Day Night Fried Kway Teow: For those who don’t like it too sweet!
Hidden inside 163 Bukit Merah Central Market & Food Centre is a char kway teow stall that adds a few modern touches to the dish and will appeal to those who prefer their char kway teow a little more savoury and less sweet.
The stall is run by Xu Chun Cheng, who has been frying char kway teow for more than 20 years.
He learnt the craft from his father who also made his living as a char kway teow hawker.
You’ll notice that Xu uses a customised silver wok with no handles, something which his father also had when he fried char kway teow.
Xu runs the stall with his wife who helps with the food preparation and the order taking.
The char kway teow ($3/4) here is a little different from traditional char kway teow in that Xu uses the thinner flat kway teow instead of the traditional broader flat kway teow — in addition to yellow noodles — and it changes the texture of the dish quite a bit.
Instead of a big springy bounciness, the char kway teow has instead a slippery smooth texture with a little springiness to it.
Overall, the dish is fried well with a little bit of wetness and with a more savoury slant to the flavour as opposed to the dominant sweet black dark soy sauce flavour that is characteristic of many char kway teow.
Order it with chilli and it adds a nice earthy and spicy flavour which blends well with the rest of the dish.
Each plate has all the requisite char kway teow ingredients — soft eggs, chives, decently thick fish cake and lap cheong slices, bean sprouts and cockles.
The lap cheong, in particular, has its skin peeled off, pre-sliced and fried beforehand to bring out the fragrance before it’s fried again together with the the noodles and the rest of the ingredients.
A small heap of pork lardons are added to the side of the dish instead of it being fried with the dish so it stays crispy while eating.
Unusual for char kway teow stalls, a whole lime is also added to every plate to presumably cut through the richness but truthfully, its not really needed, as char kway teow is meant to be a sinful dish anyway.
The dish does have a few small downsides — while nice, it sometimes could do with a little more smoky wok hei and perhaps a little cockle juice for a little more depth to the flavour.
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