Monday, June 16, 2008

EATZ: Jia Ji Mei Shi 佳記美食

Its double makan-post today!
I think I still have more photos in backlog that are not posted yet.
So its jiak jiak jiak (eat eat eat) time!
This time, I visited the newly-renovated Chinatown Complex after my regular visit to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum. Chinatown Complex was closed for many months for a major renovation, now that it is completed, I realised that the layout of the shops and food stalls are exactly the same as the old, but cleaner. This benefits the folks who have been patronizing Chinatown Complex for decades.
On my first visit to the renovated Chinatown Complex, I had to visit my favourite stall "Jia Ji Mei Shi" (佳記美食).

Jia Ji Mei Shi
#02-166 Chinatown Complex

"Jia Ji Mei Shi" is located at exactly the same stall location as pre-renovated complex. The stall looks brighter and more well-organized. Staff also wear a pink polo-tee uniform. Appearance has changed, but menu, taste and the long queues never change.

Steamed Yam Cake and Chee Cheong Fun
芋头糕 and 猪肠粉
This combination is probably the most ordered dish at "Jia Ji Mei Shi". Sweet black sauce, chilli sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds are the standard condiments to have with the steamed yam/taro cake (wu tow ko in Cantonese) and steamed rice noodle roll (chee cheong fun in Cantonese).

Dou Chang

It was a few days away from dumpling festival, so there were more rice dumplings than usual. Another of a Cantonese favourite is the dou chang (豆粽). Inside this glutinous rice dumpling, there is no usual stewed pork and chestnut, but mashed soya bean (黄豆沙), mixed beans and a salted duck egg. The dou chang at "Jia Ji Mei Shi" has one or two small pieces of pork fat to add taste to it.

I was initially still quite saddened when they decided to close Chinatown Complex for renovations, fearing that this place might lose its decades of charm and affinity to the hearts of many Singaporeans. Despite the feeling of having these traditional Cantonese snacks from "Jia Ji Mei Shi" at Chinatown Complex, is different from having them at the previous temporary food centre beside Outram Park MRT station. Nevertheless, it is the same nostalgic feeling of dining in the pre-renovated Chinatown Complex. The usual long queue vouch for the quality and price of the food; Cheap and good! I feel that they are not the best steam yam cake or chee cheong fun around, but is the same taste that regular patrons loved.
Though the newly-renovated Chinatown Complex is cleaner and brighter than the previous, it is still as warm as before and poorly ventilated. It will take a lot of effort in maintaining this big complex in order to make sure it keeps up its present state.
Chinatown Complex is the place for locals, tourist, rich, poor, to find the very authentic local hawker flavours.

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