One of my favourite things about working in hospitality is that I get to talk to countless number of new people every day, especially useful when travelling as people are always glad to share snippets of information about their country as they are undeniably proud of their heritage. So imagine my pleasure this week when talking to one of Singapore’s top food critics and writers to learn that one of her favourite places to eat at when not “on duty” was located just around the corner from where I live.
Pek Kio Market/Food Centre is just behind Racecourse road, tucked away in a quiet residential area I never even knew existed until today, despite living less than a 10 minute walk away. As I have learned over the past year in Singapore, Singaporeans LOVE to queue where good food is involved and any hawker centre without a queue at peak times is probably not worth bothering with but arriving as I did slightly later than the usual rush meant that only a coupe of stalls still had queues remaining.
I wasn’t in the mood for Hainanese chicken rice (awful truth – I find it a bit bland and don’t really get the fuss) which was drawing the biggest queue and by the time I got to the front of the Hong Kong Style Chee Cheong Fun queue they had sold out!!
Not ready to give up and chance it on my own, I spotted the Soon Lee Mushroom Minced Pork Noodle Stall and decided that this was to be lunch. A dazzling array of freshly made noodles was at the front of the stall with all the other ingredients neatly located above them and as I reached the front of the queue I was asked to select my choice of noodle type and whether I wanted them wet or dry, spicy or not spicy. I opted for the flat noodles as they looked the most appealing, dry and spicy and after a couple of minutes my lunch was ready.
The noodles were indeed as freshly made and as tasty as they looked and were perfectly cooked, the spicy chilli dressing packed just the right amount of punch (although being a chilli head I added more later) Earthy pickled mushrooms, fish cake slices and fish balls were scattered over the top of the dish along with the shredded pork and fresh coriander. I later found out this dish is known as Bak Chor Mee
This dish really has to be up there as one of the best things I have eaten this past year and there seemed to be plenty of other appetising choices in the food centre and I cannot wait to go back and explore further. The market itself was also a good little find, a mixture of fruit, vegetables, dried groceries, fresh meat and fish and household goods and I came away with a few little Peranaken style china items that I have long coveted but never actually seen to purchase until now (admittedly I haven’t been looking hard!) What a great little find, literally on my doorstep!