Sunday, January 5, 2014

No Name Cheng Tng - A Comforting and Cooling Sweet Broth

Cheng Tng is a classic Chinese dessert that hails from Techoew origins. I used to remember one of my early memories of a child, was to have a bowl of this comforting sweet broth near my dad's working place at Mohd Sultan Road, where UE Square is now.

Back then, it used to be just warehouses, and rows of hawkers were lined up just outside selling their food. This and a bowl of sweet potato soup were the things that brought us great joy when you were young.

Alas, fast forward to today, and you realize that many dessert stalls in hawker centres and kopitiams are focused mainly on sub par ice kachangs and gimmicky items like "snow" desserts and such.

Thankfully, thanks to SmartCard, again, I managed to find back my bowl of cheng tng goodness that has eluded me for decades. And what a name it has, or rather, it actually has no name. Hence, the uncle calls his shop No Name Cheng Tng. Kinda cool in way.

All 9 Ingredients in Full View

Most other cheng tngs these days are mainly sugared water and you can hardly taste the flavors of the ingredients within. Here, the uncle proudly displays all 9 ingredients of his cheng tng at his stall window in full view for all to see.

Dried longan, sweet potatao, gingko nuts, dried persimmon and sugared wintermelon are all involved in the brewing of his broth and all of them are so crucial to making his version of cheng tng so overwhelmingly successful.

Beautiful Cheng Tng

The result? The broth was so flavorful that you could taste the body of the sweetened soup in every last bit of its ingredients. The uncle also prefers to use tiny ice cubes instead of shaved ice like most other stalls and the difference showed.

It was also not overly sweet and had a beautiful balance of flavors and sweetness. It tasted like how I used to have it at Mohd Sultan Road so many eons ago and rekindled all those childhood memories. And comparing to Ye Lai Xiang at Bedok Corner, this was far more authentic and far more robust in every sense. And yes, the soup was crystal clear.

The Amiable Uncle

The man behind No Name was such a friendly and accommodating man, willing to pose for our relentless search for the perfect shot. He runs this stall all by himself, and prepares and cooks everything personally.

It is such folks that this blog admires, and the type of hawker that exemplifies this great tradition of Singapore street food. His eagerness to share and feed his customers is the one thing that makes this great food culture of ours, well, great.

No Name Cheng Tng
Blk 69 Bedok South Ave 3

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