Cheap Eats: People’s Park Food Centre

Address: 32 New Market Road (People’s Park Food Centre), Singapore

Ri Ri Hong Mala Xiang Guo日日红麻辣香锅: #01-1042 & #01-1052

Tian Jin Fong Kee天津冯记: #01-1148

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Have been wanting to blog about this memorable pot-stickers 锅贴   I had since a work lunch exploration many moons ago. But as usual, life got in the way…and here I am trying to jumpstart this low-batt food blog of mine. The last I blogged was 9 months ago (!!)

Anyhoos… to the point.

Before the 锅贴s though, I would just like to rave about this awesome new dish -麻辣香锅 I tried for the very first time 2 weeks back. Yes… I am very late into the game and living under a rock, I know.

麻辣香锅 – a dish popular in Beijing and Sichuan, has been an undying hawker food craze since the late 2000s in Singapore. The ‘revolution’ sprouted from within the depths of People’s Park Market – a nondescript hawker center between Chinatown and Outram that has been around since the 70s. If you do a quick Google, Zou Hai Rong’s (a Henan Native) 日日红麻辣香锅 has been consistently proclaimed as one of the most affordable 麻辣香锅 on the island. I wouldn’t doubt that claim at all judging from the snaking queues at not 1, but 2 of his stalls within the market + JMo’s exclamation that the amount of ingredients we had that night would have easily cost 50% more at food courts in the west. We ate ourselves silly for $19 (3 pax contending with a ginormous bowl of spicy goodness).

I love it because you are given full autonomy with regards to the proportion, spiciness and type of ingredients . Furthermore, with this modified dish, you don’t have to contend anymore with tongue-burning 麻辣 soup (think hot pots)  just to enjoy the fiery spice. Much more efficient! The different textures and the roasted crunchy peanuts (my favourite) with every spoonful makes every bite a different experience, yet underpinned by the familiar mind-numbing 麻辣 sensation. I would totally recommend this stall for an unforgettable (and sweaty) dining experience.

Another reason for dining at People’s Park? The 锅贴 (Pot-stickers) at 天津冯记. Truth be told, I do remember it being much better just a couple of years ago. Looks like quality has been consistently sliding over the past decade or so. Anyways, these are passable (not mind-blowing) 锅贴s that are worth a mention just simply because of its long history (from the 1940s), which you can check out here: http://www.fongkee.com/

I am a sucker for the story behind the food and not too much of the food itself in some cases.

So there you go, my go-tos at People’s Park. Credits to makan guru – DC for the recommendations again.

p.s i fail to mention that Harbin Beer (another new discovery!) is the perfect wash-down for the magic combi of 麻辣香锅 +锅贴  .

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