A stall’s name cannot get as straight-forward as this – “Rojak, Popiah & Cockle”, selling three of Singapore’s loved hawker dishes in a single place.
Many locals would not have known that this stall is actually Michelin recommended with a “Michelin Plate”, because it is not that well-known or prominent.
This would fall under one of those “Really?” category.
Still, the bustling Maxwell Food Centre near Chinatown is a hodgepodge for tourists who all want a taste of Singapore hawker-style dishes.
It is easily accessible, located a walking distance from Telok Ayer and Chinatown MRT stations. You can’t miss it, just opposite the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum.
If you hate crowds, avoid the 12noon to 2pm window as it is swarming with employees from nearby offices on a lunch break.
However, take note that while the stall closing hours state 10pm, it can close way before that when “sold out”.
I was slightly perplexed with what the Michelin Guide described about this stall, A clean and tidy stall with just three kinds of dishes. The popiah with egg, vermicelli and bean sprouts is very appealing.”
Wait, vermicelli? Since when?
To me, the Popiah is the real draw among the three items sold.
The Popiah ($1.50 each) is like a spring roll (for tourists who wonder what this is), filled with stewed turnip, fresh crunchy cabbage, carrots, pieces of hard-boiled egg and ground peanuts.
The skin is thin and supple, while the fillings moist and quite soft, though I would think there are others which are more delicious around.
People either love or hate Rojak ($3, $5, $7, $8), that freestyle salad-like mix of crispy dough fritters (you tiao), fruits, beansprouts and vegetables with a piquant yet sweet prawn paste dressing, topped with chopped nuts.
You can also add ingredients of cuttlefish and century egg.
The sauce itself is quite rich-tasting and mildly spicy – I would say it is not bad, better than the average. However, the you tiao could have been crispier and not so lao hong (airy).
Finally, order some cockle ($4, $5, $6) if you want to complete the trilogy. I have yet to try it.
Rojak, Popiah & Cockle
1 Kadayanallur St, #01-56 Maxwell Road Food Centre, Singapore 069184
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon – Tues, Thurs – Sun), Closed Wed