Saturday, June 09, 2007

Makciks Rock

Picture this: A Makcik, sunglasses perched firmly on her nose, legs astride her supersize tricycle, shopping baskets fore and aft, cycling between the row of shops in Marine Parade Central. I whipped out my cameraphone to take a shot. But thanks to the glaring sunshine, and the bike movement, this was all I got:

But Marine Parade Central is a veritable makcik paradise (and here I mean makciks of all races). My dear mother, for example, loves to explore the sundry shops here. All sorts of things are on sale here - containers of all shapes and sizes, plants, clothing and footwear (including these fun flip-flops) and even mahjong tables (guess where I got mine?). There is a small supermarket which is surprisingly busy considering that NTUC, its big competitor, is just 5 minutes walk away. I've patronised a pet shop here which has a good range of kitty litter. If you need kitty litter which clumps well and has odour control, by all means choose Fussie Cat.

The food is good too. There's a pretty decent hawker centre here (with stalls selling "Pontian" wantan noodles and one of my favourite comfort foods, beef noodles). But at the coffeeshop just at the end of the promenade is "Penang Delights", a little shop selling Penang hawker fare like Penang Kway Teow, Assam Laksa, Lor Mee etc. My father finds it great value for great Penang food. He once ate both the Kway Teow and Assam Laksa at one go (which he admitted was a little much) which just shows what a fan he is.

I'd eaten the Penang laksa before and enjoyed the assam stock and the generous flaked fish. The scent of the laksa broth was scenting the air when I came by today, tempting me to have another bowl. But I had decided to try out the Penang Kway Teow. And it was good - two fresh, nicely cooked prawns, well-fried noodles, but not exceptional.

What I really enjoyed, however, were the minced pork and chive dumplings! Not really a Penang specialty. But the skin was soft and transluscent, so we could see the juicy, meaty dumplings inside. They were served with a tasty chilli-garlic-vinegary sauce. I'll definitely come back for this and the Penang Laksa.

p.s. Now I have mentioned before that strictly speaking, Marine Parade is not Katong. I still stand by that. But sometimes its good to be flexible :-)

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