Many moons ago, a colleague ‘tarpa’ a packet of fried rice for me. It was one of the best I ever tried so some time later I went back myself to the stall on the ground floor of Amoy St Cooked Food Centre to buy a packet for lunch. That must have been more than a year ago. And I have never been back there anymore or eat anything from there again. Why? I am reminded of the reasons today at lunch. I was sitting near the stall and staring at the queue. It was a long queue and that made me wish I can try it again but….. After I had finished my lunch, I stood there for another 5 minutes observing him.
You see, the stall is a one man show. The guy frying the fried rice and fried hor fun is also the kitchen assistant and the cashier. First he picked up some prawns (?) I think from a tray and throw them into the wok and continued frying. After he finished, he scooped up the noodles and ladled them onto a plate and handed it over to the customer who paid him. With the same hand that he picked up the prawn, he took the money and returned some change to him. His other hand was perpetually holding the skillet or ladle. And he wasn’t wearing any disposable gloves. Not that I think it will help becuase he will probably wear it to death before he discard it. And then in between one of the frying, he wiped the counter top with a cloth. And he rinsed the cloth after that and then to wrap it up, he gave the counter another perfunctory wipe. And then he picked up some more ingredients from the tray and continued frying. Did I miss anything? Oh yeah, he didn’t wash his hands after cleaning the counter. But he did wipe his hand on the apron after he picked up the ingredients with his bare hand so I supposed that counts as cleaning?
And the best thing about this stall? It still got a A grading pasted proudly there! Makes me wonder how NEA gives the grading. And haven’t those people queing up to buy his food heard of the Geylang Serai incident?
And I forgot to add, the things that turned me off the last time was he wiped his bare hands on his buttocks after he picked up the raw ingredients and then continued to fry the food.