Monday, June 23, 2008
Soon Heng Rojak at Toa Payoh Central
Many people know of Soon Heng rojak at the basement of Toa Payoh hub and willingly queue for it. It's famous for its good prawn paste, which the stall uncle claims is imported from Penang, and the extra crispy "you tiao" (Chinese crullers/fried dough sticks). It's even got "jiu he" (cured cuttlefish), although personally, I have never fully understood or appreciated the presence of this ingredient in rojak, so it's not really a bonus for me.
As I happened to be in Toa Payoh last week, I decided to see just how good it really is. Yes, I was initially skeptical, afraid of the Curse of Overhype that strikes so many famous stalls. But having tasted it, I do have to say it's not too bad. Good quality, fresh ingredients and they are very generous with the peanuts and prawn paste.
Look at the avalanche of crushed peanuts! Once you dig past the dry and powdery peanuts, you will find a salad of beautifully balanced flavours. Savoury, tangy, sweet and spicy.
We happily thought there was no queue. But the "take a number" system merely disperses all the people waiting onto nearby benches. Well, at least you get to sit down while you wait. Even on a weekday afternoon, I had 20 queue numbers ahead of mine but the uncle works fast (about one minute per order). Do take note that on Sundays and public holidays, you won't need to take a number. Why? They aren't open. I can't imagine the amount of business they must be missing!
SOON HENG ROJAK
480 Toa Payoh Central
HDB Hub #B1-23 (Gourmet Paradise food court)
Open Mon - Fri 11am - 8pm
Sat 11am - 4pm
Closed Sundays & public holidays
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