Thursday, May 18, 2017

Aw's Signature Minced Pork Noodles : by a passionate Gen-Y Hawker

It was a rainy morning when I came by this food centre in the quiet estate of Tanglin Halt, near to Commonwealth MRT station. It is about 5 minutes' walk away and you will first come across Tanglin Halt Food Centre, a smaller one near to those old shop houses. This stall is at Commonwealth Drive Food Centre across the road, this food centre is an iconic building in this heritage estate. I used to be attending Blessed Sacrament Church nearby and always hung out with friends and drinking Teh Halia, a ginger tea, in this food centre.

I was there at about 11.30 am and I was their only customer at that time. The owner was seated at the table right beside his stall and his baby was in a baby chair just beside. He stood up when he saw me. I said, "Signature Noodle, eating here.". He asked, "Do you want mee pok or mee kia?" I replied, "Mee pok, extra chilli please." While waiting, I asked, "Can I add braised pork? It looks quite nice." He replied while cooking, "Thank you. You can. That's an extra $2." His wife came back and he said to her, "Signature Noodle with braised pork." Then, she looked at me and said, "The total is $7." I continued waiting for my order to be ready after done with the payment.

Under the "About" on their Facebook Page, it stated, "A Gen-Yper wishing to serve the public with cheap food." This next generation owner is passionate enough to want to make a difference in the hawker trade. 

The menu includes the different types of noodles, like Signature Noodle ($5/$8), Minced Pork Noodle ($3/$5), Handmade Fishball Noodle ($3/$5) and Shredded Chicken Hor fun ($3/$5).

If you like varieties then Signature Noodle is a good choice as it consists of ingredients like prawns, quail egg, meatball, sliced abalone, fish maw, fish dumpling and mushrooms. The noodles were cooked nicely to the right texture with no alkaline taste detected. Though I requested to have an extra amount of chilli to be added but its level of spiciness was still pretty mild. Apparently, the sauce seemingly did not have a distinctive taste thus, overall, it did not taste too memorable. 

It changed my opinion when I took a bite of that braised pork. It was perfectly braised to the right flavour and texture. When done right, such a simple dish could be the best thing that you ever eat. The braised pork is cooked based on a recipe that has passed down from his granny. I will be happy to just order the bigger portion of Braised Pork Noodle at $6, perhaps added with an extra portion of braised pork for another $2 next time.

It is heartening to see the young hawkers wanting to do their part in preserving our hawker heritage. This is particularly crucial as most of the pioneer hawkers are retiring and without the younger ones coming in, the hawker trade is at risk of dying out and might just be gone some day. 

Block 1A Commonwealth Drive #01-08 Commonwealth Drive Food Centre SINGAPORE 141001
Operating Hours: 7.30 am to 2.00 pm / 5.00 pm to 9.00 pm (Mon to Thu) / 
7.30 am to 3.00 pm (Fri & Sat) (Closed on Sundays)

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