Monday, 2 April 2018

Authentic Traditional Chinese Desserts in Chinatown Complex. 115 Tang Shui 一一五糖水 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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In a world where mechanisation, synthetic ingredients and chemical flavours are gaining ground in F & B, this humble little dessert stall, 115 Tang Shui in Chinatown Complex is standing its ground with natural ingredients and artisanal production. 115 Tang Shui is a heritage food gem you must not miss when you are in Chinatown.

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115 Tang Shui was founded by Mdm Wong Len Chen in 1966 and was operating on Smith Street before moving into Chinatown Complex in 1984. Mdm Wong's stall served traditional Cantonese hot desserts like sesame seed gruel, peanut gruel, almond gruel, walnut gruel, green bean soup, red bean soup etc. There was also bubur cha cha 摩摩喳喳 - a Nanyang dessert.

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Tommy joined his mum to run the stall in Chinatown Complex when Mdm Wong's elderly helper retired. Today, Tommy's son Fabian is also carrying on the family tradition.

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Tommy let me sit with him for two hours while he patiently removed the toxic core of gingko nuts by hand, one by one, one at a time. Tommy comes to the stall every business day at 3:00am to start preparing the desserts and be ready to serve at 7:30am.

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Tommy still uses the heavy granite stone grinder to grind the sesame seeds, peanuts, almonds, etc for the various gruel. (One day, I have to come here at 3-4am to watch Tommy in action with the heavy granite stone grinder.)

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My favourite is Bubur Cha Cha 摩摩喳喳 served warm.

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Love this "soup" - it's coconut milk sweetness, layered with sweetness from the sweet potato and yam. It's an addictive blend of natural sweetness (that is not overly sweet).

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Tenderly softly squeaky sweet tapioca jelly.

Best.

More syok than the pearls in bubble tea (which I also love).

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115 Tang Shui's green bean soup has 臭草 "stinky grass" - an ingredient rarely seen these days in Singapore or Malaysia. This is special to me because this was the way my grandmother makes green been soup - there was always stinky grass.

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Tommy told me that 臭草 nowadays costs $80 per kilo. The leaves have an odour like the defensive smell beetles give out when they are threatened. It is an acquired taste, but, add a bit of "stingy grass" into green bean soup and it tastes so good..... especially to oldies 😂

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I wanted to try the sesame seed gruel, but Tommy suggested why not a mix?

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Fabian ladled in the sesame seed and almond gruel separately, and skilfully kept them apart in the same bowl.

It's the best of both worlds 😄

It's 100% pure almond and pure sesame seeds. The old school stone grinder grounded the gruel rich, creamy and smooth. I tasted the flavours of real almonds and sesame seed.

No almond essence nonsense. You know how bad that chemical smells.

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4-Stars (out of 5). Tommy and Fabian have committed themselves to preserving the legacy of Mdm Wong's 115 Tang Shui traditional hot dessert stall. That means they have to start work at 3am, use natural ingredients, and prepare many things by hand with a heavy old stone grinder. That means that for us customers, we can get the original taste of traditional desserts rarely smelled or tasted in Singapore or Malaysia these days. It's something to be grateful for. Must not miss this when you are in Singapore's Chinatown.

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Restaurant name115 Tang Shui 一一五糖水
Address: Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, 335 Smith Street, #02-206, Blue Zone, Singapore 050335 
GPS: 1.282668, 103.842873 
Tel: 9641 9140 | 9022 4083
Hours: 7:30am - 5:00pm (closed on Tuesday)    

No pork, no lard, no Halal cert

Date: 1 Apr 2018



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3 comments:

  1. Goh Rayson said on Johor Kaki FB: "When my previous workplace was in chinatown, I had this dessert several times a week after lunch. It's not only good but very affordable."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lily Png said on Johor Kaki FB: "Haha but one of the senior one 2nd aunty standard drop or our standard gone up?? Minimum liao n small bowl...still in the 60s kind of standard?"

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kf Seetoh said on Johor Kaki FB: "once a dessert powder salesman stood in front of their stall trying to pitch them his products. then he stood to one side, saw the old stond grinding machine.. and left. True story."

    ReplyDelete

I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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