Last week, I visited Maxwell Food Centre to try out Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. I was also very keen to tickle my tastebuds with Zhen Zhen Porridge but because of the horrendously long queue, I chose to wait and by the time I finished my chicken rice (whose queue was also very long), the stall had closed and I was left for home feeling half sated. This time round,I was determined to go straight for the porridge and yu sheng (raw fish salad). And after queuing for a good 45 minutes, it was time to tuck in.
Goreng Pisang. Its very hard to come across good goreng pisang these days. Known throughout the English world as Fried Banana Fritters, the lovely little homesnack should come in a crispy skin with a wholesome and juicy interior that shrieks of sweet banana goodness after getting past the first crunch.
I was at Maxwell Food Centre last week and after the entire meal of Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken rice, I simply had to order the freshly fried goreng pisang and chempedak that was just out of the fryer. Piping hot with a slightly oily coat, you could actually feel the crispiness. The batter is thin giving full focus towards the main ingredient right smack in the middle. And that goreng pisang was very good. A worthy contender to that Goreng Pisang stall at Longhouse along Upper Thomson Road.
$0.80 for 1 goreng pisang, I would say its a well worth it experience. The chempedak was just as good with big fleshy pieces being used. No skimping on the meat there though its been a very very long time since I had a good goreng chempedak with an cooked seed. But then again, just buy a little of this and a little of that, and I am sure I could simply sit back and relax with a nice mug of tea enjoying the cars whizzing by along the CBD area.
I admit. The last time I probably been to Maxwell Food Centre was when I was just a kid. Other than its popular name and its locality near Shenton Way, it all seemed vague to me. But I have heard of Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice situated within the hawker centre. Presumably, it is regarded as one of Singapore’s Top Ten Chicken Rice with even Makansutra giving it a “Die Die Must Try” rating.
The queue was exceptionally long, with the last customer standing behind the stall. And as all Singaporeans who notice a queue, one would naturally follow suit. I waited about 20 minutes in line before I placed my order.
Singapore is uniquely a mix of all types of people. Myself for example, by race I am Eurasian, but by culture I am diversified. I am a Eurasian, Hainanese and Peranakan altogether in one package. My Straits Chinese roots come from my Paternal Grandmother’s side, and since young I have been exposed to dishes like Ayam Buah Keluak, Chap Chye, Popiah, Itek Tim, Babi Pong Teh, Bakwan Kepeting, Sambal Timun, Achar, and not forgetting the ubiquitous Sambal Belachan.
There is only a handful or so of Peranakan restaurants in Singapore, and I have always been keen to venture. So it was my great delight when Time Out Singapore invited me and a guest to visit The Blue Ginger Restaurant.