Maxwell Food Centre named favourite for third year running in City Hawker Food Hunt

(From left, seated) Mr Jack Sai (with his father, Mr James Sai, behind him) of Coffee Break; Madam Yeo (with her husband, Mr Lee Li Yong); Ho Peng Coffee Stall’s Madam Lee Saw Ean and her father-in-law, Mr See Choon Kim (with her husband, Mr See Cheng Ho, behind them). PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Fancy some freshly made chee cheong fun, or rice noodle rolls, with generous, yet unusual, fillings of flying fish roe or smoked salmon?

At a hawker stall in Holland Drive Market and Food Centre, the humble traditional Chinese snack has been given a tweak to spark a bit of curiosity in foodies here.

Madam Yeo Geok Lan, the stall owner of Da Chang Jin Handmade Chee Cheong Fun, said the tastebuds of Singaporeans have evolved over the years.

"We wanted to experiment and create new flavours for our customers to try," said the 65-year-old, adding that she is hoping to introduce other unique fillings like Japanese eel (unagi) in future.

For the creativity, her stall was among the two winners of the innovative hawker stall award at the City Hawker Food Hunt yesterday.

A total of 37 hawker stalls and one hawker centre were recognised at the awards presentation ceremony at Ayer Rajah Food Centre.

Madam Yeo, a former production supervisor who came out of retirement three years ago to open the stall, said: "The award is an encouragement for us, and a recognition of the hard work we have put in."

The annual food hunt, organised by piped-gas supplier City Gas and Chinese evening daily Shin Min Daily News to promote and preserve Singapore's rich and unique hawker heritage, is now in its ninth edition.

For the third year running, Maxwell Food Centre was voted by members of the public as their favourite hawker centre.

A drinks stall, Ho Peng Coffee Stall, received the green hawker stall award for recycling milk tin cans, using them as a takeaway option for the past few decades.

Mr See Cheng Ho, 59, owner of the stall in the Maxwell Food Centre, said instead of styrofoam cups, the use of tin cans reduces cost and is better for the environment.

Parliamentary Secretary for Education, and Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling, guest of honour at the event, said the awards recognise some of Singapore's best hawkers.

"Hawker food is part of our Singapore culture and DNA," she added. "Hawkers play a huge role in our vibrant and dynamic food culture and we want to salute their hard work, creativity and passion in creating the most delicious and enjoyable culinary dishes.

"Without hawkers, our Singapore culinary scene would be without a soul because they form the foundation of our food paradise."

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