SINGAPORE - When Singapore's first Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling touches down in Singapore on Monday (Aug 15) morning, one of the things on his mind will be his favourite food - chye tow kueh.
On board flight SQ67 back to Singapore, he told Straits Times Editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang: "Still hasn't sunk in, just want to get home, eat chye tow kueh."
"I thought chef cooked for you that day?" Mum May Schooling asked.
Schooling responded: "I still want some more."
Schooling had listed the fried carrot cake dish, a quintessential Singapore breakfast, as one of his favourite meals in a Straits Times interview before the Games.
And "the darker the better" is the way he likes it.
The Singaporean swimmer, who grew up near Bedok Reservoir, also loves Milo dinosaur and Samy's curry, he said.
One of the cheapest meals you can buy here, chye tow kueh is a simple dish, and yet deeply satisfying if you can find one with the right fragrance and texture.
ST food critic Wong Ah Yoke recommends Song Zhou Luo Bo Gao in Bedok Food Centre.
This stall, which has been around for decades, has one of the best "black" fried carrot cake, he says.
"The recipe has never changed, not even the brand of the soya sauce used. Love the wok hei (fragrance from the wok)," he adds.
Food editor Tan Hsueh Yun's recent find is Potong Pasir King Specialist Carrot Cake.
The kueh is made in-house and the egg is never overcooked, she says in her Aug 7 review of the stall.
"When I ask for more dark soya sauce, it caramelises on the hot pan and that is the best part," she writes.
Other recommendations from her: Fu Ming Cooked Food at Redhill Lane, Ghim Moh Carrot Cake at Ghim Moh market, and 89 Carrot Cake at Circuit Rd.
There's also Chey Sua Carrot Cake in Toa Payoh Lorong 1, which made it to the Michelin Bib Gourmand list.
But this stall serves only the white version of the dish. While delicious in its own right, Schooling would not be a fan.
Where to find them:
Song Zhou Luo Bo Gao
Blk 207 Upper Changi Road Bedok Interchange Food Centre
Potong Pasir King Specialist Carrot Cake
Block 532 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10
Sunday F&B coffee shop
Fu Ming Cooked Food
Block 85, Redhill Lane
01-49, Redhill Food Centre
Ghim Moh Carrot Cake
Block 20 Ghim Moh Road
Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre
89 Carrot Cake
Blk 89 Market & Food Centre, Circuit Rd
Chey Sua Carrot Cake
Blk 127, Toa Payoh Lor 1, #02-30