But Tony Tee, the owner of the previous said stall and crocodile cuisine master is still intent on spreading his crocodile dishes far and wide. And it is for this reason that he has graciously agreed to come out of "retirement" to participate in this year's Ultimate Hawker Fest.
His crocodile soup has been known to be beneficial to folks who have asthma, and I have heard stories of how his soup has helped many others in dealing with their asthmatic issues.
Beyond that, crocodile meat has other health benefits. It is high on protein and low on fat, and when combined with classic Chinese herbs and spices, it can turn into a potent health tonic.
|Ultimate Crocodile Soup|
For UHF 2014, Tony has concocted his version of his ultimate crocodile soup. And I was privileged to have a tasting at the Eureka Cooking Lab a few weeks ago for a cooking demonstration.
The broth was made from crocodile loin bones, and he used both the loin meat and the tail fin as the edible parts of the crocodile. The soup is further enhanced by a multitude of herbs and on the final presentation, it was a very appealing and enticing bowl of soup.
Surprisingly, it was very easy to drink and not too herbal at all. Just enough of the herbal sweetness to suggest that this is not your regular broth and yet there was a nice balance of savouriness and protein to accompany the soup.
As for the meat itself, it looked like pork slices and tasted like chicken meat. The texture was firmer, but not fibrous nor dry. While the meat itself lacked flavour, it did provide an interesting texture to the dish. Accompanied by sea cucumber, it was a kaleidoscope of textures that had a sense of playfulness about it.
|Miss Tam Chiak and Crocodile King|
As for the man himself, I have only gotten to know Tony only for a few months, though we have had communicated over Facebook for a year. It was indeed a pleasure to know the man and indulge in his passion for food and cooking.
But it is also his selfless spirit that I want to pay tribute to. Known to many as a friend to many foodies in Singapore, he has an untiring nature to help people. Despite facing obstacles himself over his stall, he is determined to give more than what most others would do in his position.
It is with this spirit that I salute him for joining us in this event, and also an absolute privilege to call him my friend. A friend in need, indeed. For this year's hawker fest, he is indeed helping those in need.
If for no other reason then to support his amazing crocodile soup, do come down on Nov 22, 11am to 5pm at Suntec Expo Hall 401,402 just to meet the Crocodile King himself. Who knows when we will get to savour his crocodile soup at a commercial establishment again?
For more on UHF 2014, please visit Crocodile King and other great hawker stalls at https://www.ultimatehawkerfest.sg or call 6377 0122. The coupons can be purchased at the website as well.
Here is a video Crocodile King cooking his ultimate crocodile soup, hosted by Miss Tam Chiak.
Video shot and edited entirely on the iPhone 5S.
Featuring Miss Tam Chiak.
All music, direction, editing and videography by Ian Low.
No crocodiles were harmed during the making of this video.
Special thanks to the Eureka Cooking Lab for the use of their premises for the cooking demonstration and the filming of the video.