Singapore Famous Rojak is the name of a hawker stall in Albert Centre serving up only 1 dish, Chinese style rojak. Tradition rojak is usually a mixture of fruits and vegetable commonly found in Singapore and neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. This rojak dish requires no cooking and is also known as Chinese salad.
The ingredients used are pineapples, sweet turnip (bangkwang), beancurd puff, fried fritters (yew char kway), cucumber, bean sprouts and peanuts. Some of the rojak also uses torch ginger flower or rojak flower for the unique aroma and piquant flavour. The torch ginger adds a lemon flavour and a mild heat like pepper to the rojak. The reason why some of the rojak stalls omitted the use of torch ginger flower is largely due to unstable supply and raising cost.
To keep the rojak at an affordable price of $3 to $4, this may be a sound decision to some with some trade off in the flavours.
The Singapore Famous Rojak hawker stall is recommended by Michelin guide in 2018 and in 2019. This rojak is currently run by the 2nd generation uncle Freddy with their home made dressing.
The usual set up of a rojak stall will consist of a mixing bowl in either wood or stoneware, a spatula, a pot of cane sugar, tamarind juice, lime juice, crushed peanuts, black fermented prawn paste (虾膏) and a buffet of the fruits and vegetables used.
He uses a small toaster to crisp up the bean curd puff and fried fritters (油条). This is what happens after you place your order for a rojak. Into the mixing bowl, prawn paste (hei Kor), crushed peanuts, cane sugar, julienned lime skin and lime juice are added.
These are then furiously mixed into a creamy thick paste before adding the bean sprouts, scissor cut bite size fried fritters, bean curd puff, pineapple, cucumber and sweet turnip. He would then add his secret dressing from a black potion bottle. After adding these ingredients, he would quickly give a few quick toss with the spatula. Once these are well coated with the prawn paste sauce, the rojak is swiftly scoped from the edge of the mixing bowl to the edge of the disposable plate.
Besides the mainstream mixed fruit and vegetable rojak, the regulars are fans of the fried dough fritters rojak which is an off menu item.
Singapore Famous Rojak hawker stall usually has a queue as with all popular food stalls. The stall owner Uncle Freddy has tried to cut the queue time by pre-cutting the turnips, pineapple and cucumber into wedges. The usual practice of these type of rojak stall is cutting wedges from the vegetables on the spot to each order, this is a showmanship of rojak but the waiting time is has to be compromised and you might have to wait longer.
This is the typical plating of most rojak in Singapore. The rojak is always served lopsided with the saucy dressing on one end of the plate. 2 satay sticks will be provided as utensil.
The rojak is a messy mix of fruits, vegetable and bean products with different textures. Topped with a blanket of roughly chopped peanuts for extra crunch and aroma. The peanut also impart a nutty and creamy texture to the rojak.
The wedge of pineapple is well coated with the sweet tangy sauce. The stinging and cutting sensation from the pineapple is non existence. The sauce elevates the sweetness and juiciness of the fruit.
This is the bite size fried fritters with the croissant-like cross section. The fried fritters are not the crispy hard type. The fritters have a chewy and spongy texture to it.
The sweet radish (bangkwang) has a sweet crunchy texture and very juicy too. This root vegetable is an indispensible ingredient in this rojak. The texture of this is similar to an apple with some fibres but less sweet.
This radish also known as jicama is used in many local dishes such as spring roll, cai kueh, kueh pie tee and popiah in the sautéed version. There are also health benefits associated with jicama with its properties to prevent constipation, counter diabetes, lower the risk of heart diseases and a good source of antioxidants. However, a balance diet is always the best policy despite the benefits of this root vegetable.
The ingredients are heavily slathered with the rich hearty sauce with pops of sugar granules with each bite. The peanuts retain the crunch even though it is coated with the caramelised sauce.
Bean curd puff has a papery crispy exterior, eggy and curdy interior. It has an interesting chew to it that is a bit dry with a pleasing contrast to the rest of the ingredients.
The cucumber wedge offers a refreshing break from the tangy and zesty flavours of the rojak with a light clean palate.
Do head over to try Singapore Famous Rojak at Albert Centre Hawker after your shopping trip at Bugis Plus or Tech trip to Sim lim.
12 pm till 8.30pm Daily
Albert Hawker Centre and Market
Singapore Famous Rojak (新加坡啰㘃)
270 Queen Street, #01-45, Singapore 180270