I was caught in a heavy rain recently and found myself stranded at North Bridge Road Market, with nothing but an umbrella and an empty stomach. Golden Mile Food Centre was my actual destination for that day, and i had wanted to save some space for the main food adventure later on. So i decided to settle on something light while waiting for the rain to stop. As i wandered around the market, i caught sight of an old lady making use of a novel way to take her orders. No paper or pen involved here but you can be guaranteed they’ll definitely get your order right!
For over 50 years, Mr and Mrs Kuang have been frying their scrumptious plates of carrot cake that have won over the hearts and tummies of many Singaporeans. Their son helps out at the stall too and the trio are cheerful and happy about what they do!
I saw many customers ordering the black version, but i decided to give the white version a try instead. Their fried carrot cake is the chunky-diced-up version. Personally, i prefer it when my fried carrot cake is held together in one piece by egg, but i’ve come to appreciate this messier-looking form of the dish. The carrot cake was unevenly diced up by the spatula, leaving the smaller bits slightly charred and the bigger pieces soft. The carrot cake was perfectly fried though a little too oily in my opinion, but overall, it was savoury.
What i find most interesting about the stall is their creative and efficient way of taking orders; using only clips, rubber bands and cards. The cards are two-faced. The black side signifies a black plate of carrot cake, while the white side signifies the white version. The number in the centre refers to your order number, while the two columns of numbers on the left and right represent the number of packets or plates of carrot cake respectively.
Mrs Kuang’s Son, with the white and black face of the cards
To place and order, a wooden clip with the price written on it will simply be attached to the card at one of the numbers! For a spicy plate of carrot cake, plastic clips are attached to the card. Once you’ve made your payment, a rubber band is hung on the clip. Says Mrs Kuang’s son, this concept of taking orders mimics the way we do calculations on an abacus, the ancient chinese calculator.
Mrs Kuang with my order! One plate of white carrot cake for 2 dollars! Order no. 10, having here!
With such an efficient ordering system, i don’t see how they can mess up or miss your order!
Address: 861 North Bridge Road Market and Hawker Centre, Stall 104
Opening Hours: 6:15am to 6pm, closed on Mon
Prices: Fried Carrot Cake – $1.50 >