As a Singaporean Chinese of Hokkien-Hakka descent, I simply love looking for similarities and differences between Chinese food across Southeast Asia. In Bangkok where I now reside, it never fails to amaze me the vast extent of Chinese culinary influence on the Thai street food culture.
One evening, after finishing an extremely fulfilling Isan meal at Udomsuk Road, I chanced upon this stall ‘Cheng Sim Yi’, which sells Teochew-style desserts. Meaning 清心丸, or ‘refreshing pill’ in Chinese, this stall ran the full gamut of ingredients needed for Chinese desserts, including water chestnuts, grass jelly, yam cubes, sliced lotus stems, red dates, attap seeds, etc. The colourful spread gave the stallfront an tantalising look that beckoned to passer-bys. Well, mr;p and I finally succumbed to one bowl of poei sian* (八仙) and tau terng** (豆汤). These iced, sugary desserts were refreshing indeed. Cheng Sim Yi has a few franchises in town, with the most famous branch situated in Talaat Suan Luang, so I’m planning to visit it soon!
* Known as Ba Bao Tang (八宝汤), or Eight Treasures Soup in Singapore.
** Known as Qing Tang (清汤), or Clear/Refreshing Soup in Singapore.