Craving for LHS Rojak at 4.38 am

Am beat-up and worn-down. And try as I might, even after repeated scrubbings with perfumed bath gels, I can’t seem to get that sharp astringent smell of hospitals off me. Or is it just in my head…

Sudden craving for rojak at this early morning hour. Maybe I just want some strong and pungent taste and smell to smother up everything else. Rojak was one of the favourite supper food for Mum and me. Father never cared for it; he always wrinkled his nose and frowned at the strong pungent smell of the shrimp paste. I guess it offended his delicate palette and sensibilities as a discerning aficionado of fine Chinese/Cantonese cuisine.

Man, I really want some Lau Hong Ser Rojak right now…
Should have picked up some just now on the way back, before they closed at 1.38 am:


One word that separates the good from the great. Passion is what makes this man fry and grind his own peanuts whiles other get theirs from a factory. It makes him insist on using only the best Heh Gor from Penang and making his own chilli. It causes him to continue toasting his You Char Kway over a small charcoal fire even though there is a queue an hour long waiting to eat his fare. It causes him to continue to treat each plate of Rojak as if it were his last. Oh yes, I love passion people.

Now people with passion can sometimes be perceived to be eccentric. The difference between someone who is eccentric and someone who is a downright obnoxious fusspot is that we admire what the eccentric one does. So when this stallowner insists on opening his stall from 4.38pm to 1.38am, we forgive him because he is a genius. It takes a real “Hou Lian Teochew Ah Hia” (Proud Teochew Man – and I mean it in a good sense) to be able to pull off a stunt like this and still have people calling up an hour ahead to place their orders.


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