Our state Government spent a tidy sum renovating the hawkers’ stalls along Gurney Drive. I decide to check out the place this evening to see how it has improved.
The only differences are the flooring and the hawkers have water supplies. Other than that, you will still be seating on rickety chairs and tables that hardly balance. Gee, I hate rickety chairs and creaking tables!
They have also seperated the Muslims stalls from the Chinese ones. I suppose if you like Muslim foods, you will like the hawkers there because many of them are selling foods similar to Chinese. There is one smokey hot Malay char koay teow stall. There was a busker playing guitar and singing over at the Muslims stalls.
As for the Chinese stalls, I find them as mundane as ever. Every three stalls, there is a repitition of laksa, ice-kacang, sotong, laksa, ice-kacang, sotong, laksa…ok, you get the idea.
The only reason I went there is because my sons wanted to pick up their pizza and eat in Pizza Hut. (we phoned in advance to order for the pizza and only pick it up when it is ready to save waiting time) However, Pizza Hut smells horribly of cheesy oil and feels stuffy. So, that’s why we took the pizza to the hawkers’ area for ice-kacang, sotong and some coke.
The annoying thing about an open air place like these is their lack of co-operation due to the repeating stalls. You better be seating at the right place and ordering the right drinks from the right stalls or risk getting unwanted glares or even get chased away.
We ordered cendol, ice-kacang and a coke. Plonked ourselves nearest to the cendol stall but the cendol stall suggested to us to order the coke from the stall opposite because the table belongs to the opposite stall. Instead of the trouble of ordering our drinks from two stalls, we shifted to a table that belongs to the cendol stalls.
Situations like these do not give good impression to tourists. The stalls owners in Gurney Drive ought to find some workable situation whereby proper tables and chairs are provided like those in food courts. Then, they should hire some general workers to clear all tables and everyone can serve their foods anywhere instead of assigning the territories according to drinks stalls. You would think that after spending so much money to improve the place, they would have improve the operations. But no, things are still the same and the foods still taste just as lousy.
If you are looking for good al fresco place to eat dinner/supper in Gurney Drive, head over to Song River which is an old coffeeshop. It has open air dining place with good chicken wings. The prices may be a bit more expensive but at least you don’t have to use disposal utensils. Those flimsy plastic spoons and tiny chopsticks provided by the hawkers can spoil a plate of good char koay teow, trust me.