Thursday, October 11, 2007

Old School Snacks

Looooooooooong before the first Takopachi even bounced onto our sunny island, there was Hum Chim Peng- a fried Chinese snack popular with the locals. It's almost like a donut (in the oriental sense) without a hole.

Seeing such an old skool stall selling this old school snack in Margaret Drive Market, I knew I had to try some.

The Hum Chim Peng (60 cents for the with tau sar) here had a nice doughy bite without being too dense while the sesame seed-studded top added fragrance. But I didn't really like the tau sar (red bean paste) which I found a little too sweet and lacking a red-beany punch. Anyway, I actually prefer the savoury, lightly-spiced salty variant.

What I really loved at this stall was the Butterfly (50 cents if I remember correctly). Nonono, I'm not referring to the winged insect but rather another fried dough snack that has a shape not unlike that of the butterfly (left in the first picture). The one here smelt really good and had that slight sweetness that seemed to combine with a little oil to coat the oral cavity with pleasure.

Also worth trying are the Sweet Potato Slices ($1 for two or three). Although it was a pity that they weren't hot, the starchy smooth insides provided much joy to starch-lovers. I bet their taste would have been revved up a notch if they were eaten straight off the hot wok of oil.

Donuts may have people queuing up recently but nothing beats a good ol' Hum Chim Peng or Butterfly or You Char Kway, especially when attached to childhood.

Nü Huang Zhen
Margaret Drive Hawker Centre
Closed on Mondays

Chew On This: This stall has been around for almost 40 years! And it may not be around for that much longer either. The auntie there related that she took over the stall from her ageing parents and is carrying on with the business but will eventually bring it to an end. Alas. A probable lost of a part of childhood for many.

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