Soon Lee Cooked Food 顺利熟食 Fried Oyster Omelette & Carrot Cake (蚝煎, 菜头粿) Review – There’s No Carrot in Carrot Cake


I was very impressed with the street food of Singapore. I was very impressed with the dishes that they did.

-Jose Andres

Like previously when I went to eat another egg dish, Fried Carrot Cake, or 菜头粿 (chai tow kway), is a local adaptation of long-running recipes from other lands. It is brought over by early Teochew-speaking Chinese immigrants where it is called fried starch cake, or 炒糕粿 (chao gao guo) , without the delicious eggs we associate it together with.

From yoursingapore.com’s website:

Teochew hawker Ng Soik Theng claims to be the first to have called this dish ‘chai tow kway‘ in the 1960s when she added white radish to it. Another hawker, Lau Goh, is said to have popularised the white version.

Oyster Omelette, or 蚝煎 (orh jian), similarly has a Southern Chinese origin and likely adapted to the local and Malaysian palette after some time.

Soon Lee Cooked Food 顺利熟食 Fried Oyster Omelette & Carrot Cake (蚝煎, 菜头粿)

As promised, this is another stall in Haig Road Cooked Food Centre!

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The stall owner Mdm Neo, whom I fondly call “Auntie” as far as I can remember, has been here since the hawker centre came around at about 1979 (37+ years)! The menu is one that is a unique and common sight in Singapore: stalls that sell mainly fried egg dishes; an “egg-ophile” heaven, you might put it.

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The eggs in both the oyster omelette and fried carrot cake are really fluffy without feeling oily and giving you the ‘gelat’ feeling even wolfing down the whole plate. Soon Lee’s little secret is that unlike some other stalls, the stall owner uses vegetable oil as the main oil and doesn’t add lard in the frying process.

Personally, i prefer the ‘white’ fried carrot cake although I relish in a good plate of the ‘black’ version (stir-fried in black soya sauce) any day. Mdm Neo’s ‘white’ version is nice with generous mouthfills of ‘chai poh’ (dried preserved radish) to give it the extra kick! Add that to fresh chopped spring onions and you got yourself a true Singaporean snack!

Also, after more than 10-15 years of patronising, auntie remembers that I cannot take seafood and prepares a special version of the omelette without oysters! So you, my dear readers, got to tell me how it taste like, although those that I have brought to try it over the years have commented that the oysters are decently fresh!

The Verdict

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hole-in-the-wall-ness:
It’s a hawker stall, so definitely has the charm!

Price:
Prices start from $2.50 and onwards to $10 for really big plates. Personally the $4 plates are enough for a meal.

Quality:
Eggs are eggs are eggs. Cooked with fresh ingredients, although some may not prefer the lack of lard-laden oiliness and heavy flavours.

Overall:
Come try it!

More information

Soon Lee Cooked Food (顺利熟食)
14 Haig Road
Haig Road Cooked Food Centre
#01-57
Singapore 430014
Opens Daily but has no fixed hours; generally 10:00am – 9:00pm


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