In People’s Park Food Centre, there are 3 yong tau foo stalls, all very well-known. They sell the traditional kind, not the modern version where you pick from a whole buffet of factory-made stuff. And since when did thawed chicken franks become part of yong tau foo (YTF)?
Anyway, years ago when I worked in the area, Koo Kee was the market leader. There was another popular one, opposite Koo Kee, but they sold YTF minus noodles, so I didn’t think that would fill me up for lunch. Besides, they opened after 1pm, by which time I’d have died of hunger.
So I preferred to patronize the underdog, Poy Kee. In fact, I ate their YTF at least once a week. Sometimes, underdogs actually serve better food. Because of lack of publicity, they are compelled to make their food good to attract more business.
Well, the tides have turned. Poy Kee is the underdog no more. TV stations featured them on national TV. Curious crowds formed queues. I hate queues. Darn the media! Heh!
There for some shopping, I thought I’d revisit Poy Kee. Actually, I wanted to try out the other famous one, but it had a queue of 40-plus people! No kidding! Koo Kee had no queue at all. Surprisingly, Poy Kee’s queue was quite short, only 6 in front of me.
The YTF here are standard items of fishball, steamed beancurd with fish paste, fried beancurd with fish paste, and fried beancurd skin fish roll. One look and I knew things were different.
My fav item of the lot, the fried beancurd skin fish roll, has giu chwee (shrunken in size)! What satisfaction is there in biting into a skinny roll? It used to be fat, full of bouncy fish paste, and juicy!
The beancurd squares were still good, but not as silky smooth as I remembered them to be. Also seemed to have downsized.
Good thing the kway teow is still smooth, and the fried anchovies crispy and fragrant. The soup was a little on the oily side, not super flavorful, but there’s no trace of MSG, so that’s the silver lining.
Conclusion: Better than most pseudo factory-made YTF, but not as shiok as during its underdog days.
Poy Kee Yong Tau Foo
Blk 32 New Market Road
#01-1066, People’s Park Food Centre