Tau-Suan

Soon Heng Hot and Cold Desserts: Hawkers we grow up with

Tau Suan

Our hawkers are really a big part of our lives here in Singapore, don’t you think?  Most of us would have grown up eating from the same hawker stall for years and and these hawkers would have become much more than just a person who sells food.

Aunty

I am sure that this particular lady hawker at Soon Heng Hot and Cold Desserts would have many regulars who have grown up (or grown old) eating at her stall.  I have met many hawkers but she was the first one I met whose smile was sweeter than her desserts!

I get a lot of different reactions whenever I pull out my DSLR camera.  Some hawkers ask why I am taking photos.  Others continue to work as if I wasn’t there.  But when Mrs Yang saw my camera, she quickly struck up her kawaii pose!

Lotus seeds
Lotus Seed Sweet Soup (Lian Zi Suan)

What first drew me to the stall was the availability of lian zi suan. (Lotus seed soupThis traditional Teochew sweet soup is not easy to find nowadays because of the rising cost of lotus seeds.  (A 200g pack of lotus seeds at the supermarket costs around $ 6!)  The only other stall that I have come across that sells this is “House of Dessert” at Tampines Round Market.  They actually stopped selling it for a period of time because of the increase in price of raw lotus seeds.  Thankfully, they started selling it again last year.

This soup is not difficult to cook but it is easy to get it wrong unless you get a tip from grandma (or from the internet nowadays).    Most of us would intuitively soak the seeds first before cooking, but this is the last thing you want to do as the seeds will ever turn into the nice, mealy, powdery texture no matter how long you boil them.  Instead, the seeds must go straight into hot boiling water for a while then followed by either a slow simmer or steam.  Once they are soft, simply add them to syrup which has been thickened with tapioca starch.

For all that trouble, I think most people wouldn’t mind forking out the $ 2 for a bowl of lian zi suan at this stall.  I think this is probably also the cheapest place where you can buy this in Singapore.  In fact, all her other desserts are also just $ 1!  Talk about old school prices.  When I asked Mrs Yang how she managed to keep prices so low, she just smiled and said that its her way of keeping her customers happy!

Aside from the lotus seed soup, her tau suan is also very good.  4.25/5What was impressive was how her you tiao remained so fresh!  I managed to try some of her other desserts like cheng tng and honey sea coconut.  They were average but at $ 1 a bowl, I don’t think anyone is complaining!

Stall

Conclusion

Old school sweet soups served with an even sweeter smile which will make you smile even more when all you need is some spare change to enjoy it!

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Fat Lulu’s Asian BBQ & Desserts – No Burnt, No Taste (In A Good Way)

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Housed in the same quaint premises Five & Dime formerly occupied on River Valley Road, Fat Lulu brings together two talented chefs Sam and Song to create “Wicked BBQ. Smooth Desserts”. The former is a BBQ dude, blasting kickass flavours into meats, fish, and vegetables seasoned with Asian spices and chillis. While Chef Song creates desserts of refined delicacy that are technique-driven and visually arresting.

So first on our table that evening was a high char ‘burn’ dish of bio-corn! The Burnt Corn ($ 11) is rubbed with salt and lemon, oregano, served with sour cream. There is also Burnt Asparagus ($ 14) dressed in housemade bernaise sauce. My favourite appetizers include Sataytay ($ 12) with Iberico pork collar on skewers, marinated one full day in sambal (chilli, garlic shallots mixed together with kicap main and kosher salt). Such tender and juicy meat with a hint of smokiness. Not forgetting the Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms ($ 12) that are poached in lamb fat and pan seared. It’s finished with roasted hoshimeji mushrooms, kale, rosemary, parsley, garlic and lamb jus.

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Inspired by his experience in Bangkok, Chef Sam has done up a flavourful platter of Grilled Mangalicia Pork Collar ($ 24). The pork collar is seasoned with just salt and grilled hardcore. Serving on the side is okra grilled together with sambal. I love how he combines local spices with grill, it just feel so much at home while eating this yet a little different.

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Duh Meat Board ($ 28) is not ‘duh’ at all especially when you have wagyu inside skirt cooked in thai fish sauce and dehydrated on top of grill Kailan. On the other side, there is iberico pork marinated in sambal. This is honestly the plate for meat lovers.

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For something more local, go for the Ikan Bakar ($ 28). Literally means “burned fish” in Malay, the wild line-caught parrot fish is marinated with chilli, garlic, lemon juice, Kashmiri chilli powder, served with cucumber achar with “kiss of Nicki Minaj” (spicy chaat masala). I love how the flavours sit into the meat and keeping it moist while allowing the surface to char.

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The Spicy BBQ Full Rack Pork Ribs ($ 28) consists of a generous whole pork rib marinated with blended sauce of chipotle, kechap manis, rice wine vinegar, resulting in a smoky flavour. The ribs has been sous vide at 77 degrees for more than 10 hours, it turns out full of flavour and slightly on the sweet side. But well, I am not a big pork ribs fan to begin with.

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Chef added another dish for us to try that evening – Open Ravioli of Beef ($ 22) and it was yummy. The delicate pasta glisten beneath the parmesan cheese and accompanied by a velvety sauce. At the pressure of a fork, the dough gives way to the soft and melting red wine braised beef.

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Apple “Tarte Tatin” is an inspiration from the accidental origin of Tarte Tatin. While making a traditional apple pie, the apples were mistakenly over-caramelised, and to save the dessert the chef threw pastry on top of the apples, baking it as an “upside down” tart. It was so well received it became the restaurant’s signature pastry. Similarly, Chef Song’s discovery of this pastry came from his own mistake of burning the base of his vanilla ice cream, a flavour he “created” by accident.

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Chocolate lovers will like Atas Kinder Bueno as it has four different chocolates in a “chocolate bar” – Bailey’s hazelnut cream, chocolate sponge, creamy milk chocolate, and bitter chocolate sherbet. For a more refreshing touch, the Berries & White Chocolate is a refreshing, frozen, fruity dessert using white chocolate and cassis, with elderflower-infused strawberries, making an excellent complement to the burn and heat of Asian BBQ.

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There are also desserts which help bring back memories of the past. Childhood has got peanut butter popsicle, dark chocolate cookie, and raspberry granita all in a plate; while Pandan Muesli features a rice pudding of Arborio rice, cooked with pandan and vanilla for an awesome, gooey sticky texture. There’s homemade granola and yoghurt with a very ripe slice of mango. Mm!

Fat Lulu’s also serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Note: This was an invited tasting.

Maureen

Born into a family of enthusiastic foodies, Maureen has always loved all things culinary, especially the local cuisine here in Singapore. With a life-long fascination with the rapidly evolving food scene in Singapore, she started this website in 2007 to explore and celebrate all types of local Singapore dishes and to share her love of travel and food with the world. With 4 years of experience as a journalist and producer, she has a wealth of experience in food writing, photography and styling.

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Miss Tam Chiak

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Non Entrée Desserts – Singaporean Style Desserts… SO CUTE!

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It’s a shame how I never got the chance to explore Rangoon Road even though I used to work there. A few months ago, Mr Fong was sharing with me pictures of a rubber duckie dessert made with mango pudding/sorbet with sago with lemongrass foam. I was intrigued but didn’t have the chance to visit until last week when my friend Celes jio-ed me to Non Entrée Desserts for “soft boiled eggs”. I still couldn’t quite gel the idea together and thought I was going to have traditional kaya toast until I reached Non Entrée Desserts and I went like… “AH THIS IS THE ONE LAH!”

The cafe was super packed on a Friday afternoon. We were lucky enough to get a seat and wanted to try its 《Back to the Future: 那些年我们吃过的回忆》 dessert series. But we were disappointed because the Singapore Breakfast was sold out. If you were still thinking it was the typical kaya roti and kopi, then you are wrong. Presented like a traditional breakfast but it was actually coconut panna cotta “soft-boiled egg” with bursting exotic “yolk”, topped with Gula Melaka “soy sauce” & cinnamon “pepper powder” and kaya parfait toast on the side. Apparently, the server told us that the Singapore Breakfast was sold out within two hours. WIN LIAO LOR, looks like I must come back for another visit.

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Okay but we did get to try another dessert done the Singaporean nostalgic way. And that’s Bak Chor Mee ($ 14.90), supposedly my favourite Singapore food. But hor, here is the sweet version and not the savoury kind. See the photo? It’s actually mango vermicelli “noodles”, mango pudding with aged balsamico “vinegar”, raspberry reduction “chilli”, sesame snow “minced meat”, peanut “lard”, sea coconut “mushrooms” and coconut “fishball” parfait. I have got to say, THIS CHEF REALLY CREATIVE! This kind of idea he can also think of it, #champion. As we tossed the “bak chor mee”, you get a refreshing touch from the mango vermicelli. But it was really sweet, perhaps because our “fishball” (coconut parfait) has melted. I thought we could do with more raspberry reduction to lift up the tanginess.

But it’s really good effort though, having desserts in our local food presentation. They also have an Ang Ku Kueh cake made with strawberry curd, strawberry jelly and shortbread; as well as the Tutu Kueh made of white coconut vanilla mousse, with coconut almond sponge cake and light brown gula melaka cream.

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For something for classic, the Chocolate Avalanche ($ 13.90) is a good option. Made up of 70% Valrhona chocolate lava, chocolate soil, almond nougatine and orange infused vanilla ice cream, use a knife to slice open the lava cake, let it floooooow and eventually, push it down into the cup and enjoy the whole combination together. Another avalanche available is Horlicks Avalanche featuring horlicks white chocolate warm lava flowing onto peanut butter crumble, crunchy almond nougatine and milk gelato.

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Drinks wise, we had Ice Kopi Cino ($ 6), Ribena Lemonade ($ 6.50) and Pineapple Ginger Fizz ($ 6.90). Note that it’s only Walk-in, so be there early if you want to be a greater dessert option!

Address: 204 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218451

Phone: 6337 9416

Opening Hours: Tue-Thu 2:00 pm – 10:00 pm; Fri 2:00 pm – 11:00 pm; Sat 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm; Sun 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nonentreedesserts

Maureen

Born into a family of enthusiastic foodies, Maureen has always loved all things culinary, especially the local cuisine here in Singapore. With a life-long fascination with the rapidly evolving food scene in Singapore, she started this website in 2007 to explore and celebrate all types of local Singapore dishes and to share her love of travel and food with the world. With 4 years of experience as a journalist and producer, she has a wealth of experience in food writing, photography and styling.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Miss Tam Chiak