Saturday, January 01, 2011

The hawker-food lover's book: The End of Char Kway Teow

Congratulations to Dr Leslie Tay for the successful publication of his latest book on Singapore's local hawker food-fare, entitled "The End of Char Kway Teow and Other Hawker Mysteries". In case you do not know, Dr Leslie Tay is the author of the local food blog

I have had the privilege and good luck to get myself a place to the book launch of "The End of Char Kway Teow and Other Hawker Mysteries" at Littered with Books on 18 Dec 2010. The book launch was made possible thanks to Timeout Magazine, Littered with Books, Kim Joo Guan Bak Kwa and VCTAsia.

It was my first visit to the recently opened independent bookstore, Littered with Books. I like its cosy and homely ambience. If not for the fact that I have practised being prudent in buying books, I might have a challenging time resisting the urge to buy shelves of books from the store to collect. The folks at Littered with Books are known to be book-lovers. They seem to have a genuine love for books and they were ready to help anyone who wants to find a good read. The bookstore has a cosy cafe on the ground floor. Non-fiction books lovers like myself would love to browse the second floor's treats to non-fiction literature. I love the air-well which can be found at the bookstore too.

Back to the book launch, Dr Leslie Tay shared with the community what has eventually led to the publication of his latest book. He was an accidental author indeed. He spoke about why he thought that the local delight, Char Kway Teow, may be at the verge of extinction in time to come. Healthy conscious attitudes and the fact that frying Char Kway Teow is in itself a great art could be what could eventually lead to its extinction, as best as I have understood. One of Dr Leslie Tay's suggestions was that one could get a Hepatitis vaccination. Another interesting anecdote that was shared during the book launch was Dr Leslie Tay's conviction that bak kut teh is an original Singapore dish.

What better ways to conclude the book launch than an autograph session. I had purchased copies of "The End of Char Kway Teow and Other Hawker Mysteries" and was very glad to have all the copies thoughtfully autographed by Dr Leslie Tay.

"The End of Char Kway Teow and Other Hawker Mysteries" is sold at 28 dollars per copy. It is available at various bookstores. I read that collected funds from the sales of this book will be donated to the School Building Fund in Sandakan, Malaysia. The run-raising goal is targeted at 22 thousand dollars. What better way than buying this book to both be charitable and to enjoy a good book that has wonderfully romanticised photographs of our local hawker foodfare?

TimeOut Singapore

Littered with Books
20 Duxton Road
Singapore 089586
From 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Tuesdays to Sundays.
Tel: 62206824.

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