Old Is Gold

Jackson Cooked Food
505 Beach Rd #01-78,
Golden Mile Food Center,
Singapore 199583

Chung Cheng Chilli Mee
505 Beach Rd #01-59,
Golden Mile Food Center,
Singapore 199583

51 Soya Bean
505 Beach Rd #B1-03,
Golden Mile Food Center,
Singapore 199583

In light of the SG50 buzz, I promised myself to revisit some of the older precincts in town, as well as to reminisce the sights & sounds almost drowned & forgotten by the cities lightning pace of economic growth. 大马路 (hokkien: Tua Beh Lorh) aka North Bridge Road is one of the old towns that pioneers would have strong connections with. It was the area of commerce where people would congregate for their marketing needs.

Beach Road was literally the coastline long before land reclamation brought the coastline far beyond the flanks of Nichol Highway. Central to many Singaporean Sons, regardless old or young, none can forget the good old multistory Golden Mile Food Center, better known as the “Army Market”. It was, and still is the place to visit for every enlisted serviceman.

Glossing around the basement & 1st level, I was spoiled for choice. However, since I made this trip solo, I had to be realistic with the stuff I’d order to fill my tank. So I picked 2 MUST EAT’s to satiate my hunger, followed with MUST EAT desserts:

烧鸭叉烧烧肉饭 Roast Duck, Char-Siew & Roast Pork Belly on rice – as authentic as it gets, this old-school evergreen is second to none. The seasoning & taste for all things roasted are finely balanced, allowing for the braised sauce drizzle & a sprinkle of sweetened dark soy sauce. Served with a clear soup featuring crumbs of Chinese pickle, and a tiny saucer of chili dips on the side.

Jackson Cooked Food is manned & managed by a small framed stalwart uncle who wields the chopper with precision, assisted by a friendly & motherly lady.

肉骨虾面 pork rib & prawn noodles (dry) – this has already become one of the main attractions for the food center. The pork ribs are boiled to a state where the meat falls off the bone effortless, and one can actually suckle & taste in the soup from the pores of the bones. The chili is a signature that I find very difficult to do without.

Chung Cheng Chili Mee has a close affinity with the old Chinese school, and is presently manned & managed by second & third generation descendants, keeping up with the tradition.

Soya Bean Milk & Almond Soya Bean curd – to end the evening of my solo food trail, almond is to me like icing on a cake. Unlike mainstream crowd that taste with their ears, and not their palate, I give 51 Soya Bean 4 thumbs up (including my thumb toes), any day, any time.

The texture of the soya bean milk is rich that you almost can taste the bean. The almond is sheer delight. The aroma of the almond is unwavering, and the texture to the bean curd is silky smooth. Yes, smoother than silken tofu.

Note: their flagship is the original soya bean flavor

51 Soya Bean can also be found at Old Airport Road Food Center (I believe would be their main branch, given the number 51).

When it comes to reminiscing the old flavors of Singapore, eat bite brings back fond memories of my good old days of growing up. Unfortunately, thanks to the lightning pace of economic advancements, as well as the quickly decentralizing of living spaces, it is foreseeable that these generational hand-me-down recipes will eventually diminish towards extinction.

Following the decommissioning of Lavender Food Center, it’s wouldn’t be long that this food center will also be making way for new developments. Enjoy, before they’re retired.

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