We were food hunting at the old Taman Johor food centre, when the sight of these freshly made yong tau fu stopped me in my tracks.
When was the last time you have seen freshly made yong tau fu with such bright natural colours and bulging with minced pork and fish fillings like these?
I haven't seen these old school yong tau fu in Singapore for a while.
It's from this humble Hakka lei cha 擂茶 stall at Taman Johor food centre.
The stall refers to the traditional Hakka comfort dish as hum cha or salty rice 咸茶, which is the old Hakka name for lei cha 擂茶 (the more commonly used term in Singapore).
We ordered a lei cha set to try.
Everything here for a total of RM7.50. (RM4.50 for the rice and broth. RM3 for the 3 pieces of yong tau fu.)
The bowl of steamed white rice is fully blanketed with spinach, fried tofu cubes, chai poh (preserved turnips), long beans, fried cabbage and a spoonful of toasted peanuts.
The bowl of green broth is made by grinding fresh vegetables and herbs, hence the term lei cha 擂茶. 擂茶 is the Hakka phrase for ground tea, not "thunder tea" as is often mistranslated.
Lei cha broth usually has a minty and green flavour.
I like this, though I know that it is an acquired taste ;-D
Lei cha is eaten by scooping the green broth into the rice and vegetables.
I usually pour the whole bowl of green broth into the rice.
I like the refreshing flavours of the vegetables and herbs as well as the mix of crunchy, soft and nutty textures.
Lai Cha is often eaten with yong tau fu. At 招妹咸茶 each piece of yong tau fu costs RM1.
Freshly made and fried bitter gourd with savoury sweet minced pork and fish paste.
Minced pork and fish stuffed into a bean curd fried to a slight crisp outside.
Stuffed egg plant. Juicy and sweet.
The lady boss 招妹 has been running this little stall with her son for over 20 years. Another son also runs a lei cha stall in Bukit Indah.
招妹 and her family prepare and cook everything here at the stall everyday, so we are sure to get only fresh lei cha and yong tau fu.
Taman Johor food centre is an old neighbourhood cluster of humble hawker stalls. Well shielded from the sun outside, inside the food centre it is dim and dingy. Nevertheless, it is clean and quite well kept, despite it's age.
I shall be back here to explore the other food stalls.
Restaurant name: Makanan Hakka 招妹咸茶
Address: 2A-11, Pasar Awam Taman Johor, Jalan Ledang, Taman Johor, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.508579, 103.690554
Hours: 8:00am to 1:00pm (closed on Monday)
Date visited: 7 Apr 2015
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