One of my favourite hawker hangouts has got to be ABC Brickworks Food Centre. Apart from the famous Fatty Cheong that boasts a long line at most lunchtimes, and the Yong Kee Famous Fishball noodle that has wonderful soup and succulent fresh fishballs, there are many other hawker gems worth trying as well.
Yuan Yuan Claypot Rice 源源砂煲饭 is another hit there, with a dinnertime wait sometimes going up to 30 minutes. So what’s all the fuss?
Yuan Yuan Claypot is run by an elderly couple who fires up their claypot rice one at a time. While the ingredients are simple consisting preserved sausage, chicken meat, vegetables and most importantly good rice, the real proof of skill is in the firing of the pot that requires good knowledge of heat and timing.
It’s important to mix almost as soon as the pot is served so as not to get too much of the rice burnt. Personally, I love having some of them slightly burnt and sticking to the bottom of the pot, but if you leave it too long, it starts getting completely carbonised. The rice after mixing is coated with a beautiful glaze of oil, black sauce and all the flavours of the chicken and sausage. My favourite part? Scraping the bottom of the part for the charred, chewy and crispy rice bits. Mmm..
Something else I always crave from ABC Brickworks is the best claypot liver dish I’ve had in Singapore to date from Nan Zhen Seafood (right next to Yuan Yuan).
Everywhere else either overcooks the liver or doesn’t marinate it long enough in ginger or fries it in too much oil. This place does it perfect with thickly-cut slices for the middle to be juicy, flavourful and rare with that gorgeous kick of ginger, spring onions and well-sauteed onions. I get painful cravings for this, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
And finally, this killer dessert from Jin Jin Hot/Cold Dessert.
Gangster Ice or 榴芒冰 comes from the combination of thick, frozen durian puree (榴) and fresh cubes of sweet mango (芒). All this a top of crushed ice drizzled with evaporated milk. It’s gone smaller over the years and not all that big a portion so feel free to devour one all on your own!
If you’ve never been, it’s really worth making the trip down just because of the number of established hawker favourites there. Don’t forget to let me know what your ABC Brickworks must-trys are!
Address: 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, Singapore 150006