I travelled to the quaint neighbourhood of Cambridge Road where Pek Kio Market And Food Centre is located. I chanced upon Tong Siew Fried Rice in one of my Facebook groups last year, and they specialise in S$3 plates of hor fun and fried rice as well as prawn omelette for only S$4.
On Google, it said that the stall opens at 1pm. But when we arrived, the uncle was still getting the stall started.
“Come back at 1.30pm,” he said. And so, we patiently waited.
Uncle was as punctual as the trains in Japan… it was already open at 1.25pm. I approached the aunty (his stall assistant) who took my order, and she asked me where my table was.
When she found out that it was far away, she got into a frenzy and things started getting awkward between us.
“Can you sit nearer so that it’s easier for me to send it to you?” she exclaimed. I saw the words ‘self service’ on the signboard, so I wasn’t sure what was going on. In the end, we agreed to her request and changed tables.
What I tried at Tong Siew Fried Rice
It was surprising to know that despite the recent GST hike, Tong Siew still sells their food at the same price point from last year.
My dining partners and I got the ball rolling with the Fried Hor Fun (S$3). The plate had pieces of chicken, fish cake, green veggies, and a mound of hor fun doused in a viscous egg gravy.
The hor fun was smooth and slid down my throat easily. Unfortunately, it lacked the fragrant wok hei that you’ll usually get at other zi char stalls. The gravy was well seasoned but wasn’t exceptional.
As I dived deeper into the dish, I found the hor fun generously loaded with tender chicken pieces and tasty slices of fish cake. Honestly, the portions of the ingredients exceeded other establishments which charge a higher price.
We proceeded to try the Prawn Egg (S$4) next. It was an aesthetically beautiful circular omelette which had sexy golden brown surfaces.
I jabbed my chopsticks and spoon gently into the egg, and slowly pulled it apart to reveal chunky pieces of prawn and spring onion bits.
I was shocked at the insanely lavish amount of prawns in the open-faced omelette for only S$4.
“How is the uncle earning any money?” I thought to myself.
The omelette itself was tasty, and the slightly charred surfaces enhanced the aroma of the egg, making it subtly smoky.
Dunking the pieces of egg into the chilli changed the experience completely. The chilli dip had an acidic and spicy combo happening at the same time, closely resembling the dips that you’ll get from orh luak stalls.
We then moved on to our final dish, the Fried Rice (S$3). The pile of rice was heavily laden with bits of chicken, fish cake, egg, whitebait and spring onions. For the price I was paying, I was impressed once again by the amount of ingredients it contained.
The crispy bits of whitebait were scrumptious and injected tiny bits of saltiness to the rice.
I must say that even though the fried rice had no wok flavour, it was tasty in its own way. Everything from the mini egg bits to the pieces of chicken right down to the tiny sprigs of spring onion added their own tiny personalities to the dish. The entire table agreed that it was delicious and we finished every last grain.
With inflation the way it is today, it’s difficult to discover hawker stalls which offer dishes at the same price point as Tong Siew Fried Rice. Even though things were a little awkward at the beginning, I managed to approach the aunty once again for a little chit-chat.
I found out that the Uncle has been doing this since the age of 22, and it’s been 50 years… that makes him 72 this year— amazing!
Be patient when you head down here and remember to sit near the stall. The aunty will gladly serve the food to your table personally, with no service charge involved. Score!
Expected damage: S$3 – S$7 per pax
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