Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tanjong Pagar Plaza (Food Market)

Back in March, I had the privilege of taking a few Fridays off work. And what better way to enjoy the days than to absorb in some lunchtime madness in a bustling hawker centre in the city area. Crazy? Maybe not. You see, it has always been my dream to work in the city and have good lunches like these. Yes, the confession of a factory worker from an industrial park that’s miles away from convenience and food...good food, that is.

Chaos and humidity rule hawker centres come lunchtime. Despite all that, the corporate figures queuing up for a bowl of fish soup still look stunning, complete with scented cosmetics and super heels. Did I just find myself another reason to move to the city?

Lunching with the professionals is quite cool. It’s just like some scenes in Grey’s Anatomy or The Practice (I think it has ended its run on television...what a pity). They talk of numbers and terms that are almost as strange to me as Spock. Yet, it’s engaging. And again, so cool.

Perhaps the only uncool part was me in my slippers and shorts. Oh, and a disfigured plastic bag (I call it my camera bag) that my friends absolutely loathed.

Fish soup and yam rice from #02-37

Char Kway Teow from #02-52

Claypot Rice from #02-28

Hokkien Prawn Mee from #02-49

Wanton Mee from #02-33

Simply delicious. That’s how I'd describe the food here, in general. My favourite has got to be the fish soup served and more importantly, cooked in a claypot where the broth spoke of clarity and sweetness. And to have it with a bowl of yam rice, good lunch indeed. Surprisingly, we came to like char kway teow as well. Almost glowing simultaneously, we believed we’ve found yet another stall that offers the savoury and dry type of stir-fried rice noodles. A charfully delicious one, at that.

If you ever have extra time to spare after lunching at the food market, drop by Dessert Hut (a few shops away from the market) for some good sweets before heading back to the office. I came in with the highest degree of skepticism but left a convert. And all it took was a bowl of yam paste with black glutinous rice. Optimally sweet and mostly smooth, the bowl of goodness (complete with ginkgo nuts) got me initiating a visit on my second trip to the food market.

Back in the workplace, the post-lunch hours can get rather dreamy. So, this is when the second cup of coffee kicks in, I guess.

Click here for the map.


thenomadGourmand said...

Is it your photography or Sg's food is actually appetizing??
it sure looks darn good!

Hehe..I spied yr disfigured camera bag (with a plastic bag inside?) the otr day..had me looking in disbelief!

back to the food - I wan tht bowl of yam paste with black glutinous rice! got gingko somemore!!

Selba said...

Love the Grey's anatomy and the Practice shows, and though the Practice is no more but there's the Boston Legal ;)

Frankly speaking, I haven't really found any good place to eat in Singapore except in the famous restaurants or Newton Circus hawker centre, hmmm... why ah? :P

UnkaLeong said...

Never ceases to amaze me how the *chop* a place to sit at the Hawker Centres with stuff from packets of Tissue Paper, to umbrella's (ella ella's) and newspapers. Was even told by a colleague that one may even find the odd handphone or two? Heheh...Lovely meeting you over the weekend bro, even though it was a short one ;)

ck lam said...

It's not easy to staying alert after having such comfort food for lunch. Easily nodding off with the head up, down and sideways...haha

His Food Blog said...

*GASP* Did you not try Aunt Annie's Peanut Ice Kachang when you were there?

And the numerous stall of Nasi Lemak. Absolutely Value-for-money!

Xiu Long Bao said...

Move to the city, move to the city...are you not bored of the west/green line/IMM/Jurong/factory scene yet?

Btw, Aunt Annie's peanut ice kacang is my fave whenever I drop by TP Market. But I know you are not into shaved ice, sweets, kacangs these kind of stuff one lar.

Bangsar-bAbE said...

You had me at char kuay teow! Now I must get my fix during lunch later... =)

Joyce said...

Gosh, it is winter now in Sydney and it really makes me want to have Char Kuay Teow and Wanton mee! I can't wait to come back for all these!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

u actually use a plastic bag? stylo nya..

Jason said...

I think I better go for lunch now...

backStreetGluttons said...

From a crumpled bag comes exquisite shots of what the blessed are blessed with 5 times a day and to those loathsome lazies , here's to fine multi-colors from a damn hardworking small town boy in da city ! cheers !

Simon Seow said...

Another place to makan for me in Singapore.

Tummythoz said...

Come come show plastic bag. Made me real curious.

Life for Beginners said...

Clarity and sweetness. Sounds like the perfect description of some of my fav soups.

As for desserts, I tend to go for murky and bitterness... death by dark chocolate! lol

ladyironchef said...

hahahahahah you in your slippers and shorts while they are in their goody-goody formal wear, what a contrast!

yeah find a new job in the city, den you will get to eat these, everyday! btw nice shots, i never seem to be able to take nice photos of hawker food. haha

Camemberu said...

Ah you make me want to move to the city too!

Yam paste with glutinous rice?? That's a first I've heard and what a glorious combo! MUST TRY!!

Nic (KHKL) said...

thenomadGourmand, haha, of course Singaporean food is appetizing! we go makan when you come down here! :D omg, u saw my disfigured camera bag??? with the inner plastic bag as well??? omg!!! lol! and yupe, that was a really nice dessert. i'm so lovin' it!

selba, boston legal's a bit cranky, eh? hahaha! but still quite funny. omg, newton circus is touristy! let me know if you are coming to singapore. there are plenty of good food here, both hawker and restaurant. we'll go makan! :D

unkaleong, u are soooo right, bro! i forgot to include that in this post! lol! today, at the foodcourt, a woman "booked" a table for six. i pengsan, i tell ya! haha! hey, great meeting u too last saturday. more to come soon, i'm sure! :D

ck lam, oh yes, the whole 360 degree swivel! hahaha! i guess that's the reason why people tend to have a cuppa coffee after a heavy lunch. the more kau (dense), the better. lol!!!

his food blog, me gasping too! cos my professional guide, miss xiu long bao did not tell me about it! i must go check it out again, together with the nasi lemak. thanks for the info, dude! :D

xiu long bao, aiyoh, no choice la. got a job to do la. hopefully can change la, one day. :P and BTW, hmmpphhh, why never tell me about aunt annie. din i prove to you that i can take good sweets, e.g. dessert hut? next ais kacang on you..hehehe...

bangsar-babe, yeah, i had me at char kway teow as well! it was good stuff! :D hopeu had a good ckt fix during lunch! :D

joyce, hey, thanks for dropping by!! :D make an itinerary of all the makan places that u wanna explore for your next trip back to singapore. i'll recommend bak chor mee at hong lim and crawford lane! :D

Nic (KHKL) said...

joe, HAHAHAHAHAH! if trash is the new fashion, then yes, me damn stylo la..haha! u must see friends' reactions when i show them my disfigured plastic bag! haha!

jason, lucky you! hhehehehe...me had the usual; quaker kosong and fruits...sigh....hope u had a good lunch! i cant wait for the weekend!

backstreetgluttons, cheers team! really appreciate your compliment! *touched* yupe, messy is art, modern art. and that's cool, eh? am striving to improve. :D

simon, yupe, u should definitely check out this place. very near the mrt station as well. oh, remember dessert hut too!

tummythoz, hehehehehe, u coulda seen it last weekend. well, it's basically a plastic bag that fits a magazine and the dye has worn out. ok, smells a bit too..hehe..i show ya when we meet, ya! :D

kenny, clarity and sweetness sounds like a pretty girl's voice too, dontcha think? ok, me shiok-sendiri-ing again..haha! death by dark chocolate, yesssssss, ma next post! :D

ladyironchef, no choice la. in the holiday mood, so hafta wear my appropriate uniform la..haha! thanks for the compliment, dude! i guess good food is inspiring. go eat more hawker food! call me as well! :D

camemberu, ya lor, the unfortunate us...and we have to take a cab everytime we have food gatherings in town, right? sad! on the other hand, hehehe, the yam paste is really good. i'm not sure if they have a branch at your side but do stop by the next time u crave for a good dessert, ya! :D

Sugar Bean said...

So many good food! The black glutinous definitely caught my attention, love it a lot, especially with the coconut taste! Worth a visit if the food is good in general!

CUMI & CIKI said...

really ar.. r u sure the char kwey teow is good or not.. :P doesn't look half black nor greasy nuff

J2Kfm said...

wait wait ...
you were brandishing a DSLR in a plastic bag meh?

din realize also that day.

S'pore's street food? hehehe ... I REALLY gotta try them. :)

mimid3vils said...

hokkien prawn mee = KL prawn mee (虾面)? It doesn't look like at all~~ o.O''

Nic (KHKL) said...

sugar bean, oh yeah, u reminded me of coconut! it goes well with yam, definitely! :D yeah, i like food courts for the variety! :D

cumi & ciki, char kway iz different from hokkien mee la, babe..hehehehe...this one was surprisingly tasty! see la, now i wanna eat ckt...without exercising..haha!

j2kfm, haha, no lar. it was kept in my monk bag all the time. it's only in the bag before i start shooting. next time i show you la. be prepared! hahaha! yupe, singapore does have its share of good hawker food. i bring you when u come over! :D

mimi, yupe, you are right. they are very different. one is soupy and the other one is stir-fried. both are tasty, nevertheless. for the singaporean version, mimi, u can check out the stall at food republic at the pavilion! :D

Petite Lass said...

Your post just came at the right time :D Will be going to Singapore soon and my office happened to be at Tanjong Pagar while I will be staying at Amara! That's perfect!Thank you :D

Nic (KHKL) said...

petite lass, cool stuff!!! i hope you'll have a good time at tanjong pagar. maxwell food centre is good too! i like tian-tian chicken rice there. and check out dessert hut, ya! :D