Pink Candy: Korean Hawker and the Great Outdoors
By KF Seetoh - Friday, Mar 27, 2020
Stay calm and eat on, or rather stay calmly away from crowds, and eat on at “safer” places, where practical and safe measures are implemented, in this virus pandemic. Open and airy spots are such options and if they offer a “stress relief” menu, carry on munching. This old and eclectic little rooftop spot, complete with their own alfresco seating area overlooking Bukit Timah ticks in all the right boxes. And, the menu is such an attractive distraction from the same old hawker centre fare. They began as a café on the fourth floor of the shopping centre and moved to this very visible corner hawker stall just beside, with an in-your-face, point-point photo menu- very convenient for those who can’t tell what Kimbap is. Other than that, the whole picture menu is in English and what you see and read is what you get. Firstly, the small-ish crowds on a week night we were there practiced social spacing- peace of mind number one. Sit out by the edge overlooking the low rise buildings around and under the cool balmy sky and you get mental comfort number two. Then the point-point menu.. so easy to order and alluring.
A pure and simple Ginseng Chicken Soup
The Ginseng Chicken (from $7.90) started it on a clear note. I could only taste the natural essence of this pot boiled chicken infused with some calm slices of ginseng. Not much-added seasoning and if any, was unnoticeable. It sounds bland but it was hard to stop spooning this one in because of the clarity of this soup. The Kimbap ($7.90, seaweed sushi rolls), with greens and some ham chunks inside, hit the spot. The crunch, savouriness, soft grains with the umami from the seaweed made me ready for some heavier stuff.
Great with cold beer, Soy Sauce Fried Chicken
The Soy Sauce Fried Chicken ($12.90, which also comes in original and spicy flavours) looked like it needed some cold beers to wash it down with. It was well battered, fried with juiciness inside intact and tossed in a lightly sweetened soy sauce plus, served in a lined basket, the kind that makes you want to tear in immediately with your hand. And we did, and that gulp of cold beer completed the trick.
The spicy pork and squid bulgogi
When they brought out the Squid and Pork Belly Bulgogi ($12.90), this hawker Korean meal was coming in full swing. The hot-plate platter of sizzling thin slices of fatty pork with strips of sotong in a spicy (mild for chilli aficionados like me) Korean style marinate hit the spot, and it was onto another two gulps of the cold beer.
The cold noodles come with a block of ice soup
To further cool that, the Cold Noodles ($7.90), done with cold stock and a dash of vinegar and a little block of iced soup, was slurpy good. The tangy sweetness and the springy noodles went in so easily. There were some misses though, the Seafood Pancake ($12.90) came very photogenic and sliced for added effect. It was nicely crispy at the edges and soft inside but alas, it was bland. Just a touch of seafood seasoning would do the trick for me. We had to settle for a dip in the soy sauce.
The alfresco overview to go with your meal
There’s no need to shut yourself off from society, just wash your hands, stay clean, and keep that distance from others and enjoy breezy outdoor dining if you can.
04-60, Beauty World Centre, Upp Bukit Timah Road
Closed on Tuesday.