Anything Fuzhou would attract my attention. Singapore with its low Fuzhou population is certainly not known for its Fuzhou cuisine. Since learning the term UFO ( = Unidentified Frying Object) from the blogger Dr. Leslie Tay on his ieatishootiblog.blogspot.com weblog to describe the Fuzhou oyster cake at Maxwell Food Centre, I have wanted to try this Singapore version of what we Fuzhou call Dieh Biang. The good doctor made it sound so delicious.
Though I stopped by Changi Airport on numerous layovers there on the way to remote Papua New Guinea (PNG), I was put off going there mainly because it was not adjacent to a MRT station and required some walking. On my last vacation in Sibu in November 2017, I decided that I would drop by Maxwell during my layover in Singapore on my way to PNG.
From the info I read on the internet, the nearest MRT station would be Tanjong Pagar. From there, it was a 6 minute walk to Maxwell Food Centre. As usual, I used my Garmin eTrex 20x to guide me to Maxwell.
Maxwell Food Centre was a nondescript one-storey building. On reaching there, I went straight to look for Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake stall but somehow, I could not locate it. I then decided to look for something else to try but there were too many kinds of food being offered. In the end, I settled down for steamed dumpling, since this was also one of my favorite food too. There was no vacant table or independent diners at the tables during the lunch hours but I went ahead to order the dumpling, and not being sure whether I could find a seat once the dumpling was ready. Fortunately, a vacant table magically became available just as my order was ready.
The steamed dumpling was below average, scoring 4/10.
I then went to look for a second meal and decided that I would have fried carrot cake (Chay Tow Kueh or Kuih Kak). The stall owner said that he had run out of white fried carrot cake and only the black fried carrot cake was available. There was a table with a lone female diner and I asked for her permission to sit down. The carrot cake was ready faster than I had expected.
The carrot cake was just average. I would rate it at 5/10. I have tasted better ones in PNG.
As I took pictures of the carrot cake on my new Huawei Nova 2i, the lady started talking to me. She was curious to know where I was from because local Singaporeans don't take photos of the food they eat. When I told her I was from Sibu, Sarawak, she told me she was from Miri and her mum is Fuzhou. Occasionally, she would return to Miri but she could not speak Fuzhou, though she could understand it.
During our conversation, I told her I came for the Fuzhou Oyster Cake but could not find the stall. She told me the stall was on another row, pointing to me where to find it. Before I could stop her, she went off to buy the oyster cake. By this time, her hubby had joined her. She came back with two pieces of oyster cake, one for her husband and one for me. I wanted to pay her but she declined the payment. I could only thank her for the treat.
So how tasty was the Fuzhou Oyster Cake? Let's say I prefer the Sibu version.