Zion Road Food Centre
After a gentle introduction to the joys of Singapore’s food centres at Lucky, I ventured out of the clutches of Orchard Road and down towards the riverside and the charms of the Zion Road food centre.
This was a much more expansive set-up than the compact Lucky Plaza corner. Counters were arranged around a central seating area.
I was visiting for my first meal of the day so decided something breakfastish might be a good place to start.
My eye was caught by a counter serving fried carrot cake with eggs. This sounded compellingly odd.
The place is well known to locals as where Peter Goh has traded for many years. Part of a dynasty of carrot cake sellers – and hearing impaired – Peter is widely considered as the man you should visit to sample this dish in the city.
I pointed to the relevant dish on the menu, as is Mr Goh’s preferred way, opting for the the simple carrot cake with crispy eggs.
Now when they say carrot cake, they don’t mean what you think they mean. It’s actually based on a local variety of white carrot, cooked with eggs and fish sauce into somewhere between an omelette and a scramble.
I opted for the medium sized portion which cost S$5. It was soon with me looking much as it did in the photographs on the stall.
Topped with spring onions, it was a nicely seasoned dish that was a good start to the day. It didn’t have much going on beyond a good savouriness but I enjoyed it very much.
I still had room for a main course or lunch – call it what you will – so I headed over to the only stall with a significant queue which was home to chef Ho Kian Tat, a fine purveyor of kway teow.
The photos showed this as some sort of darkly hued noodle dish. Trays upon trays of eggs indicated they might be involved, but beyond that I was unclear what I was about to eat. I took the command decision to leave aside investigation until I had eaten at least some of it in blissful ignorance.
After a short wait as the dish was cooked to order, I was rewarded with a steaming plate of who knew what. Again it cost S$5.
It proved very good eating along the lines of a special house chow mein with a variety of different morsels mixed through short rice noodle pieces. There were clams, fish ball slices, pork crackling and bean sprouts amongst many other things.
I really enjoyed it. Again, it was fairly simple stuff but it was fresh and prepared with care and attention.
So overall, the Zion Street food centre looks to be doing some very good work. I enjoyed both dishes I had from two of the more well-known traders at the market. I’d recommend it to you as one of the must-visit markets during your time in Singapore.