I always enjoy eating the food around the Tiong Bahru area. Many of you oldies out there will still remember the old hawker stalls selling "chok" or the gooey kind of porridge, lor mee and satay. There was the Tiong Bahru "pow" stall selling an assorted array of dumplings round the corner and if you were game enough, there was the fried ice cream stall further down the dirty alley way.
Much has changed around the area, and the old stalls have given way to the Tiong Bahru Market complex. However, many of the stalls in this new complex is still run by the old generation of hawkers.
There are still many of my favourite stalls still run by the generation of hawkers from the old days. My favourites are the Hwa Yuen Porridge stall and the Tiong Bahru Loh Mee and Chicken Rice stalls.
A favourite with my wife is the Chwee Kueh stall just round the corner from the porridge and lor mee outlets.
There are still some stalls selling the old traditional food such as tow kwa pok, but alas, I don't know how long these will last. Taste buds have changed and the younger generation cannot appreciate the foods of yesteryear. Even a change in name has not made the stall more POP(ular).
But still, there are the foods that are finding a new audience among the younger generation such as the fried sotong prawn mee.
That said, the Tiong Bahru Market is definitely the place to bring back fond memories of the good old times.
If your museum-hopping stint in Singapore leaves you high and day, drop into the Empress Restaurant. Located just behind the Asian Civilizations Museum, Empress is ideally located along the banks of the Singapore River. And if weather permits, alfresco dining is available to wine and dine your way to the perfect end of your busy day.
Guaranteed to whet your appetite, start off with the Triple Roast Platter consisting of the Empress char-siu, Crackling roast pork and the Empress specialty - sticky and sweet pork ribs.
My personal favourite is the crispy-battered Japanese halibut fillet perfectly glazed and flavoured with yuzu and ginger flower.
And what Chinese meal is complete without the Royal Peking duck wrapped in silky crepe and with a touch of scallions and cucumber.