Ang Mo Kio was my childhood playground. Papa Ng used to own a men’s garment factory in Ang Mo Kio. When I was a kid, I spent most of my time at the factory, doing menial tasks like trimming the thread from the shirt’s sleeves, folding and packing them into boxes. My primary and secondary schools were in Ang Mo Kio too. Back then, the A&W near the library was my favourite place (hello coney dog). Since Papa Ng closed down his factory, there was little or no reason for me to go back to Ang Mo Kio.
Recently, I needed some craft material for a friend’s birthday present which prompted me to Elsie Departmental Store in Ang Mo Kio. Elsie Departmental Store has been around for as long as I can remember. It has faithfully supplied me with material for my primary and secondary school projects. Stepping into Elsie, you will be welcomed by sights of pom pom tissue cover, framed cross stitch work and a table full of women(and sometimes men) crocheting and knitting. This place is old school and grouchy friendly (the owners’ faces look stern but they are very nice). My last trip there, the owner even offered me a banana and gave me an extra lucky draw ticket.
After my errands at Elsie, I went over to the nearby coffeeshop (S11). I wanted to eat my favourite yong tau foo but the stall seems to have moved. I was walking round and round, searching for possible lunch. I settled on this inconspicuous stall – Penang Delights. They served two things – prawn noodles and lor mee. I opt for a bowl of prawn bee hoon noodles soup (S$3.50).
The first impression of this bowl of soupy goodness was the richness of the broth. It was brownish orange and I could detect a “prawny” smell. I dived right in and have a sip of the soup. It was what I had predicted – rich, flavourful and comforting. Though I was lament that the stall owner gave me so little soup, if he had given me more, I doubt I would be able to finish it. The second thing that got my nod of approval was the prawns. The prawns were neither puny nor sliced into half. They were left whole. The stall owner was also very thoughtful. He had peeled the shell of the prawns, leaving the head and tail intact. This also means I got to suckle on the prawn heads (hello cholesterol) and extract more “prawny” juice. And I do not have to get my hands dirty.
Thanks to Penang Delights, I can see myself returning to Ang Mo Kio (and of course, saying hi to all the lovely uncles and aunties at Elsie).Elsie Departmental Store
Blk 709, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, #01-2607
Open hours: 10.30am to 8.30pm (daily)Penang Delights
Blk 711, Ang Mo Kio Avenue, S11 Food Centre, #01-08