The teh si that failed

Last night, Suzie and I were wandering Chinatown, looking for a breezy spot to enjoy a little night air and maybe some teh si (tea with evaporated milk). There were no availably breezy spots at Maxwell Hawker Centre, while there were no hot beverages to be had along Smith Street. So we deposited ourselves at the well-touristed corner of Trengganu and Pagoda Streets.

On hindsight, I should've known better. This is the yellow-chaired coffeeshop that is always full of tourists. But then, we just wanted a simple teh si --- we weren't asking them to whip up a mean char kway teow or anything.

First, the guy who makes the drinks wasn't available. When he got back, he brought us one drink instead of two. While he toddled off very good-naturedly to make us the second one, I had a sip of the first, which was suspiciously pale. Yuck --- far too much milk and water, hardly any tea. I went back to the counter to ask the guy to add more tea to the cup. Maybe he heard me wrongly, but he added a dollop of sugar instead. While I flailed my hands trying to explain my request, he said he would just make me a new one.

A couple of minutes later, we had two glasses of tea, as pale as the first had been, and were out two bucks for it. Sipping the tea gingerly confirmed that it was, again, mostly milk and water --- in fact, mostly water. I didn't bother to drink mine; Suzie persevered through most of hers.

Clearly, the worst teh si in all of Singapore, and given that every other drink stall here makes it, that's saying a lot. I had a merely mediocre one at lunch today, but after last night's experience, it didn't seem so bad.


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At 2/19/2008 9:45 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

you forgot to describe the drink stall towkay (playing fast and loose with the word here) looking around calling out plaintively for AH KIM!!! AH KIM!!!! for quite some time before a formidable auntie type strode past proclaiming that AH JIN ZAI CE SUO!! and that he was taking a revoltingly long time about it, for someone who would be preparing substances to be consumed by us. actually i expected ah kim to be some young gofer, turned out to be an old dude. very surreal experience.

At 2/20/2008 1:09 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should have headed to the Ya Kun branch below Mox and a few doors from Tuckshop.

I'm sure they would serve better teh si!

At 2/20/2008 1:15 am , Blogger Tym said...

suzie > Not surreal. FAIL.

James K > Ahem. That Ya Kun shop is closed before 8:30 pm! Plus Suzie wanted somewhere breezy ...

At 2/20/2008 10:52 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

AWwwwwwwwww... you were so close to a good teh si!! Try the Teh-si a couple shops away from that yellow-chaired coffee shop!! it is also located at that section of trengganu street that is between pagoda street and temple street... you know, it's the red-chaired coffee shop... their teh-si is one of those deep orangy kind... if you are looking for a meal as well, try their fried rice. definitely not the touristy kind! and it fits your bill of being breezy as well! :D


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