Dream Feasting at the Ultimate Fest & TCS...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Poultry in Motion - Ultimate Hawker Fest Chickens destined for Millennial Walk this Sat
So, are you ready for the Ultimate Hawker Fest? Visit the official site here and Dr Leslie Tay's blog post here.

It is important to note that this event is not about being "atas" or "haute cuisine." It is not about turning our hawker food into "fine dining wannabes" or trying to project another image for it.

It is about exploring what our local favorites may taste like if we tell our favorite hawkers and chefs that they can use better ingredients. It will be experimental in some ways and this event may well encourage some hawkers to improve their fare or offer more options.

If you think the cost is a bit stiff, don't forget that this is a fund-raising event. Touch Community Services (TCS) rank very highly in my mind as one of the social services which is making a difference in lives.

You may have read an insightful article in The Straits Times today, "Top wish: Being free from pain" by Salma Khalik. A survey of 500 people here has found that they value being able to die at home more than an extra year of life. There is something about the home which a dying person wants to be in. I should know as that was the experience of my dying Mum.

A few years ago, I came across an elderly woman during one routine home visitation. She was bed bound. She told me that she was being visited and helped regularly by volunteers from TCS. I was both encouraged and impressed at the dedication of these volunteers. They are making life easier for this senior. This has always stuck in my mind when I think of the work TCS is doing and the difference they are making for this beneficiary. And I am sure they are doing a whole lot more in many other areas of welfare care.

So, hop over to Millenniam Walk this Saturday and do your bit to support them.

Now, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to the hawker fare. I suggest you go with a few friends or your spouse and share your meals. That is the only way to get to try a few of your favorite dishes. I wish the event could last a few days and if the support is good, they its may do it next year.

Which dish will I go for? Let me tell you my top three "dream dishes":

Tian Tian Chicken Rice
If you pair some of the best chickens we can find here with one of our best Hainanese Chicken rice chefs, what will this famous dish taste like? I want to know. Leslie has already blogged about our visit to  the farm where these Anxin chickens, fed solely on corn, are being raised.  Is it possible for some of our Hainanese Stalls to roll back in time and offer chicken that taste like what they used to? I know that there will be some who all prefer the softer and milder-tasting white broilers. Each to his own. But there are flavors and textures which some of us will associate with a good piece of chicken and they need not be consigned to childhood memories.

Visiting the farm raising the Ultimate Hawker Fest Chickens with dr Leslie Tay and Tian Tian Chicken Rice's Mdm Foo - thought I should highlight the Phua Chu Kang boots!

Pork Jowl Char Siew
Some are you may be acquainted with my various home-made char siew experiences using the humble wok. I have tried using local pork jowl cuts and they are indeed delicious. Alas, while the wok can turn out good char siew, there is nothing like using a good commercial roaster to roast a good cut.

I will be curious how Fatty Cheong's version of this will taste like.

Hill Street Char Kuay Teow
I have heard  a lot about Hill Street CKT but I have not even come close enough to smell it. Being an ex-Malaysian, I am partial to CKT Penang style. Now that I have a red IC, I need to learn to appreciate the local version. I will be curious to taste what Hill Street can come up with.

Just to taste these 3 dishes will fill me up. Now I need to bring along ten other friends so that I can get to the rest!

If you love Hawker food - and everyone does - do drop by. And while you are at it, do learn about TCS work and give them the best of your support. While we may have ultimate feasts, there is ultimately a desire in each of us to live our lives meaningfully for the needs of others.

See you there!

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