy, it was a little crispy and papery. To see how popiah is assembled, read my post on
Gluttons Square.


We bought rojak, an appetising salad, to bring home as a snack for our family. That's the rojak man behind the glass display.


These are you tiao, or fried doughsticks, and taupok (beancurd puff) stuffed with mung bean sprouts and cucumber strips. They are kept warm and crispy on the grill before being tossed into the salad.


Rojak (S$2.00). Okay, I know it looks kinda ugly, but this crunchy and refreshing salad with its uniquely sweet, tangy, and sticky sauce is absolutely addictive! The main ingredients are you tiao, taupok, fresh cucumber, pineapple, turnip (jicama), and crushed roasted peanuts. This version is also quite good.

Overall, this has been a tummy-rubbing experience. The food we had for this meal was cheap and delicious, and the service was brisk and friendly. I'll be back to try the other stalls, and if I feel rich enough, to try the XO Crab Beehoon.


S.G. Holland Village Food Corner
Block 40, Holland Drive
(not sure what time the stalls open, but they are open till 1 am)


cheers!

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