rice cake confessional

adventures in eating

kuehs, rojak, and tadpoles… oh my!

with 4 comments

Irene promised to introduce me to the finest Singaporean local cuisine a few weeks ago and we were finally able to get together this weekend to do the deed. I asked Therese to come join too so that I could have a fellow expat (a Pinay no less) to try new things with.

Since Irene grew up as an Eastie she suggested the hawker center at the Bedok Interchange. She jetted by to pick me up collect me (more Singlish) around 5pm and Therese MRTed over. We basically ate for 3 hours.

Consider this your warning. We ate a TON of food. If you’re hungry, this would be a good time to get a snack. Otherwise, your blog reading might be interrupted by a lot of stomach growling.

Black carrot cake. Neither carrot nor cake. I liked this tons better than the white version. Radish cake fried with egg and a sweet black sauce. It reminds me a bit of char kway teow and that is definitely a good thing.

I *think* this is called soon kueh. Honestly though, who can keep track of all the different kuehs around here. This was my least favorite of the stuff we had tonight. It had that semi-smelly/fermented radish taste from the filling that I’m not a fan of. The black stuff is a very potent dark soy sauce. The chili on this was good though – not too sweet. The MS book says that the outside of these are made with yam flour.

I had low expectations of chwee kueh since I tried something similar at a Vietnamese restaurant near work and it was not so good. This version was much, much better. The rice cakes are very soft. They look a bit like puto but they don’t have the same consistency. Radishes make another appearance on top. This time they are fried with garlic and soy sauce and are not stinky tasting at all. The chili sauce is a good addition too.

It’s a little bit unbelievable that I haven’t had nasi lemak in my entire time here but here’s its debut. The rice is pandan flavored and not as sticky as ho-hum steamed rice. Pandan is called screwpine in English. It’s very fragrant and is a common flavoring in Asian desserts.

That spam looking thing is… you guessed it – otah. This was better, more hefty, less pasty. The fried chicken wing was delicious. The little pile of mess on the left are my favorite ikan bilis and peanuts. Yum, yum, yum.

Rojak is just plain weird. Who thought of this? Our rojak had pineapple, apple, cucumber, bean sprouts, fried dough, and fried bean curd. The sauce has a base of shrimp paste. For good measure, they throw in a boatload of ground peanuts.

Let’s replay that back: veggies, fruits, shrimp paste, peanuts. Raaaaaaandom.

Weirdly good though. Something about sweet and salty together. As long as you’re ok with the shrimpy aroma, rojak is actually quite nice.

Okay where are we? Dish number 6? Prawn Hokkien Mee comes with plenty of eggs, two types of noodles – egg and rice – a few bits of cuttlefish, a spoonful of chili paste, and 2 shrimp. The kalamansi is a good complement. Simple and tasty.

Therese had to peace out to catch a play but we soldiered onward with dessert.

Brown stuff = sea coconut. On the top = sweet palm nut things. On the left under the kalamansi = aloe vera. On the bottom = ice. Multicolored madness = tadpoles. Okay, not REAL tadpoles. But they sure look like ’em.


Okay, phew. I’m spent. That was the ultimate Singapore hawker food evening. Thanks for the fun times Irene!

Bedok Interchange Hawker Center


Written by joann

October 11, 2008 at 11:48 pm

4 Responses

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  1. They do look a LOT like tadpoles!


    October 12, 2008 at 11:07 am

  2. I know right! Luckily, they don’t taste like tadpoles. đŸ™‚


    October 12, 2008 at 4:44 pm

  3. Hurrah! I’ve managed to make my way to your blog. Way cool what you’ve got going on here (how do you take such good photos?) I’m now sorry I missed the tadpole dish. Next stop: The Tippling Club đŸ™‚


    October 25, 2008 at 10:11 pm

  4. Thanks for stopping by Therese! I’m ready for the Tippling Club whenever you are!


    October 27, 2008 at 8:59 pm

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