For the second year running, Maxwell Food Centre was voted by members of the public as their favourite hawker centre at the eighth annual City Hawker Food Hunt.
The City Hawker Food Hunt awards, presented yesterday, were based on public voting for a shortlist drawn up by organisers City Gas and Shin Min Daily News.
Maxwell Food Centre is also where one of two winners of the new Heritage Hawker Stall award, introduced this year to mark Singapore's 50th birthday, is based: stall no. 64, China Street Fritters, which sells ngoh hiang.
This heritage award aims to recognise stalls that have been serving good hawker fare for more than 50 years.
The stall's owner, Mr Ng Kok Hua, 58, has been selling handmade Hokkien ngoh hiang since he took over his father's stall at 16. The business, which he runs with the help of four siblings, is about 70 years old.
"We deserve the award. We've worked for so long and gone through hardship, sacrificing time with friends and family. We've been preparing this traditional food until today," he says.
His three adult children are not interested in carrying on the business and he is searching for a "dedicated person to maintain this vanishing trade".
A satay stall at Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre, 02-123, another family business of some 80 years' vintage, was the other heritage award winner.
Ms Lucy Tay, an administrative officer in a bank, was among those who voted for Maxwell Food Centre, located at 1 Kadayanallur Street, to clinch the My Favourite Hawker Centre award.
"I'm very familiar with this place so I've got feelings for it," said Ms Tay, who is in her 50s. She goes there regularly as her workplace is nearby.
She likes the diverse dishes there, such as the famous Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, vegetarian food and ah boling (glutinous rice balls) in peanut soup.
Yesterday also saw the launch of a food guide, The Hawker Guide To Our 50 Local Favourites - SG50 Edition, published in English and Chinese. It includes Singapore's top 50 favourite hawker dishes.
WINNERS OF THE BEST OF THE BEST CATEGORIES
Popiah: East Coast Lagoon Food Village, stall no. 40
Lontong: Bedok Food Centre, Satay Solo, stall no. 9 Curry fish head: Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre, 03-139/140
Tau suan: Chong Pang Market & Food Centre, Rainbow Dessert, 01-178
From Nov 27, 350 free copies will be available for redemption at City Gas Gallery at PWC Building, 8 Cross Street. More information can be found at the City Gas website, www.citygas.com.sg
The awards presentation marked an end to the seven-month public voting period for the "Best of the Best" hawker stalls from four selected food categories for this year - popiah, lontong, curry fish head and tau suan. The winners are listed in the box (left).
More than 40 hawker stalls were recognised at yesterday's event. Among them, Kovan Market & Food Centre at Block 209, Hougang Street 21 bagged the Cleanest Hawker Centre award.
Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, was the guest of honour. He said it was significant that the National Heritage Board was involved in the enterprise. The board is a co-sponsor of the food guide launched yesterday.
"Our hawker food is really part of our heritage. Let's keep this heritage alive," said Mr Tharman.