8 million meals a day needed

By KF Seetoh - Thursday, Apr 23, 2020

Perhaps 1.5 million amongst us may cook all month and eat at home during this “circuit breaker” month till 4th May, which leaves 4 million needing at least 2 decent meals a day, every day. The delivery companies cannot meet the demand and they only carry those few stalls that signed up with them .You can still eat well as all eateries are allowed to open this period, but for takeout only. Once you are done staring at the ceiling at home, please get out there and buy from the hawkers (affordable and comforting fare), not just the savvy online ones but the below-the-radar humble mom and pop stalls too. I am putting out a little list (there is only so much space here) of hawkers and eateries where you can conveniently drop by for take-out. Some are roadside food shops near bus stops. Do bring along your own containers as takeout boxes are in short supply currently.


Sean Kee Braised Duck Rice


Kin Turtle Soup at Geylang Lor 35


Sin Huat Coffeeshop, Junction of Lor 35 Geylang

The gems in this coffeeshop. Sean Kee Braised Duck Rice (11.30am till 5pm) daily offers the hearty brown sauced rice with soft Shantung peanuts, braised tofu and the soft silky slices of braised duck. Kin’s Turtle Soup (farmed terrapins actually. 9am-4pm daily, closed on Sundays) will give you that much needed boost on a dull and lethargic day. It is hardly herbal and has a shot of brandy in the mix. And Danny, who owns the place and once dazzled Anthony Bourdian with his crab beehoon operates his Sin Huat Fish Head Curry, 10am-3pm daily economy rice and the items are very exclusive, the signatures are the whole steamed kicap sambal squid, own made otah, fried and curry chicken, with humble sides like cabbage and eggs.


Kazan Japanese Cuisine (hawker stall) 02-01, Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre.12pm-8pm (till 6pm on Sunday) , close on Saturdays.

Mr Lim has 24 different types of Japanese inspired bento sets that will steal at least 5 mins of your “circuit breaker” time if you study the picture menu. His Katsuo Boshi Chicken Set ($6) comes with soft gummy pearl grains studded with black sesame seeds. The fried chicken is tossed in a light tangy and immensely umami sauce and comes with soup and a salad.


Li Ji Economy rice with their signature steamed prawn paste pork


Li Ji Economy Rice, 02-139, Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre, 11.30am-2pm (closed on Saturdays)

They have very few items and looks uninspiring, yet there’s a queue for it because they just make those few items very well. The signature topping is the Hum Ha Yoke (steamed prawn paste pork). This is good enough over rice but you won’t want to miss out on the steamed egg studded with century eggs, the eggplant yong tau foo in black bean sauce and the simple braised black mushrooms.


One of the Gluttons Bay family combo sets


Gluttons Bay. 8 Raffles Avenue, Beside Esplanade Theatre taxi stand. (5pm to 9.30pm daily this month only)

The hawkers there are seeing a 90% drop in business, like many in the town area. But they chose to remain open and offer takeout sets. Some are combination family sets from a few stalls, like a chai po (pickled radish) cha kway teow and smokey bbq chicken wings with juicy Korean oyster omelet. They provide free delivery. Call them at 86158420.


Then there’s Melvin Chew of Jin Ji Braised Duck and Kway Chap, he started the Hawkers United -Dabao2020 page on facebook to have eateries place their listings and offer there during this difficult time, to help other hawkers too. It has over 100 thousand members now and growing. Check out the hundreds of listings (currently) on the page.


Stay safe and be serious about this. We can win this battle with the virus.