What's in the name of SOYA BEAN stall than a simple 51 SOYA BEAN which connotes soya drinks and soya bean curd at the already popular Blk 51 OLD AIRORT ROAD HAWKER CENTRE. But this name is raging in popularity for a few month since March 2011 where long queues snaked at the two separate stalls under this name here. Often time you will be left in a quandry if you have travelled all the way here to find that the stall is temporarily closed or the sign says next rest at 12pm and you have to wait or worst when everything in the fridge is sold out when you reached your turn in the queue and the shelf is empty.
Such is the craze buzzing at Blk 51 Old Airport Road Hawker Centre. Not that 51 Soya Bean started this chilled and freshly made on site soya product but QQ Soya Bean and LAU PAN and a few others have made their presence there long before. The key word is the smooth silky soya bean curd dessert like no others.
It was not long ago only that Mr Chang Li Wong of 51 Soya Bean got into this business. He is actually the proprietor for curry puff next stall to LAU PAN soya bean and the success and popularity that the next door neighbour is enjoying must have rubbed into him. He started to experiment himself and within 4 months not only did he open three stalls but his business is a roaring success. I have not tried LAU PAN or QQ but the queues can be traced to his stalls. With the success he seemed to be up in the air as he did not take up my offer to take a picture of him but readily offer this to the media who came with big cameras.
The stall is open by about 10am but the cooling of the soya bean curd after it has been prepared sets the timing. Like jelly the liquid must first solidify into jelly before you can eat it. The preparation is done on site and each day the stall helpers must cook 3 -4 batches to meet the demand. Sales far exceed supply of the ready chilled soya milk drink and soya bean curd which runs into 1000+ cups/packs per day.
Soya Bean Drinks at $1.00 per cup
Soya Bean Curd at $1.00 to $1.50 for Big
Soya Bean Curd (Almond) at $1.50 to $2.50 for Big
They used to have durian and strawberry bean curd for variety but they were unable to cope with the surge in demand and have temporarily been stopped.
We have been taking soya milk drinks and soya bean curd both made from soya beans for years and one may not understand what the craze is about. They only sell chilled soya milk drink and soya bean curd ready prepared for take and carry. There was no sight of the traditional wooden barrel or steel container where the old method of tau hway (dialect for soya bean curd) are kept; but here everything comes from the two glass door fridge and it's cold, no hot products.
The chilled soya milk drink has a nice fragrance and it leaves an aftertaste of slight burned beans but I thought it was a faint gula melaka taste (some say creamer). It has a very fresh and original taste without any tinge of heavy and dense beany taste but a very light and smooth drink to have. Quite different from other soya milk drink which you might have tried.
The chilled original soya bean curd included almond soya bean curd and I preferred the latter if you like and have no distaste of almond smell. Sweetish and the strong almond presence with the smooth like silk beancurd is to die for. The long queue is worth waiting for, no doubt about it. You wont regret and for all you know is you will regret if you dont buy because each customer usually ends up buying 3-5 plastic packs and they have the long plastic bags to hold 5 packs each. I end up buy $16 worth of drinks and bean curd unusual for the common drink/dessert in the street. Also no preservative has been added, they can keep up to 3days.
How do they achieve the light jelly-like bean curd that is smooth like silk? No gysum or better known as "plaster of paris" was added to curd the extract of milk from the soya bean but the boss is not telling the secret either.
If you do drop by 51 Old Airport Road Hawker Centre, this is a must have and must buy. Dont miss out have a unique taste of the dessert that is created and spawned from the Hawker Centre stalls here.
51 SOYA BEAN
Blk 51 Old Airport Road
#01-72 / #01-125
Golden Mile Food Centre
#B1-04 Beach Road