When I heard a colleague mentioned that the path to today's lunch would be a 'treacherous one', I thought it was a joke. I mean, we live in Singapore. How treacherous can a path be?
But I was thrilled when I saw the following sight.
It felt so surreal. An empty grass patch. A trodden path. Green vegetation and bushes. Litter. Wobbly wooden planks. Small but steep slope. The railway track.
Was this a secret path used by illegal immigrants? Maybe not. But it sure felt like a mini adventure.
Anyway, my lab colleagues brought me to Tanglin Halt Road Market & Food Centre....where I chanced upon a very good roasted pork (aka siew yok aka sio bak).
It was a chance discovery because I had ordered Wanton Mee ($2.50) but as the Char Siew had been sold out, the stall lady suggested replacing it with Siew Yok. And what a suggestion it was!
The noodles were pretty nice with bite and the wantons were small but tasty. However these were superfluous in the presence of the Siew Yok. It spotted a good crackling with just a thin layer of fat beneath. The layers of meat and fat worked in harmony to produce delicious flavours that coated the palette upon gentle chewing.
When I returned on another visit. All that was left was Char Siew & Siew Yok Rice ($3). Again I was left with little choice. But it was a chance to try the Char Siew, which turned out to be a disappointment. There was none of that smokey, barbequed flavours. Instead, the super lean Char Siew tasted as if it had been boiled/baked. This was one funny Char Siew.
I'll definitely be back for the Siew Yok! Oh and did I mention that the Siew Yok portions are generous?!
I think I have just found my favourite lunch spot. The Tanglin Road Market & Food Centre is not the biggest but it brings the house down with a fantastic Siew Yok. The other reason being the sleepy neighbourhood with an old-world charm is such a breath of fresh air to the clusters of modern buildings in the Biopolis.
Here are my lunch kakis- Banana Girl, Xiao Lao Ban & Sweet Demoness (from back to front). More about the origins of Banana Girl coming soon!
Fa Ji Shao La
Tanglin Road Market & Food Centre
Tanglin Halt Road
Chew On This: Most of the items sell out by around 1-2pm so go early to avoid disappointment!