Sunday, October 02, 2016

the other kaofu

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Teng turns 31.

Since Mum’s wish for Choon turned out to be so effective, she did the same when Teng blew out his candles. In fact, not only her, but Pa chimed in.

“Get married by 32!” she yelled, when we exhorted Teng to make a birthday wish. “Have a child by 33!” Pa added.

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* Mum clasping her hands together as she makes her wish, Jo thinking, Poor Kaofu Teng

Teng, as usual, drawls out “Uhhhhhhh” in his usual deflating way.

Lu, again, protests. “Stop telling him to get married because he’s not going to get married.”

Anyway, to celebrate the big day, the fussy foodie led us on a food trail of his favourites around the Bukit Merah area, which is where he used to work and eat his lunches.

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We lunched at the same place he brought us to last year, an air-conditioned coffee shop which has a towering online reputation. 

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* Teng in October 2015 at the same restaurant

We ordered all the usual suspects – the “wok hei” horfun with the raw egg yolk, the pig’s liver, the sambal kangkong and Teng’s favourite at this particular restaurant, the salted-egg yolk prawns.

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* A packet of mushrooms, prawn, salted egg yolk wrapped in deep-fried beancurd skin

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* Choon: It's all deep-fried!

It was OK last year. But this year, some of us (Pa, Choon, KK) choked on the amount of salt. The family dietitian, who wasn't around last year, clucked at the salt and oil the dishes were swimming in and declared that we're all going to eat steamboat on his birthday. The kids don't quite like it either, I think the flavours are too strong for them. Which really shows, different strokes for different folks. I don’t think we’ll be going back in a hurry.

We packed up the unfinished food and heated it up for dinner, with plain porridge to take the edge off the salt.

Then Teng led us to the ABC Brickworks Hawker Centre down the road (we’ve never been there) and told us to sit down as he promptly joined the longest queue. For chendol.

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* Chendol in the foreground

The queue just got longer and longer, as we spied people joining in with slips of papers detailing orders. This is a hawker stall with name cards and a website, and which is incredibly operated by the two founders themselves, an insurance agent and an ex-DJ, in red and blue uniform, briskly taking orders and shaving ice.

Yeah it was good. Six bowls of dessert, $12.50. Cheng Tng was only $1.50. The chendol was impressively full-bodied and the special bit about it – the gula Melaka – was truly fudge-like and tasty, no doubt due to caramelized cane sugar which reportedly makes the difference. KK tasted the grass jelly which came with Jo's jelly-longan, and pronounced that this is a shop run by people who care about their food, because it was super smooth.

1 comment:

francesca said...

Should also try the dessert 榴芒(durian with mango ice)