For the record, prior to this visit, I have never heard of this stall, even if it’s in close proximity to where I stay. So when I told a friend that I had a craving for Kway Chap, he requested that I give this stall at the Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre a try. So what did I think?
First off, I know some of you think Kwap Chap and think, “Pig’s innards? Not for me.” Let’s face it the facts – pig’s innards are not for everyone. But long before Fergus Ferguson of Nose to Tail Eating fame promoted the use of innards, or offal, there was kway chap. For those who have no clue as to what kway chap is, it’s basically a dish of pig’s innards braised slowly for long hours in a soy sauce. A word of caution though, for those of you who have high levels of cholesterol, moderation is the key.
Henderson also explains the philosophy behind his cooking explaining that “it seems common sense and even polite to the animal to use all of it. Rather than being testosterone-fuelled blood-lust, it actually seems to be a gentle approach to meat eating.
– http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/3315464/Swine-of-the-times.html, Last Accessed 1 June 2011
When I reached the stall at 11am, there was a queue already formed. I don’t mean to stereotype (more of a personal observation), most of whom who come to this particular stall seem to be cab drivers. For local hawker cuisine, there’s a plus point for me. Owing to their long hours on the roads and countless conversations with their passengers, cab drivers tend to know where are the best spots to “makan”. Things factors, I believe are key.
- It has to be affordable.
- Close proximity to a car park with a high turnover rate (Time is money.).
- The quality of the food has to be of a certain standard.
In the case of Covent Garden, all 3 factors were met.
The meal for 2 of us came to a total of S$10 nett with 2 bowls of kway (flat white noodles) and a medium sized mixed platter of innards.
There was ample space in the car park which was right in front of the hawker centre. Before the implementation of the ERP-style car park system, I can imagine all the drivers would have their meal here without placing parking coupons and when the parking warden comes around, someone would shout, “SUMMON LAI LAI” or something to that extent. (Literally translated: The police have come.)
The food – that’s the most important aspect, I figure. I’m no expert but the one thing that would turn me off is, if the innards were not cleaned properly and thus leaving this lingering bad taste. I’m glad that the stall owners did a fantastic job here. (I know for a fact that the cleaning of the innards is an arduous task, so kudos to them.)
I think I’ve found my favourite kway chap stall; Where’s yours?
Covent Garden Kwap Chap
Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre
Block 22A/B Havelock Road, #01-05