Waffle Town - Bowing Out After 20 Years @ Balmoral Plaza

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The problem with people is that we tend to take things for granted. We started feeling sorry for ourselves when we realized we are going to lose something dear to our hearts.

When news broke earlier this week that Waffle Town is going to shutter their doors for good sometime this month (18th May), a piece of me died inside.

I kind of agree with this line that I read somewhere: "We whine about a favorite place closing. When it is finally closed, we clamor to have it back but the moment it does, we visit only once and never return again"

I am quite guilty of this myself. My last visit to Waffle Town was in fact five years back and I have not done so since then.

However, to prove that I am still a die-hard fan, I decided to have one last meal here for memory's sake.

I thought I was being smart by coming early to beat the queue but what I did not expect was that opening hour has been delayed by sixty minutes later than usual. By then, more people have arrived and I had to stand in line for almost an hour before it reached my turn to order.

I ordered three items: two piece chicken meal ($8.30), waffle ala-mode with blueberries and rum & raisin ice cream ($6.50) and fish burger ($3.50).

There is table service here so take a seat after placing your order and someone will send the order to your table.

Mural Hunting @ Little India And How To Find Them

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Since I am doing a food trail at Tekka Market, I thought why not explore the area a bit? After some Googling, I realized there are quite a fair bit of wall murals here at Little India.

The murals should be quite easy to find, I thought. Just create a Google Map (map at the bottom of this post), pin their locations and that is it.

Alas, I am not familiar with the area thus I took a lot of wrong turns and retracing of steps. I think I do not quite understand my own map. Haha!

The unforgiving weather did not help one bit and I was sun-kissed (sunburnt) so slap on your sun screen and put on that long forgotten Fong Fei-Fei hat stashed somewhere in your store room. Otherwise, Mum's beautiful UV umbrella will do too.

I believe the mural hunt is doable in one day but it took me two days to complete instead. I had to cut short my hunt on the first day because I could feel the twitching in my calves. It is a warning I could not ignore for it is the prelude of an incoming cramp.

It has happened a couple of times before and I was left grimacing in pain at Sentosa, The Singapore Zoo and even in the middle of the road while crossing traffic at Bugis.

I realized all my cramp episodes occurred after walking a little too much under the dreary Sun and not hydrating enough. I have since learned to read the signals - rest when the warning comes or else, face the wrath of the cramp monster. It is not fun to be left immobilized by the road side with no one to help you.

I was finally able to cover the remaining murals on the second day, a week later.

South Buona Vista Braised Duck Rice - Relocated! @ 81 Desker Road

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About two weeks ago, I was hunting for murals around Little India (post coming right up) and walking along the five-foot way at Desker Road when my path was obstructed by a newly renovated unit.

I had to step out onto the road to walk around the obstacle. I took a quick glance inside the shop house and realized that it is one of my favorite braised duck rice stall from a rundown coffee shop at 16 Verdun Road (near Sam Leong Road).

I have written about them two years back when they were on the verge of vacating their stall at the previous location. Well, seems like they had found themselves a proper shop to call their own now.

As the shop does not look like it has opened for business yet, I hurried on my way and returned a week later.

The Beef House @ 217 Syed Alwi Road

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The Beef House at 217 Syed Alwi Road is famed for several things: yong tau foo, beef balls, beef tendon balls, soon pan (笋粄) and suan pan zi (算盘子). 

It is not hard to understand why they are so immensely popular because nothing here is factory made - well, maybe except for the various noodles (bee hoon, kway teow, Hakka mee) used here but otherwise, everything else is handmade.

I ordered a bowl of beef tendon ball soup with bee hoon ($5), two pieces of soon pan ($1 each) and a plate of suan pan zi ($2).

Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge @ Blk 638 Veerasamy Road

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About two Saturdays ago, I was left stranded at Rowell Road during a heavy downpour while out hunting for murals. Despite taking shelter under a HDB block, the strong wings carried the rain in.

Shivering from the cold, I suddenly recalled that Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge was located just nearby at Blk 638 Veerasamy Road. 

What perfect weather to have a bowl of hot porridge! I almost gave myself a pat on the shoulder for my quick thinking. 

I braved the rain and ran over but when I reached the coffee shop, I realized I was not the only one toying with that idea. Not only is the premise full with no empty tables, there were long snaking queues at all the stalls. 

With the porridge stall, Mui Siong Minced Meat Noodle and Victor Famous Fried Chicken Wing Rice under the same roof, I was naïve to not have expected that outcome especially on a weekend.

With no hot porridge to warm my belly on a rainy day, I hung my head in shame. I continued to wait out for the rain to end and hatched a plan to return on another day.

Ayya Indian Foods - Chicken Masala Rice Set @ Tekka Market & Food Centre

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Chicken masala is another item that I have been yearning to try for ages. I was walking around Tekka Market & Food Centre checking out the stalls offering this dish when I came across the queue in front of Ayya Indian Foods. 

The queue actually cleared quite fast and since they offer chicken masala as a set meal, I decided to give them a try.

Other set meal options included crab, prawn, sotong and fish. Chicken and mutton biryanis are available on the menu as well.

My chicken masala meal ($5.50) is served on a large banana leaf atop a tray. The meal included rice, chicken masala and two vegetable dishes.

It was while drafting this post at home that I realized the papadum was missing.

Delhi Lahori - Butter Chicken Naan Set @ Tekka Market & Food Centre

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I have mentioned in the previous post that I love Indian cuisine but embarrassingly enough, my Indian culinary journey is only limited to the usual prata, thosaiputu mayam, rojak, and biryanis - dishes that are commonly found at a neighborhood Indian stall. 

I always wanted to try something different that is not in the list above. 

Well, what better chance to do just that since I am at Tekka Market & Food Centre?

After doing some research, I narrowed down my choice to the butter chicken naan set ($6) from Delhi Lahori.

I have not eaten butter chicken nor naan before so that is killing two birds with one stone!

Deen Food Stall - Masala Dosa @ Tekka Market & Food Centre

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I love masala dosa which is an Indian crepe of sorts but have only eaten them from my neighborhood stall and not anywhere else. This is my first one at Tekka Market & Food Centre from a stall called Deen Food Stall.

After placing my order for one, the staff scooped the fermented rice and lentil batter and spread them out in a circular shape on a large iron griddle. Once the shape of the dosa forms, spiced and savory potato cubes were placed in the middle with the sides folded over.

My freshly made masala dosa ($2) was then transferred to a piece of brown, waxed paper on a plate before dhal was unceremoniously poured all over and another three chutney sauces smeared on the side.

The smorgasbord of colors reminded me of a art palette.

Chin Seng Cooked Food - Chicken Chop Noodle @ Tekka Market & Food Centre

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Chin Seng Cooked Food at Tekka Market & Food Centre is a noodle stall that specializes in wanton and dumplings. You can have them deep fried or boiled, with or without noodle, dry or in soup. However, I am there for something else - the chicken chop noodle ($4/$4.50).

No one was in the stall when I arrived but I soon realized the stall owner is chatting with a customer at the table in front. After placing my order with her, she returned to the stall and put the chicken in the deep fryer.

The frying took some time and she explained that she will prepare the noodle only after the chicken is done or else, it will be all dried up.

What she said makes sense to me and I am impressed by her thoughtfulness.

Zhu Jiao Shu Shi - Affordable Old School Breakfast Offerings @ Tekka Market & Food Centre

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Zhu Jiao Shu Shi (竹脚熟食) at Tekka Market & Food Centre is managed by a pair of elderly couple with a younger man whom I assumed to be their son.

The stall offers simple breakfast options such as white bee hoon ($1.70), fried bee hoon ($1.20), chee cheong fun ($1), glutinous rice ($1.50) and peanut porridge ($1). There are also some ala carte side dishes which you can add-on to complement your meal.

I ordered a plate of fried bee hoon and added a slice of luncheon meat and cabbage. I also had a bowl of peanut porridge. 

The total cost of my meal came up to just $3.30.

Grandma Mee Siam @ Tekka Market & Food Centre

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The Chinese and English names of this signboard at Tekka Market & Food Centre tells of two very different things.

The English part says Grandma Mee Siam while the Chinese part says 燻鲨鱼五香虾饼. It translates as "smoked shark five spiced prawn fritter" or what we normally called ngor hiang.

But neither one is wrong because mee siam and ngor hiang are the very two things on the menu. 

The stall is run by Madam Lim whom I believed to be the grandma in question here. I wanted to give her special mee siam a try after seeing multiple postings about it on social media. 

So, what is so special about her mee siamBasically, what you can find here is literally MEE siam that is served with yellow noodle.

Have you ever wonder why mee siam is not called bee hoon siam when it is served with bee hoon (rice vermicelli) and not mee (noodle)? I know I have.

What makes this MEE siam even more intriguing is its association with terms like "best mee siam", "old school", "traditional", etc in reviews.

545 Whampoa Prawn Noodle @ Tekka Market & Food Centre

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545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles at Tekka Market & Food Centre needs no further introduction.

I will spare you the story of how this third gen University Finance graduate, Li Ruifang gave up her cushy corporate job to don the apron or how her grandfather began peddling his prawn noodle in the streets during the 1950s. These information can easily be obtained from the numerous blogs sharing them.
 
A perpetual queue can always be seen as it is one of the more popular stalls here. Fortunately for me, there were no more than five people when I arrived at about ten in the morning. When it was almost my turn, the stall helper came down the line to ask for my order.

I have bookmarked this stall on my to-eat list for the longest time and I am glad I am finally able to do a food trail in this food centre at Little India.

When it comes to prawn noodle, I am always in a dilemma because it is tough choosing between having it dry or in soup.
 
However, I wanted to have it dry this time, opting for a mix of bee hoon and mee (yellow noodle).

Selera Restaurant @ 15 Mackenzie Road

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When I was a child, one of my aunt owned a coffee shop at Blk 8 Selegie Road. It was like a headquarters of sorts where Mum and all her other sisters would gather. All of them, Mum included, would bring their brood as well.

While the adults catches up on life, the children would hang out to play at the alley behind the coffee shop.

I love those visits then because that meant having free-flow of soft drinks from the dispenser (that was our children's version of beer tap) and dropping by The Bookworm Club office a few doors down.

It has been more than thirty years since my aunt has relocated her business elsewhere but I could never forget this part of my childhood.

Recently, I dropped by Selegie for a revisit. The coffee shop and The Bookworm Club are of course long gone by now.

Eleven Fingers (Eu Kee) Scissors Curry Rice @ Blk 269B Queen Street

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Eleven Fingers (Eu Kee) Scissors Curry Rice is located within the same coffee shop as New Rong Liang Ge Cantonese Duck Double Boiled Soup at Blk 269B Queen Street.

While this may not be the most aesthetically pleasing looking plate of curry rice, the taste is anything but. You can tell how immensely popular they are by the number of people that thronged the stall daily. 

I decided to beat the crowd by coming early but in the end, I still have a queue to join. A lady stationed outside the stall takes your order and collect payment while the man inside scoops and cuts everything you wanted onto a plate of rice with a pair of scissors. Everything is then smothered under curry and braising sauce as a finishing touch.

New Rong Liang Ge Cantonese Roast Duck Double Boiled Soup @ Blk 269 Queen Street

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I first learned about this roast stall called New Rong Liang Ge Cantonese Roast Duck Double Boiled Soup from the TV program "Where The Queue Starts" (排排站查查看) several years ago.

I have bookmarked the stall since then but have never gotten round to trying it. When I visited the newly reopened Old Bukit Purmei Lor Mee recently, I realized this roast stall is located right at the next coffee shop along the same row under Blk 269B Queen Street.

Fast forward one week later, I am back to check them out.

Old Bukit Purmei Lor Mee - Now Run By The Third Generation! @ Blk 269 Queen Street

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The last time I wrote about my favorite Bukit Purmei Lor Mee was in February 2016. I was ecstatic then because they have finally reopened a new stall at West Coast Drive after closing down their Bukit Purmei stall due to Uncle Teo's (stall owner) declining health. 

Unfortunately, my happiness was short-lived as they closed their business yet again for the very same reason. Since then, I have been seeking solace in Uncle Teo's sister's lor mee stall at Bukit Batok when the crave arises.

The sister's lor mee is not an exact replica of Uncle Teo's version but that is the closest I can get to combat any withdrawal symptoms.