Monday, February 16, 2009

In search of ...

"Hole in the walls"

Hole in the walls are grungy places that barely pass DOH inspections but provide the most delicious and most wallet-friendly meals.

The old Mei Lai Wah was inarguably the best hole in the wall. It had the best char siu baos (pork buns) and cheong funs (beef/shrimp noodles). The word got around somehow. Non-chinese/cantonese speaking die-hards and adventurers (myself included, sort of) would frequent. On many occasions, customers would buy char siu baos by the dozens to go. However, it didn't take a genius to realize that the tattered condition of this treasure trove would lend itself to DOH shut-down, amongst other reasons according to foodie blogs.

Soon afterwards, a new Mei Li Wah emerged. To my disappointment, I've step foot once only to leave without a nai cha (milk tea) because it was overcrowded and to realize that the old 1950s coffee house ambiance had been replaced by a more [still looking for the right adjective] atmosphere surrounded by brilliant colors.

The next best place is perhaps the nearby Chatham Square Restaurant‎ at 9 Chatham Square (which is the old-school place with a red awning, not to be confused with the restaurant next door at 6 Chatham Square which has the same name). Agreed or disagreed?