Like any true blooded Singaporean, I love my rojaks. Especially one with fragrant prawn paste, generous portions of ingredients ranging from the traditional turnip, tau pok, you tiao, pineapples and topped with shavings of ginger flower. I remembered a rather famous stall in Toa Payoh itself which I visited about two years back. At that time, I vividly recalled that it was probably the only rojak stall I encountered which required the use of a queue number system.
Last week, I revisited the outlet with my grandmother Helen, and while the food court itself has renovated with a fresher outlook (not like the dingy one of the past), the queue hailing from the rojak stall is still apparent with it never ending every ten minutes I turned around to take a look, even during 3pm on a weekday.
Would you queue for this rojak?
Distinctively, almost every table a had a serving of the rojak. Be it an individual portion or up to a huge platter for a few to share, there is almost something for everybody. But I do lament the peanut spillings over the table at times when the auntie or uncle has to clean up as this is one stall whose peanut to rojak ratio is almost 2 : 1. Then again, how could anyone do without the textual contrast coupled with the savoury smooth feeling after the first bite of savoury sweet rojak medley.
Portions of $2.50/3/4/5 are available. For grandma and myself, I ordered the $4 serving. Admittedly, while there is a bountiful serving of youtiao, the balance of fruits is decent, the dish is however lacking in the department of sliced turnips. The prawn paste itself is a little too sweet for my liking and perhaps I should have asked for a little chilli to be mixed in to quell the sweetness. Soon Heng however uses fresh sliced cuttlefish as part of the ingredients and not the toasted dried slices of norm.
In all, it is still a sight to behold to witness the Uncle quickly fluffing up the pre-processed crushed peanuts onto each serving giving an ultimate impression of generosity though a step away from the traditional hand ground peanuts.
One man dedicated to toast the you tiao, one to prepare the rojak, one to collect the cash, and the last person to be a backup. Why the queue? I guess Singaporeans simply love their rojak and know value for money when they see one.
|Soon Heng Rojak
Basement 1 Food Court
Toa Payoh Central