Friday, January 13, 2017

Tan Hock Seng 陈福成饼家 - Telok Ayer Heritage Trail

Continuing our walk on the Telok Ayer Heritage Trail, our good friend Fong WK said we must pay a visit to a traditional cake shop, Tan Hock Seng.

I have heard about this traditional Hokkien pastry cake shop which has been around for more than 80 years. It was my first time patronising it.

Mr Tan Boon Chai, the third generation owner of Tan Hock Seng, was tidying the shop by himself when we dropped in for a visit.

His grandfather started the bakery at Telok Ayer Street decades ago. Mr Tan has been baking traditional pastries at his family bakery since he finished national service at age 20.

Mr Tan makes the best beh teh sor ("horse hoof" biscuits) in Singapore! His flaky crust beh teh sor are crispy and the sticky malt filling is tasty. I couldn't stop eating once I took a bite of it.

During weekday lunch hours, there are long queues for these yummy biscuits, sold in limited quantities daily.

Browsing in this small cake shop, we found many interesting childhood snacks which brought back lots of wonderful memories. These traditional Chinese pastries are seriously at risk of extinction as many youngsters have no interest to learn the skill of making them. I should savour these traditional snacks before they become extinct in Singapore.

Tan Hock Seng @ 86 Telok Ayer Street 直落亚逸街

拥有80多年历史的的老字号 "陈福成饼家", 是新加坡传统手工制作福建糕饼厂家。

小小, 不起眼的店面摆满了各式各样的糕点和饼, 有发糕、红龟粿、绿豆糕、老嬷糕、碰饼、豆沙饼、招牌马蹄酥、胡椒饼、嘴口酥、花生糖、水糕、白糕、芝麻条等。每一包糕点,都含着古早的味道。

卖的最好的是马蹄酥, 每天限量供应。午餐时间常常大排长龙, 不早点来买, 就会卖光光。这里的豆沙饼也是超人气的。


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Chong Wen Ge Cafe (崇文阁) @ Thiam Hock Keng Temple - Telok Ayer Heritage Trail

The next stop of our Telok Ayer Heritage Trail brought us to Singapore's oldest Hokkien temple, Thian Hock Keng Temple at Telok Ayer Street. The Hokkien clan built this temple in 1839 for the Chinese immigrants to offer thanks to the Goddess of the Sea Ma Zu (or Tian Hou).

走到直落亚逸街,参观新加坡最古老的华人寺庙天福宫。天福宮的正殿供举女海神妈祖,后殿内部则供奉观音。参观天福宫后, 好友请我们到旁侧的崇文阁喝下午茶。

After a tour of the temple, our friend Fong WK brought us to Chong Wen Ge Cafe 崇文阁, a Peranakan cafe next to Thian Hock Keng Temple. I was awed to see this cafe with its colourful Nyonya snacks and Peranankan tiles.

The floor and coffee tables were laid with beautiful Peranankan tiles, I was mesmerised by the striking tiles and took many pictures of them.



Fong let me select our Nyonya tea snacks, it was not an easy task as there were too many of my favourite kuehs (traditional cakes). haha..... The cafe serves Nyonya mee siam and laksa too.


Within the premises of the cafe is the Peranakan Tiles Gallery which stocks about 20,000 old and new Peranakan tiles. Some of the old tiles were collected over the last 30 years from demolished shophouses in neighbourhoods such as Joo Chiat and Balestier.

小茶室的一部分是“娘惹砖家”, 卖风味独特的土生华人古董瓷砖和与手工瓷砖。店主是土生华人古董瓷砖收藏家, 拥有好多珍貴的瓷砖藏品。


I took more pictures of the beautiful structures of the old building and we posed for pictures in the yard before proceeding to our next stop.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Telok Ayer Heritage Trail - Amoy Street Food Centre 牛车水文化遗产之旅 - 厦门街熟食中心

Our good friend Fong WK of Tong Heng Confectionery brought us on a heritage walking trail of Telok Ayer one day.

Our journey commenced from Tanjung Pagar MRT station. It has been a long time since I last visited. Found myself in a new underground shopping link with a variety of shops. While waiting for Fong, we checked out a shop selling organic products, a bakery and took a peep at some eateries.

Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church
established in 1889

Beginning our walk from Tanjung Pagar MRT station, we passed by this old church. Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church was the first to cater exclusively to the spiritual needs of the Chinese Methodist community in Singapore. Presently it holds services in English, Mandarin and Hokkien.  

First stop, Fong bought us lunch at Amoy Street Food Centre. It is one of the few hawker centres in the CBD (Central Business District) that offers affordable food. There are still some pioneer hawkers operating their business. Fong brought us on a mini tour of the place, there were only a handful of stalls opened that day. We went up to the second floor for the popular fish soup.

Fong joined the queue in front of Piao Ji Fish Porridge and ordered a big bowl of their famous fish slice soup (S$12).

I have eaten Piao Ji's pomfret fish soup once, that was many years ago. I like their clear soup, the fish and prawns served here are fresh.

Fong then went down to the ground floor of the food centre to buy a plate of char kway teow (stir-fried rice noodles) which is a sweet and savoury version. After our meal, Fong brought us to see the old owner who has been frying noodles for more than 50 years.

After lunch, we walked along Telok Ayer Street and Amoy Street admiring the fascinating heritage buildings. Fong shared stories and his memories of some of the historical buildings. 

We came to this traditional Hokkien-style Thian Hock Keng Temple (built in 1839). This magnificent temple was built in honour of the Sea Goddess Mazu (妈祖).

Fong brought us to a Peranakan café next to the temple for tea and colourful nonya snacks.

好友Fong Wk, 著名東興蛋塔(建于1920年)的少东,带我们走一趟新加坡牛车水文化遗产之旅,重新发现新加坡最大的历史街区的魅力。 Fong带我们去探访我们从没有去过的地方 。还把我介绍给他朋友们认识, 还一路向我们介绍好吃好玩的地方。

我们的第一站是厦门街熟食中心。从丹戎巴葛地铁站G出口,沿直落亚逸街 (Telok Ayer Street) 走,就会见到厦门街熟食中心 (Amoy Street Food Centre) 。

途中经过直落亚逸礼拜堂 (成立于1889年), 这是新加坡卫理公会华人教会中历史最悠久的堂会。

厦门街熟食中心坐落在新加坡的中央商务区, 就在牛车水和金融区交接处。位于熟食中心二楼的标记鱼粥, 每天都排着长长的人龙。 Fong点了驰名鱼片汤 (S$12) 。

他还去一楼买了一盘加大的炒粿条。这摊是由老人一手操作,他拥有超过50年炒粿条的经验, 午餐时间这里会大排人龙。


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