On 24 July 2010, there was a Cantonese Food Festival in Kreta Ayer Square, as part of the bigger Singapore Food Festival. A modest setup it did get a crowd going for their favourite food. The most popular queue was the roast meat, as one would expect.
Alas, I was looking forward to the lesser-filling food that one could take as Tim Sum (Dim Sum) for breakfast or anytime (it is said that in Asia, notably in Singapore? we eat only one meal, one long meal that is). And so, after looking at the displays of the stalls and peering into what was being bought (There was a Ramli Burger too! A rare sight in Singapore other than at the KTM Tanjong Pagar Railway Station), we decided to go to the food centre to check out for my favourites.
Since we were in the mood, we decided to take the Chee-Cheong-Fun (literally names as Pig Intestine as it looks like one but actually it is rice flour roll) and Wu Tau Koh (Yam Cake) with the typical chilli and Tim-jeong (sauce). I preferred the dark red sauce that seems to be less popular these days. And I tried the Chow-mei-fun (fried Beehoon or vermicelli) (I wanted the chow mien - fried noodles - but it was sold out - well, they replenished it later) and then, the Tao-Chung (bean dumpling) with custard sugar, my childhood favourite. Somehow, the taste was never the same, compared to the young days when we had it. Most of these food these days are factory-produced and not home-cooked.
My favourite stall in the Chinatown Complex food centre is still the Vegetarian BeeHoon, which I have been taking for decades. Other than the stall owners, I have seen how many hands had taken over the wok. Now, it is in the hands of the mainland Chinese. Ordering the beehoon has also been changed from Cantonese to Mandarin, unless the locals are around. (^^) In many Chinatowns around the world, Cantonese is the franca lingua. In Singapore, it might be diminishing .. fast.
I hope in the next Cantonese Food Fest, more typical Cantonese dishes, from the humble home-cooked ones to the banquet, could be on show, and of course, for tasting and purchase too. Maybe, we can ask the Grandma to share their recipes too. How about a cookbook by the Cantonese Ah Mah and Ah Por.