Hawker

Where:
曾記粿品 (Openrice entry)
Shop 8, Sheung Wan Cooked Food Market
1 Queen’s Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

FYN Note:  It’s next to ABC Kitchen, look for the red / white Chinese sign.  It’s only open for lunch too, so don’t try and go for dinner.

Followed by:

KFC
Shop 231A, 2/F Shun Tak Centre (ie. the Macau Ferry Terminal)
168-200 Connaught Rd
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Phone:
I don’t think you really need the phone number for either place.

Price:
HKD100 for two people at 曾記粿品 and HKD27 for the KFC Double Down.

The deal:
Mr Judgmental and I had planned to make a return to 曾記粿品, a tiny shop in the Sheung Wan Cooked Food Centre which specialises in Chiu Chow cakes (or as my SE Asian homies would call it, ‘kueh‘) and other dishes such as Chai Tow Kway (菜头粿 – also known as carrot / radish cake) and the Oyster Omelette Pancake (耗煎 – O Luak or O jian / 蠔餅 – hou beng in Cantonese). While the other dishes may be of varying quality, the Oyster Omelette is off the fucking chain.  However, somewhere between the planning for Oyster Omelette and getting some other pan fried Chiu Chow / Teochew kueh, the news came out that the Double Down had come to KFC HK.  Yes, the gut busting burger monstrosity that substitutes two deep fried chicken fillets for the standard burger bun, with cheese and bacon stuffed inside.

I gotta admit that I fucking love to get a HK New Food Scoop (lolz) but even my greedy ass limits were being tested by the idea of the KFC Double Down.  I floated it with Mr Judgmental whether we should postpone our Oyster Omelette date and go and be amongst the first to smash a HK Double Down instead, despite strong reservations that the Double Down was going to be disappointing.  He shot back instantly that we should get our Bang Bang on.  That’s where you have two full meals at two different restaurants. Sensing my calorie loaded hesitation, I got a stern talking to that this was an opportunity similar to 2010 when people went from ‘Katniss who??’ to ‘Katniss yesssssssssssss!’ and with that hard hitting pep talk I was all FUCK, I get the poetic logic of a Bang Bang double meal which involves a Double Down and I pinned my Mockingjay badge on, pulled on my hard cunt pants and declared “I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!!“:

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曾記粿品 is as basic as you’d expect for a cooked food centre.  From previous experience, we’d already established that the png kueh (a tear drop shaped kueh filled with rice, peanuts and pork mince) is a fuck no, too much dough and not enough filling.  Mr Judgmental hadn’t been a huge fan of their carrot cake (claiming it was too sweet), so instead we loaded up on some kuehs, an oyster congee and my first, my last, my everything – DAT OYSTER OMELETTE.  For the kuehs, we ordered the garlic chive, taro and white radish ones (you need to order at least three if you want them to fry them for you).  These are quick and easy snacks, the garlic chive one being my fuck yeah favourite of the three.  Yeah, we doubled up on the Chive Kueh.  The oyster congee was fairly unexciting but DAT OYSTER OMELETTE was still the fucking magnificent beauty that I remembered.  A generous amount of large oysters fried into a crisp, tapioca starch and egg omelette which deserves all the FUCK YEAHS ever.  Oyster Omelettes can be so sad for so many reasons including tiny ass oysters of poor quality, crappy gloopy consistency due to too much tapioca starch or poor frying which means it’s just a fuck no, greasy mess.  Fuck eating poorly fried food with all of the calorific impact but none of the fuck yeah delicious, crispy times.  No such concerns at 曾記粿品 though, because this was a fuck yeah crispy oyster pancake masterpiece which I ate seasoned with a little bit of fish sauce, white pepper and my own salty tears of pure and unadulterated happiness.  How can HKD42 at 曾記粿品 purchase such jubilation? I cannot fully explain it but for anyone jonesing for a fuck yeah oyster omelette, I can’t imagine there’s a better fix available in Hong Kong.

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With our stomachs well sated by a fuck yeah budget priced lunch of HKD100ish for all of our food, we set off under the heat of a thousand suns to trek to the Shun Tak Macau Ferry Terminal, the only KFC in the Central area.  Under the bright fluorescent lights of Shun Tak, I had the sudden realisation that I’ve never actually physically been to a KFC in HK.  Praise be to the availability of online ordering or the fried chicken gathering skills of Sir Crunch-a-lot.  Not that my lack of patronage to KFC Shun Tak Macau Ferry Terminal has been hurting business because these guys were rammed, a long line of customers snaking out and around the KFC.

Sgt Noms:  Do you think they’re all here for the Double Down?
Mr Judgmental:  No, I’ve scoped the tables – I’ve only seen one person eating it.
Sgt Noms:  What about that awkward white dude who’s avoiding eye contact with everyone?
Mr Judgmental:  Yeah, he’s probably here for the Double Down.  Just as we are.

Thanks to KFC’s fuck yeah efficiency, we were soon placing our order for the Double Down (HKD27).  Mr Judgmental added a Hot & Spicy thigh piece as well as some waffle fries.  We stepped past our awkward white dude homie who was unwrapping his own Double Down and soon, we were staring down our meal which was putting the bang into BANG BANG.  Look at that glorious piece of Hot & Spicy thigh, lying all seductive as fuck in its plastic wicker basket, flanked by the innocuous looking Double Down:

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FYN Fun Fact:  Did you know that at HK KFC that cleanliness is next to godliness?  Have you been eating KFC all your life with your bare hands like some sort of wild, heathen animal?  HONG KONG, I AM TRULY LIVING IN THE GENTRIFIED FUTURE NOW.

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Do you ever read those food blogs where someone has carefully staged a photo of an avocado artfully smashed across a thick cut piece of five grain toast while a gently grilled charcoal kissed tomato sits to one side? Just to the corner, a blue and white porcelain milk jug with a sprig of wild rosemary peeks out precociously, while in the front of the photo there’s the gentle curve of a vintage mother-of-pearl handled knife which sits almost out of frame, while all of this is casually strewn across a rough hewn wooden table made from the deck of an ancient Greek fishing boat?  Yeah, well FYN food photography gets you the greasy wrapping paper of a Double Down which repeatedly declares SOGOOD SOGOOD, a greasy ass lump of fried chicken, bacon and cheese, with a plastic glove peeking out from the top left corner.  Fuck yeahhhh, behold the culinary wonders of Shun Tak Macau Ferry Terminal!

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All I could think about at this stage is why was our built to order Double Down so fucking soggy.  It’s not like we’d sat around for 10 minutes gazing at our Double Down before we unwrapped it?  I care so deeply for my FYN homies that I even took a cross-section of the Double Down so you are all now fully equipped with the deep fried chicken truth.

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Scientific dissection complete, it was time to glove up and get Doctor Chicken Takedown in the house.  I am not entirely sure what I was expecting from the KFC Double Down but from a base level I fucking love fried chicken, bacon and cheese.  How could combining these three things be a bad thing? Ohhhh but there’s always surprises in life and first of all, WHY WAS THE CHICKEN SO FUCKING SOGGY?  The flaccid bacon lay lifeless between the two soggy ass Original spiced chicken fillets with the highly processed melted cheese binding the whole mushy affair together.  But the greatest horror was the “mayonnaise” – which was so fucking sweet, with a fruity overtone.  I chewed my Double Down, pondering my life choices which have led me to this deep fried juncture, while I thought over and over “WHY DOES THE MAYONNAISE TASTE LIKE PINEAPPLES!?”.  It was like they were trying to put the Hawaiian feeling into the Double Down and trust me, the sweet mayonnaise fought valiantly for attention in the Double Down Salt Bomb Arena, taking me back to the Saltiest Ever Paella that I ate at La Paloma.

A close up of my KFC all glove no love shame:

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Despite whatever shortcomings it may have had, I still finished my Double Down in its entirety.  I stripped off my glove and in the cleanest I’ve ever been post-eating KFC, I jealously watched Mr Judgmental destroy his piece of KFC Hot & Spicy thigh while I reflected on how the Double Down could have more fully lived up to its fried chicken potential.  Why did the Double Down use Original chicken fillets, rather than what I feel would have been a superior fuck yeah choice of the Hot & Spicy Zinger burger fillet?  From my research, I understand this is an option in some other markets. It shouldn’t have been that hard to execute a Double Down – all the Colonel needed to ensure was that his homies were using crispy chicken patties, a decent slice of crispy bacon, about one-third of the cheese that we received and normal non-pineapple flavoured mayonnaise.  But then again, what expectations do you really have of a novelty chicken item that has taken five years to get its greasy ass to Hong Kong??

As sure as people will never let you exit the MTR before they get the fuck on, I felt fucking awful all afternoon.  The Double Down truly did take me down.  Maybe it was the obscene amounts of sodium.  Maybe it was the alleged cheese.  Maybe it was because I ate three times my daily recommended calorie intake in a Bang Bang lunch affair where everything was fried.  Maybe it was the inevitable guilt and shame that overcomes someone after indulging in some KFC dirty bird because that truly is the darkness that clings to your psyche, long after you’ve removed the greasy glove and moist toweletted yourself down with the faint scent of medicinal lemon. But sweet greasy KFC darkness, oh yes, I will come for you again. Just in your traditional form and not in a fuck no sandwich which uses soggy chicken fillets to substitute the bread.

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Verdict:
Fuck yeahhhh to the best fucking Oyster Omelette that I’ve had in Hong Kong.  Fuck no to novelty chicken items at KFC – but I’m not gonna lie, I could get my glove on again for a piece of that delicious fuck yeah KFC deep fried chicken thigh.  Original, Hot & Spicy – I know I’ve got room in my heart for both.

My oh my! While I love this busy, neon lit town sometimes the hustle and bustle of the heaving metropolis of Hong Kong can get anyone a little frazzled around the edges.  Which is why I was sooo looking forward to a balmy weekend away in the nearby city of SINGAPORE for a weekend of foodie nomad adventures, girlie catch-ups, chill tunes and yes, even a spot of shopping (OMG, Charles & Keith here I come!). It seems so inconceivable that with only a four hour hop skip and a jump away and I was trading my warm winter woolies for cute shorts, tank tops and strappy bejewelled sandals.  Wowee – oh so delightful to the max!

OH BUT SHIT NO – don’t worry homies my shit ain’t that desperate yet that I’ve had to start writing travel guides for HK Lifestyle blogs or sell my fat ass for paid sponsorship travel links (big love to CX Fanfares! Thanks so much Flight Centre! GUYS, YOU TOTALLY NEED TO CHECK THIS ECO-BOUTIQUE RETREAT OUT IN CAMBODIA! XO).  Here’s the fucking drum – the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival was on in Singapore, I fucking miss going to festivals with decent line ups (lolz, Clockenflap – I had fun at your shit, but in no way can anyone say it was a solid THREE DAY lineup) and since I read the Buzzfeed on A Guide To Hong Kong Basic Bitches it was time to fulfil my Sheung Wan/Sai Ying Pun Basic Bitch destiny on with a music festival and a fuck tonne of FUCK YEAH, SINGAPOREAN HAWKER FOOD at every other goddamn opportunity.  There’s a fine dining scene in the mighty Lion City, but in FYN’s opinion the Singapore Food Game is ALL about cheap hawker eats.  You take the influences of China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and some Western shit and throw that all together into a country which lives to eat its face off, how can shit not be fuckin’ righteous?? Sure, parts of SG might be manufactured and sterile but you can’t fucking deny it, SG’s food game is off the goddamn chain.

FYN’s Guide to Hawker Centres

There’s some basic hawker centre tips you gotta get on top of:

  • Shit fills up quick – go early and ‘chop’ tables. Singaporeans do this by placing a tissue at the table as some sort of territorial claim.  It’s pretty fucking unlikely that you’ll manage to secure a table all to yourself straight off the bat so be ready to share tables with strangers and then as they move, take over more territory.
  • Pass the tissues – bring your own or throw a couple of bucks at the old ladies who are going table to table selling tissues to make a living.  Bring wet towelettes too cause shit gets messy. As above, tissues can also be used to claim seating territory too.
  • Pick your homies correctly – if you go with fussy bitches or hygiene freaks, they’re gonna have a bad time.  You’re gonna have a bad time listening to these no fun assholes complaining the whole fucking time or screwing up their judgmental faces.  So essentially, you’re all gonna be fucked.  At a hawker centre, there’s not gonna be any of that prissy ‘food serving’ public chopstick thing that the Hong Kongers live and die by (wah wah wah SARS wah wah wah bird flu, ok I get it).  If you go with a tight ass like me, I won’t pay SGD0.40 for an extra empty plate – so I want my homies to be cool with eating off a banana leaf or sharing plates.  So do your due diligence and hit up hawker centres with homies who are down to eat, try new shit and if your chopsticks are in the main dish or you’re fishing noodles out of their bowl they don’t give a fuck cause it’s all about everyone getting their eat on.
  • Divide and conquer – have a plan so you can split up to line up for food for maximum efficiency.  Some stalls will cook it there and you might wait up to 30 minutes. Other stalls will deliver to your table.  Check your table number before you line-up so you’re not that asshole who has to slow down proceedings to run back and check yo shit out.
  • Long lines, fine times – this shit holds true in all of Asia.  People love a long fucking line and if you really have no idea where’s good, this is your best bet to chance on a winner.  Shit could still be a fuck no, but that’s the hawker centre roulette you gotta play.
  • Timing is everything – if you’re chasing a particular dish / stall, make sure that you check when it’s open.  Some centres are late night places.  Some will close on random days of the week.  Some open early.  Some will have mega fucking long queues and require an hour wait, so get yo ass down there early at opening to make sure you’re eating and not queuing all fucking day.  Some will shut down for the day when they run out of food. Google that shit to avoid disappointment.
  • Respect, yo – the polite thing to do when ordering your shit is to address the stall peeps as ‘Uncle’ or ‘Aunty’.  It might feel weird for you white folk cause fuck, it’s not like you’re actually related.  But it’s just how things go and they love that shit in Singapore.  Just don’t do what one of my homies did and asked an ‘Uncle’ to clear our dishes before realising that said dish clearer was actually a female ‘Aunty’.  Let’s just say we were subject to a very vicious and aggressive as fuck plate clearing experience post this gauche as fuck request.

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Old Airport Road Food Centre

My homie Mr Judgmental starting laying down the ground work for SG eats way before we touched down.  He insisted upon a methodical as fuck approach to our Singaporean Hawker times, first of all laying down the law that we had to get an early afternoon flight out to ensure we could hit a hawker centre on Friday night to optimise all eating opportunities.  Fuck no to getting in at 830pm and getting to hawker centres at 10pm when they’re closing shit down.  Fuck yeah to getting to HK Airport for lunch time and watching Mr Judgmental slam a four piece fried chicken feed at Popeye’s before you’ve even snacked down your measly two piece feed. Chicken of the Sky, what the fuck is better before you fly?

After researching and talking to our Singaporean homies, we had our choices narrowed down to Old Airport Road Food Centre and Chomp Chomp.  Once we decided on Old Airport Road Food Centre, Mr Judgmental and I didn’t leave no shit to chance, creating a spreadsheet which went through several drafts and ultimately generated a numerical score so we could prioritise what shit we were going to eat.  Yeah – this OCD shit might have happened:

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Thanks to the wonders of Changi Airport, we touched down, grabbed some Singapore Dollars from the HSBC ATM and a M1 sim card (fuck being without data, M1 sells a SGD18 sim which gives you 1GB data for one week, the SGD30 with voice option can fuck right off – THANKS M1 XO) and half an hour later from touch down we were at Old Airport Food Centre getting involved in a hawker food feast of epic fuck yeah proportions:

  • Char Kway Teow (Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow #01-12): Four different plate sizes of char kway teow (fried flat noodle) in either the black or white variety.  The largest size was SGD10 which is pretty fucking expensive by hawker standards and wasn’t particularly large.  A lot of websites cite this as being one of the best in char kway teow in SG, but it was a bit sweet and too greasy for me and while edible, I don’t think it was that fucking phenomenal.  FYN verdict:  Fuck no – no one can afford to waste stomach real estate for ‘edible’ in Singapore.
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  • Curry puff (Wang Wang Crispy Curry Puff #01-126):   Wang Wang had your standard chicken and potatoes variation but they also have the less common tuna / sardine curry puff – and both were fucking RAD TO THE MAX.  Less than SGD1 each and these hot, flakey bastards were fucking amazing.  Mr Chang rolls out his pastry in multiple layers, almost like a croissant which results in this flakey, layered fuck yeahhhh pastry shell.  FYN verdict:  FUCK YEAH. I think this was the best fucking thing I ate at Old Airport.  Check out this video with a strong fuck yeah Singaporean accent to get yo’self pumped for WANG WANG YUM YUM times:
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  • Orh luak (Oyster Omelette) and Chai Tow Kueh (Carrot Cake) (Stall #01-100):  Katong Ah Soon per the spreadsheet was closed so we tried the orh luak and chai tow kueh at this stall instead.  While the oysters were big, this struggled on the execution of being an omelette and came more like chunks of eggs with oysters strewn throughout it  I like my oyster omelette to be crispier and more cohesive.  The chai tow kueh was good but not exceptional.  Shit was expensive too at SGD18 a plate.  FYN verdict:  Fuck no. Ain’t nobody got time for functionally acceptable food in SG.
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  • Satay (Chuan Kee Satay #01-85 and some other stall which I can’t remember):  Meat on sticks which cost SGD0.50 each versus the HKD58 each that you’d get slogged in Hong Kong.  Chuan Kee Satay is the famous one with the big line but we had satay from another stall and both were fucking awesome.  Overall, it’s sad regretful times that I didn’t eat more satay in Singapore.  FYN verdict:  Fuck yeah! Dat value too.
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  • Hainanese chicken rice (Weng Hua Yuan #01-119):  I’m not the biggest fan of Hainanese Chicken Rice – it’s good but end of the day it’s just fucking rice and chicken.  I’d rather eat one of the one million other more interesting Singaporean dishes on offer.  The chicken rice at Old Airport Road was nothing special and I thought the chicken was a bit dry.  But perhaps all of this comes from a biased place.  FYN verdict:  Fuck no.
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  • Otah (stall number unknown, but based on some sleuthing, I think it might have been Tan Beng Otah Delights #01-74):  Despite the numerical system, Mr Judgmental still had shit to say when I ranked otah (a grilled fish cake made of ground fish meat mixed with tapioca starch and spices) a low priority and Mr Judgmental gave it a high priority.  Sorry my judgmental homie, I just don’t get that excited about fish cakes even if they’re wrapped in a banana leaf.  Mr Judgmental got his otah on and managed to order shit tonnes of it, due to a communication breakdown.  FYN verdict:  I guess if you are super into fish paste it’s a fuck yeah.  But if you’re not – fuck no.

Overall verdict on Old Airport Road:  Shit was ok but if I made a return to SG, I’d hit up another hawker centre instead.  Fuck no.

Maxwell Road Hawker Centre

On Saturday morning I hit up a roti and masala dosa with one of my homies for a healthy heart starter of a breakfast but the star of today’s eating was Maxwell Road Hawker Centre (1 Kadayanallur Street, Chinatown) for lunch.

  • Rojak (Rojak, Popiah & Cockle #01-56):  Rojak is a mix of fruit, veg and fried tofu mixed with a black sauce consisting of belacan (shrimp paste), sugar, chili, and lime juice.  The fishy, sweet and sour sauce is what you might politely call a flavour sensation but what most other people would call it a red hot mess or even more bluntly, fucking disgusting.  If this strange beast is your thing, the one at Maxwell was spot on – the taupok (fried tofu) was fresh and not fried in some dank ass oil and there was a good balance between the sweet pineapple, crunchy cucumber and the bean sprouts.  FYN verdict:  Fuck yeah – but I fully accept that black shrimpy sweet and sour paste with pineapple may not be everyone’s fuckin’ jam.
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  • Chicken rice (Tian Tian Chicken Rice, #01-10):  As above, chicken rice doesn’t set my world on fire.  Tian Tian started at the Maxwell Food Centre and has since expanded to four outlets.  Of course this means any self respecting food douchebag should make disparaging comments that things haven’t been the same since they opened more stores.  The chicken was tender but I thought the rice was too fucking gluggy.  When a dish is as simple as chicken rice and you fuck up half of its name sake, you can guess where this is headed.  FYN verdict:  Fuck no.  My snobby Singaporean homies tell me that Tian Tian is more for tourists anyway.
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  • Mee poh goreng (Yan Kee Noodle, #01-49): Mee poh goreng is a dry noodle which is served with a chilli sauce and lard chips, fish balls, minced pork, ikan bilis and two token leaves of lettuce. You stir the sauce through just to wet everything enough and Yan Kee Noodle’s was spot on – if you want to be a mee poh snob you want to talk about shit like how springy the noodles were, how they didn’t clump together, the balance of the sauce moisture to the ingredients and the contrasting texture of the soft ingredients such as the crunch provided by MOTHERFUCKEN FRIED LARD CHIPS and fried ikan bilis (tiny anchovies).   FYN verdict:  Fuck off food snobs,  cause if you’re just a greedy fuck like me you’d just say FUCK YEAHHHH cause how can lard fried in oil to make lard chips ever be wrong?
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  • Fish Bee Hoon (Jin Hua Sliced Fish Bee Hoon #01-77):  I’d planned trying Jin Hua’s fish bee hoon (white rice noodle) as a priority because one of my Singaporean homies told me that out of all the things you can get in this awesome country, this is one of the things he tracks down as soon as he goes home.  But inexplicably, I missed getting this on the Saturday and I didn’t make it on Sunday.  I’d planned to get a bowl in before my flight on Monday afternoon but ended up at Hong Lim Centre instead.  My heart aches for not trying this, which hasn’t been helped by Mr Judgmental whatsapping me photos of him pouring those boiling hot noodles down his gullet as he raced the clock to make it back to Changi Airport for his flight. I won’t make this mistake again though – because imma coming for you my milky brothed fish noodley beauty.  I will wait for the old man to cook two pots at a time, not giving a single fuck that there’s an enormous line.  Then, Jin Hua Bee Hoon, I will whole heartedly devour you as I weep salty tears of joy into your carefully selected fish slices. I will wait for you, yearn for you and dream about the day that we will be together.  FYN verdict on my failure to try this dish:  FUCK HOW COULD I BE SO FUCKING STUPID – FUCK I’M SUCH A DUMB ASS DICKSUCK SOMETIMES. 

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Overall verdict on Maxwell Centre:  FUCK YEAHHHHHHH – looked like there was so much more awesome shit to try out too.  I’ll most def be back, SG homies.

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Singapore

So after the Maxwell Hawker Centre stop off, it was time for the purpose behind the trip – St Jerome’s Laneway Festival.  Get my denim cut off shorts and my floral crown out because I’m about to embrace my bohemian, free lovin’ individualistic spirit with 5,000 other pixie bitches:

FUCK YEAH, ICE-CREAM SANDWICH: I wanted to hate the icecream & cookie co for a number of reasons – the all lower case company name, the fact they sell their shit at farmers’ markets and pop-ups, describe themselves as ‘artisanal’ and their twee as fuck description of ‘daily kitchen shenanigans’ but SGD6 later I was being told to wait two minutes to let my sandwich soften up and then I smashed that glorious cookies & cream ice-cream fucker into my face to the strains of Angus & Julia Stone.  One of these things was more memorable than the other. Hot tip, it wasn’t the folky blues Australian rock duo.

FUCK NO, BURGER ABOMINATION:  boCHINche (SG, can you forgive this bullshit capitalisation?  I certainly fucking can’t) claimed on its Facebook that they would be “serving freshly grilled juicy boCHINche burgers and steak sandwiches at this year’s St.Jerome’s Laneway Festival!” but what they really should have claimed was that they’d be serving stone cold burgers, mass assembled by the hundreds and then desultorily doled out to punters who they hoped would be too wasted to fucking notice.  Well, I fucking noticed and this was almost the worst thing I ate in Singapore in four days with its unheated bun, pathetically small ass patty and barely adequate ingredient proportions.  boCHINche’s Facebook claims that “Bochinche is a vibrant expression of enthusiasm” which might be true if by enthusiasm they meant to say “a sorry ass excuse for a burger which brings the greatest of fuck no shame onto this magnificent, fuck yeah eating country.”. FUCK NO BOCHINCHE, may you reap the bad karma that comes from pumping out shitty food at festivals and charging SGD12 for it.

FUCK YEAH, NON-IRONIC HIPSTERS:  I was talking about Bengawan Solo (famous Singaporean bakery which makes the pandan cakes / biscuits that everyone takes back as presents for coworkers) and this pretentious as fuck homie without a trace of irony said “Yuck, like maybe if it was a gluten free, locally sourced pandan cake”.  R U FUCKING SRS? DO U REALISE THE THINGS URE SAYING??

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FUCK YEAH, ONE DAY FESTIVAL:  When we were cruising about at Laneway SG, one of my HK homies thought he saw one of the Clockenflap founders there.  I bet that tedious fuck was ruminating over how with such a solid lineup at Laneway, he’d have been able to spread that shit out to an entire goddamn fortnight in HK for maximum bucks and inconvenience for all concerned.  Fuck yeahhhhhhhhh to not having to trek back to Gardens by the Bay for three days to see all the acts that you wanted.

FUCK NO, PORTALOOS:  You know, if I had sold out a festival with a capacity of 13,000 people, I’d estimate that I need maybe…oh, I don’t know…about TWENTY FUCKEN PORTALOOS FOR EVERYONE?  I never get as blitzed as I want to at music festivals because I simply cannot face the soul tearing post-drinking portaloo trauma that’s involved.  

FYN pro-tip for life:  If you’re in the queue and you see lots of this shit:

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Ditch that glacial speed toilet bullshit quick smart and find yourself the line with the biggest sausage party going on, otherwise you are going to fucking die in a line that’s going nowhere fast.

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Festival femmes, WAT R U DOING IN DEM PORTALOOS TO HELL?  Y U no whatsapp outside?!  Y U no focus every atom of your strong feminine power and fucking romantic peony floral crown into being the fastest portaloo user that you know??

FUCK YEAH, BANKS: Banks was channelling Morticia Adams and seemed to move entirely from her shoulders but dis bitch was my highlight of the entire festival.  Yeah, I’m not gonna bang on about music too much because you’re reading this FYN shit for the noms, not for the tunes.  I tried to find a decent live video but predictably, all those assholes who spent the entire concert filming shit through their phone didn’t even do a fucking good job of it.  Nice one assholes, try living in the moment next time.  You guys are gonna have to make do with this professional music video clip of my favourite fuck yeah tune of the night:


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FUCK NO, SHANTY TOWN TIMES:  Laneway Singapore was undoubtedly the filthiest fucking festival I’ve ever been to which was really fucking surprising given that Singapore is normally the Queen Bee when it comes to keeping its shit tidy.  Even their PM took to Facebook to post pictures and try and shame SG’s hipsters into being filthy bastards.  By the end of the night, the entire ground was a sea of discarded ponchos, plastic bottles and food scraps. Just needed some ibises, seagulls and homeless hobos to really set the scene off.

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(Sauce  – photo by Alphonsus Chern)

Hey Laneway Organisers, maybe next time you’ll order some clean up crews to work during the entire festival and have some more fucking rubbish bins.  Shit son, this is not fucking rocket science.

Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre

I met one of my SG homies for yoga and Sunday brunch.  She asked whether we wanted to eat at a cafe, get some eggs and I said “FUCK NO! I can get that western egg shit in HK – let’s go hawkerrrr”.  Fuck yeahhhh, less than 48 hours in SG and I was rounding the corner into my third different hawker centre.  Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre (30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168898, 10-15 min walk from Tiong Bahru MRT) is in the middle of a neighbourhood which is going through a Sheung Wan-esque gentrification.  Ie. there’s public housing and old cheap shops now bumping up against shops that sell expensive cedar scented candles, playsuits from retro printed material, polka dot notebooks and overpriced coffee.  At Tiong Bahru Hawker Centre I tried two dishes that they were famous for:

  • Jian Bo Chwee Kueh (Stall #02-05):  I fucking love how Singaporean blogs are totally obsessed with value – complaining how one store will charge SGD1.50 for four of an item and another in a different hawker centre will charge SGD1 for four.  Chwee kueh (literal translation:  water cake)  is a type of steamed rice cake which comes topped with a preserved vegetable topping.  I’m not sure exactly where it’s from, I thought it was Teochew in origin but don’t fucking quote me in your chwee kueh thesis ok?  This may sound a bit feral but Jian Bo’s chwee kueh was one of the most fuck yeah chwee kuehs I’ve ever had in this mortal coil of mine.  The rice cake was bang on in consistency – neither too fucking hard or soft, firm enough to hold its shape but still enough give in it to wobble (*insert obscene Nigella Lawson jiggling shit and licking spoons*).  Allegedly Jian Bo grind their own rice to make the flour for their chwee kueh which seems fucking intense, but I can get behind that sort of attention to detail.  The topping here was off the chain too, a combination of preserved radish (chai poh), soy sauce, garlic, sugar and chilli sauce.  It probably sounds fucking weird but I can get behind the salty-sweet flavour profile as a result of the salty chai poh, sugar and then getting the soft-crunchy contrast through frying the chai poh and adding toasted sesame seeds. FYN Verdict:  Of course there’s a line and it’s SGD1.50 for four – get fucking involved homies if you ever get the chance. Shit’s special. FUCK YEAH.
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  • Lor Mee 178 (Stall #02-23):  Lor mee is a Hokkien noodle dish served in Singapore / Malaysia consisting of braised yellow egg noodles served in a thick, starchy gravy. Lor Mee 178’s costs SGD3 or pay an additional SGD0.50 to add deep fried shark nuggets (as if you wouldn’t).  I solely picked this store because it had a crazy-ass line.  Lor Mee 178’s noodle gravy was a super fuck yeah – consistency was perfect, not too gluggy and delicately flavoured with herbal tasting spices.  It came with fish cake, batter pieces and as I upgraded, crispy shark nuggets.  You then add your own mixture of sauces, garlic and chilli. FYN Verdict:  BEST LOR MEE OF MY FUCKING LIFE – FUCK YEAH.

Fuck I know I’m all ‘NO FOOD PHOTOS ON FYN’ but I’m not sure if my non-SG/MY homies would know what chwee kueh looks like – so here’s a fucking photo for your food education references.  Don’t hate, appreciate, UNFFFFFF:

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Overall verdict on Tiong Bahru Hawker Centre: FUCK YEAHHHHHHH – two from two dishes as BEST EVER in my fucking life.  Who can fucking argue with that shit?

Hong Lim Market & Food Centre

Final day in Singapore and my breakfast plans to get kaya toast and a runny egg were thwarted by not having access to coffee at my mate’s house and my epic laziness.  This means I rolled straight into lunch at the Hong Lim Market & Food Centre (531A, Upper Cross Street, Chinatown).  Hong Lim is one of the oldest hawker centres in Singapore and one of the first in the Chinatown area.  It’s sprawled across two levels (the famous shit is on the second level) and allegedly there was a renovation in May 2011, but shit definitely ain’t fancy (first things first, I’m a realist).  Given my inability to try the Fish Beehoon at Maxwell, I’d consoled myself with planning to try the famous ‘fruit juice mee siam’ at Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa (stall #02-66), a sour, spicy rice vermicelli noodle dish which gets a massive wrap on the internetz.  BUT FUCK NO, Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa was closed for two days for reasons that were unexplained. OHH MEE SIAM HOMIES, MY FLIGHT IS LEAVING IN FIVE HOURS, I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS CLOSED FOR TWO DAYS BULLSHIT – waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah:

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I tried to make the pain inside my heart go away by having some char kway teow (fried flat rice noodles) at Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee (Stall #02-17).  Gotta be real, my heart did hurt a little bit less cause this was the best fucking char kway teow I had in my Hawkergeddon SG Weekend.  There noodles are silky, just oily enough and most importantly, have got the char (wok fried) flavour that comes from the wok.  If you want to get all deep, this is known as wok hei (鑊氣) meaning “breath of the wok”.  Outram Park also is very generous on adding cockles, which is a bit of a fucking luxury especially considering a plate of char kway teow only costs a very fuck yeah SGD3.  Shit gets real here line-wise too, it opens at 11am and there’s only three people but by 12pm onwards the line is snaking around the corner.  FYN Verdict:  FUCK YEAHHH, dem cockles.  Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow at Old Airport Road Centre with its SGD8+ price tag and lack lustre char kway teow can SMD.

Just opposite Outram Park, there’s Tai Wah Pork Noodle (Stall #02-16) which makes bak chor mee (pork noodle bowl).  You can have your shit dry or wet, and I went with the dry version cause I think all the different ingredients keep their texture better when they’re not floating in soup.  This means that a bowl of peppery pork soup will come on the side and you can use that to mix it with the noodles to your preference.  The bak chor mee comes in four different sizes, SGD4 to SGD8 and even though I ordered the SGD5 version, the SGD4 would have been fine for one person.  There’s some folklore about how there’s two bak chor mee stalls in Singapore and it’s a result of a feuding family which are now running rival stalls.  Of course this means that food wank assholes will claim how one is superior.  I don’t know cause fuck, no time for bak chor mee comparisons on this trip.  What I do know is that Tai Wah’s bak chor mee is fuck yeah rad times in a bowl – al dente flat wheat noodles topped with an assortment of ingredients – minced pork meat, pork balls, pig liver (dem iron feels), chewy pork dumplings and a few paper thin pieces of dried fish.  I can’t get enough of all dem textures and the sheer unadulterated joy of having that many pig products in one bowl and then sprinkling that shizz with FRIED LARD CHIPS.  FYN Verdict:  FUCK YEAH, PORK NOODLE TIMES. But why is it only Singapore / Malaysia food which is getting so involved with FUCK YEAHHHHHH CRISPY LARD CHIPS?

Special mention to Hak Huat (Stall #02-14) right next door which made the best fuck yeahhh sugar cane drink (SGD1.20) I had on my trip.  They mash dem canes up to order (some stores pre-juice and serve when ordered) which means you’ll wait a little longer but shit don’t get fresher than this. FUCK YEAH!

Fuck No, Changi Airport Toast Times

While I have a raging hard on for HK Airport, a lot of people seem to think that Changi Airport is better.  Even though I was told to seek out the basement to get my last hawker fix, seeing as I’d literally finished up at Hong Lim Market & Food Centre less than half an hour before arriving at Changi Airport, I didn’t feel like chai tow kueh (carrot cake).  Instead, I figured the last thing I hadn’t eaten in Singapore was kaya (coconut jam) toast with a runny egg.  While this shit is normally breakfast fare,  I found myself asking the Airport Info girl, where could I get kaya toast at around 3pm.  “Wang Cafe she replied before courteously giving me accurate directions.  What Info Girl forgot to mention was that this was totally bullshit advice and I was about to walk into a shitstorm of kaya nope.

Kaya toast isn’t hard to execute – ie. it’s toasted bread and you spread kaya jam on it.  Yet, these Wang Cafe homies managed to FUCK THIS SHIT UP ROYALLY.  SGD4.30 for two pieces of kaya toast but as soon as I opened up my paper bag, I was all:

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Even though Wang Cafe made this shit to order, my kaya toast was cold as fuck, the bread was as thin as the patience of an old HK grandma riding the MTR and it was spread with a shamefully scant layer of kaya which didn’t even reach the edges of the bread.  Two slabs of butter sat between the bread, but shit doesn’t melt cause everything’s stone cold.  I even tried to Macguyver my butter to melt by rigging up my sorry ass toast to balance on my kopi o (strong black coffee with sugar) but shit was beyond hope.  SINGAPORE, Y U leave me with this as my final FUCK NO food memory in this glorious fuck yeah food city of yours??
So there you have it, less than 72 hours in the Pore, four hawker centres and many FUCK YEAH moments.  MAJULAH SINGAPURA – KEEP STRONG AND GETTIN’ DEM HAWKER EATS ON.
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