Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Chinatown Special, Chinatown FC
Dad used to tell me that he had heard that the owner/cook of this stall (#02-12 Chinatown Food Centre, 335 Smith Street) used to come from a hotel kitchen. But I read that it was just a restaurant, not from a hotel. The first time I had heard that was back in the day when the stall was located at People’s Park Food Centre where we had a fairly regular ritual of fried rice along with guo tie from Tian Jin Fong Kee nearby on Saturdays. Back in the day when most people still worked Saturdays and we’d meet dad after his work for family lunch. And strangely like that dumpling stall, we stopped patronizing at a certain point and never really came back again until many many years later.
I remember being very impressed with their fried rice as a kid. Probably had been the best I’ve ever had in that time. Fast forward to today, it is sadly still one of the better tasting fried rice at their price point. It simply shows how much of a snail’s pace cooking standards at this level have progressed. At least snails have the good grace to leave behind a mucus that’s good for your skin.
But I digress. I rather like this still. It wasn’t overly oily for one and that’s not a feat most fried rice these days can boast of. And it comes with real bits of shrimp and char siew. Not the fake shit that you get from the cooked food stalls in coffeeshops that charges you the same price for a plate that keeps you burping their grease for hours. Chilli here is kickass and I always liked their hae bi hiam. Pretty interesting how the rice was fried each wok-ful by the tossing of the work, using the ladle only for a modicum of control.