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Albert Street Markets, Singapore

Steamed sweet cakes (picture above) using grounded glutinous rice flour, golden syrup and brown sugar, are traditionally made to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This traditional concoction is chewy-sticky and best eaten with grated coconut. Referred to as nain gao in Mandarin or tnee kueh in Singapore/Malaysian Fujian dialect, they can be consumed soft or hard, depending on personal preferences. They are steamed on low heat for up to eight hours and so are a product of patience and love. The symbolic act of eating this nian gao is to imply that one elevates one's prospects to a higher level for the new year ahead.

Two street food snacks that caught my eye along Albert Street were the kueh koci (above) and the pancake creation, the ban chien kueh. (below)

Notice that they are all served on strips of banana leaves. The koci is essentially a miniature pyramid-shaped glutinous rice flour wrap filled with sweet peanut paste and/or grated coconut mix, to be served as snacks at teatime. The pancakes below have aromatic roasted peanuts, sesame seeds and corn inside.

The whole spectrum of tropical fruits are on display above, ranging from different types of bananas, yellow and pink-tinged mangoes, hairy skinned red coloured rambutans and brown skinned longans.


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85 Degrees Bakery Cafe Hurstville NSW

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Lor mee is another of those street foods that are not commonly available in Western societies, but are easily found in southern China, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. The dish is iconic of the Teochew Province in China and has been mainly brought to equatorial climes by immigrants over the last few centuries. It combines snippets of ingredients in a thick savoury sauce. Above, the lor mee with roast pork and sliced hard boiled egg accompaniments at the Fong Sheng Cafe, along Lorong Selamat in Georgetown, Penang - the place was introduced by May Wah and Henry Quah.

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Hot and cold drinks are easily on offer from the cafe (above and below) at very reasonable prices.

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