After watching a local video review on Hambaobao, I was pretty excited to give it a try – even though it was quite out of the way. However on that January Friday, braving the sunny walk from the station to Beauty World food court, I was so disappointed to find out that the waiting time was 50 minutes to an hour.
Was it full-on lunch crowd or lunch time? Nope. It was late morning. The anticipation and smell of grilled meat patties serve to worsen the blow. But worse was still to come.
When I tried to find a compromise, with myself and with Hambaobao, I was shocked to be told that their fries – which still had the potato skin on and glistening at the corner of their stall – was not sold on its own, i.e. a la carte. They were only served with burgers.
Having just found out they closed after 2 year plus in business, I’m wondering how they lasted that long. Food in hawker centres are meant to be quick, especially since cheap or affordable may not always be necessary.
I swore I’d never return to Beauty World to give Hambaobao a chance. But I admit if they opened in a more central, more convenient location – I might just give them one last shot.
They were meant to be one of the new generation of hawkers, or gourmet hawkers, but if the new fleet of hawkers are to serve food which requires you to wait an hour, then I really fear for the future of Singapore’s hawker culture. It’s not an easy business, yes, but an hour’s wait is simply unacceptable.
Taste (out of 5):
Eat again? – if they re-open in a better location.