There is a Chinatown in just about every country, each one a busy hive of Chinese culture. It is no different in Singapore. In our nation’s climate of rapid modernization and urban progress, sometimes a quick visit to Chinatown with its old-fashioned noise and hustle-and-bustle can be a breath of fresh air.
And what’s a trip to Chinatown without sampling some good old Chinese fare? For this particular visit, we decide to go straight for the Chinese desserts.
Tucked away in the row of shop houses on Temple Street, Mei Hong Yuen Dessert is our destination of choice. Famous for its traditional Chinese desserts and pastries, such as almond cream and sesame paste soup, the little dessert shop is even listed by WikiTravel guide as a must-go for tourists in Singapore looking for authentic Chinese food fare.
We order ourselves a little feast of steam carrot, pumpkin and yam cakes, which are all delightfully soft and yummy for a light afternoon snack. We also sample their Cantonese dumplings, which are nice and large, stuffed with a tasty filling of yellow beans, egg yolk, mushrooms and pork.
Treats like their signature Mango with Pomelo and Sago and Herbal Jelly are cooling refreshers for anyone coming in from the humid, crowded streets outside. The Mango with Pomelo and Sago is particularly addictive: a generous pile of mango combined with thick puree and sago, sitting on top of a little hill of crushed ice.
The Herbal Jelly is a great remedy for the heat; its “cooling” and slightly bitter jelly is doused with smooth, sweet honey. Apart from that, Mei Hong Yuen specializes in Sesame and Almond paste desserts — hot and cold. Another two not to miss.
All in, this little dessert house stands as a worthy tribute to Chinese tradition. And the best part is, it’s tasty tradition for just a couple of dollars.