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Jun 9, 2013 01:38 AM

Tiong Bahru Market/Hawker Food (Singapore)

Tiong Bahru Bao & Dianxin - they seem to be gone, there is a different hawker stall at 02-37

Xi De Li - the char kueh was not that good, but the stall owner was very friendly and chatty

Tiong Bahru Teochew Kueh - 02-02 - tried several, they were good, but not transcendent

Harriann's Delight 02-25 - I really liked these - sweet and savory , esp the green and white one

there were several other things I wanted to try - will go back for Jian Bo Shui Kueh

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  1. More misses than hits in Tiong Bahru food centre these days, debbieann, so it pays to be selective. Methinks the hawker cooking skills have deteriorated quite alarmingly in Singapore nowadays.

    9 Replies
    1. re: klyeoh

      If so, why would it be that the quality of the cooking is declining? Are old hawkers dying or retiring and younger ones are taking other sorts of jobs? If so, who is cooking the food?

      1. re: gfr1111

        The old masters are indeed retiring, and usually, young family members are reluctant to take over, preferring white collar jobs. Many newer hawkers these days tend to cut corners, preferring quicker, faster methods, lesser emphasis on quality ingredients, and many are less experienced - resulting in less-than-good products.

        1. re: klyeoh

          This is so sad. On the other hand, who can blame the younger generation for wanting less difficult employment? There is a food movement in Italy and elsewhere in Europe called the "slow food" movement. (I believe that it was begun in Italy.) It is dedicated to financially supporting and encouraging the preservation of slow, detailed cooking techniques that are disappearing, as the older generation dies or retires. Perhaps Singapore could use a similar program.

          1. re: gfr1111

            Actually, there *is* a slow food movement in Singapore but, in typical nouveau riche Singapore, it's actually skewed away from the objectives of other Slow Food movements (supporting traditional practices, artisanal produce) and most of its events now seemed centred on fine-dining spots:

            1. re: klyeoh

              >THIS< being the reason I didn't bother renewing my SF membership after I moved from Sydney to Singapore.

              SF is far, far more than "eating slowly and taking the time to enjoy food and life". Granted that is one of the goals, but only one.

              1. re: Julian Teoh

                For me, the Slow Food Movement *in Singapore* looked too elitist for me to join. I'd feel totally out of place :-D

                1. re: klyeoh

                  I think my response was edited by TPTB, klyeoh. I said that the idea of getting together to eat foreign cuisine cooked by a foreign chef was further not in keeping with the ideals of SF.

                  It was not a xenophobic comment. SF was what spawned the locavore movement before the trendoids claimed it for their own. It is about treasuring what is local, what is seasonal, what is now. The idea of getting together and eating a cuisine and drinking wine that was grown 10,000 miles away is so antithetical to what SF is and should be, but of course, you will never hear the local SFers complaining. They should have just set up their own private dining group instead of using the SF label.

                  1. re: Julian Teoh

                    Agreed. I'm just curious if the same thing happened to SF chapters in other countries around here, or whether it's just Singapore.

                    1. re: klyeoh

                      Ironically, in Italy where it began,Slow Food, is all about traditional recipes and methods and is pretty much antagonistic to fusion and other "modernizations".