So I've noticed this phenomenon while dining at hawker centres: that only a minority of our people clear their tables after eating, and/or return their dirty dishes to the return-tray shelves. Oftentimes, it's only the Hubs and I, an anomaly in a hawker centre swarming with oafish louts, who leave our tables as clean as it was before we sat down.
We're baffled; why don't people clear up after themselves? The older generation, it's understandably forgiveable, but the younger set?! Especially those of my generation and younger (I'm referring to the millenials here). Don't the schools already impose a return-tray policy in the canteens???? Eating and then just walking off without clearing your table is such an atrociously lazy, uncultured and ungracious habit! I mean, do you not help clean up at home? (and if you say you've a maid, or worse still, mother, to do all that, I'm gonna want to tump you on the head a little)
There's a school of thought that "if we start clearing our plates, then what will the cleaners have to do? They'll be out of a job". Oh puh-lease. There's already a dearth of able-bodied persons willing to pick up the tedious mantle of a hawker center cleaner. We don't have enough people to do that, so we import foreign labour to do so. And if you think that you, the end user, aren't paying for such cleaning services, think again. In one way of another, direct or indirect, the salaries of these cleaners are borne by you. Do you think that paying for the cleaners aren't built into the cost overheads of these hawkers? The more you clean up after yourself, the less the need for cleaners, whose cost make the overheads these hawkers will have to bear, and so with lower overheads, the hawkers have more disposable income to either up the quality/quantity of food, be more inclined to continue operations, and/or resist inflation of their prices. Any way you see it, it's a good thing to clear your damn plates.
*okay, rant's over*
(thank you for reading)
So, we frequent Redhill Market quite a fair bit. It's a 15-minute drive from town, and being one of the oldest estates in Singapore, is teeming with good food. It may seem a morning breakfast-only spot, in light of its mature hinterland, but the stalls therein take turns opening, so a different set of stalls open in the afternoons and last through the night, while the famous porridge and fried chicken wing & economic noodle (yes, that very same one made ridiculously famous by PM Lee's visit) ones manage the daytime shift.
Fu Cheng Teochew Fishball Minced Meat Noodle
There are a couple of fishball noodle stalls, 2 of which are located directly opposite the other. So which one's better? My pick is Fu Cheng, for its more traditional flavours.
A standard order is laden simply with fishballs, sliced fishcake and the obligatory minced pork ($3). The fishballs aren't the most outstanding, but the noodles are beautifully done, slicked with a punchy lively chilli-ed sauce.
Ringo Handmade Fishball Noodles
Ringo ($3) has better fishballs, but the noodles are doused with vinegar, which is jarring for fishball noodles. I like vinegar enlivening my bak chor mee, but it's just plain weird with my fishball noodles.
Chong Pang Chicken Wing
Not the best chicken wings ($1.40 per pc) around (the Bedok Fengshan ones are the best), as these were lacking in heft and meat, but better than the subsequent one.
Man Tian Xiang
The Chicken Wings ($1.20 per pc) here puny, dry, and insipid. Give this a hard pass.
Fu Ming Cooked Food
Their Carrot Cake ($3) may look innocuous, but holy crap was this glorious. It was wonderfully charred, with crispy bits dotting the soft nubbins of radish flour cake. A must-try here, and one of the best things about Redhill Market.
Hock Shun Traditional Home Made Curry
They specialise in one thing - curry, Chinese style, and it always sports a neverending queue. For good reason; the chicken curry ($4.50) served bubbling in a pre-heated claypot, is totally worth the 15-minute queue. Ask for the yellow tumeric rice, which is off the menu, but its fragrant coconutty undertones marry the robust creaminess of the curry brilliantly.
Green Sky Dessert
This stall is so hip, its sound systems blares out such hard techno you'd think you were in a club. The queues are long and windy, which isn't worth it, as the Cheng Tng ($1.60) was a little too saccharine though.
Mei Le Yuan
You're probably better off at the less crowded dessert stall, it's less flashy, and the Cheng Tng ($1.60) is a little more balanced.
85 Redhill Lane