Text and Photos by : Leona Nepomuceno
After enjoying the cool desserts and snacks around the Bedok Hawkers Center, I cannot resist trying out their warm to hot counterparts pictured in the backlighted menu of a vegetarian stall. It reminded me of my favorite comfort food, “guinataan halo-halo” and the rest of its variants like bilo-bilo ( sticky rice balls) mais (sweet corn), and munggo(green or red bean). Most of the items in the menu are too exotic for my taste. Can you imagine snacking on “ papaya fungal “ and “Red date fungi”?
From the menu, I chose a mono-colored warm soup in black, the sesame paste. I was imagining the scent of toasted and crushed sesame seeds , nutty and buttery.
The sesame paste was served in a small Chinese soup bowl, warm and thick. The first slurp from the Chinese spoon was tasteless and lacking in aroma. But the texture was velvet smooth and then a hint of cacao flavour fills your palate. The bold black color of the dish is the complete opposite of its uneventful flavour.
After this first disappointment in my choice of warm desserts, I go to another stall with a similar menu. The item that caught my eye was the lotus seeds soup. My only encounter with lotus seeds is through the mooncake. I always look forward to the autumn moon festival because of the mooncake with its rich creamy and sweet lotus seed filling. With this thought, how can I go wrong ?
A small bowl with a generous amount of halved lotus seeds in an opaque and gooey soup was handed to me. I took a mouthful of the soup and it was comfortably warm and considerably sweet. The second spoon was filled with the light yellow lotus seeds. Each morsel was tender and smooth almost milky. Chewing was almost like processing lotus cream in your mouth. It was heavenly!
Warm desserts are priced from SGD 1.20 -2 at the Bedok Hawkers Center, Singapore.