Sunday, March 6, 2011
Hawker Centers Part 3: People's Park, Chinatown
I had always managed to skip this very popular-among-the-locals hawker center whenever I would go to Chinatown in Singapore. Somehow, I would always gravitate towards the open air food market of Smith Street with its festive atmosphere, dozens of food stalls and its conducive air for imbibing glass upon ice cold glass of Tiger Beer.
But since a niece who is living and working in Singapore stays near the Chinatown area, I was finally able to schedule a visit to People's Park Hawker Center, albeit at the unpopular hour of 10 am.
The Hawker Center is spread over two floors and it was just too bad that only a few stalls were open. There were a lot of round tables which I could only imagine would be full come the rush lunch hour.
At the time we arrived, most of the stall owners were just bringing in their ingredients and starting to prep for the lunch crowd. However we zoomed in on a fresh dumpling and noodle stall that my niece said was a favorite.
I had my usual fish ball soup and we got a plate of roast duck and crisp roast pork from another stall that had also just opened.
The fish ball was actually a dumpling -- very light and spongy and springy -- I bit into it and a burst of hot broth spilled out along with the ground pork stuffing hidden inside.
The broth was piping hot and needed no other seasoning. Broccoli leaves added texture to the dish -- springy fish balls, soft meat dumpling, crunchy greens.
It was the perfect thing to have on my last day in Singapore.