With no one to pass the baton to, it’s no wonder that Singapore’s hawker trade is slowly eroding. Even hawkers themselves would discourage their own children. It is totally understandable because running a hawker stall is not glamourous at all. Juggling the many elements of operations (food, manpower, customers and the list continues on…) and the effort required doesn’t guarantee you’ll achieve the results in mind. This can be very unmotivating. That’s why I’m inspired by millennials who are willing to pull up their sleeves and put in a deal of elbow grease into being a hawker. And the folks behind Hungry Wok are one of the daring few.
Situated within a coffeeshop at Toa Payoh, Hungry Wok is a new and ‘under-the-radar’ Zi Char stall that serves a wide array of really affordable and delicious Zi Char. I had a really satisfying lunch with my family here last Sunday and thought that I should share this hidden gem with you guys. According to two of the owners – Jason & Andreas, the ingredients are all freshly bought from the wet market early in the morning and dishes are made to order. So, if you are residing around Toa Payoh, mark this Zi Char place down and remember to bring your loved ones for a good Zi Char feast without stressing your wallet!
We tried some of their signatures and I guess it was a tad too much for the 3 of us. But you know what? The food was so good we had to finish most of them. “A pat on our shoulders!’
Home-Cooked Beancurd – 家乡豆腐 (Small) // $10
Pushing aside the fact that this dish was so hard to take a nice photo, I’ve got nothing else to complain about it because it was almost flawless. Beancurd is made in house and that explains why it was so soft and silky (literally melts in the mouth). The minced meat was well-seasoned (not too salty) and it complements the tofu perfectly. This was so good my mum was nodding her head when she was eating it. I can easily eat 2 bowls of rice just with this dish. Highly recommended!
P/s: I also can’t believe this is only SMALL because it definitely looked a lot more to me! Damn value-for-money!
Imperial Cereal Milk Pork – 奶粉麦片排骨 (Small) // $9
It’s hard to resist anything cereal, and the Imperial Cereal Milk Pork from Hungry Wok just got us hooked. Besides adding cereal, they also added milk powder into marinating the pork. It was flavoursome with a hint of spice. Not too jelat and again, goes really well with rice. This can get really heaty, so you either drink something cooling or gulp down huge amount of water after having this!
Sambal Kangkung – 马来风光 (Small) // $8
The must have when you are having Zi Char. Hungry Wok’s rendition was not too bad. Kangkung was flavourful with a nice sambal aroma. It was a little bit spicy but still bearable! The only thing I felt could be improved was that it was a tad too oily for me!
Emperor Steam Fish – 古早味蒸鱼 // $49
You might think this fish is a bit too pricey but trust me, it is worth every single penny you pay. Fish was really big and fresh. Also, the fish is cooked using charcoal and that contributes to the extra sweetness of its meat. The broth you see is actually Assam which is damn good lah. The sweet-sour combination was too addictive! You’ll regret if you don’t order this!
Nearest Mrt Station: Toa Payoh
Location: Blk 73 #01-585 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh Singapore 310073
What To Order: Beancurd, and Steamed Fish
Food Ratings: 8/10
Written by: Yong Wei Kai (Follow me on Instagram @yongweikai or @sgcafehopping)