Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Covid19, Stay Home Stay Safe - bringing wet market to your home

When Covid19 virus reached our shore and extended its fingers ferociously all over our island, our government ordered a Circuit Breaker starting from 7 April 2020 to break the chain of transmission in the community.  The citizens are advised to stay at home as much as possible, most of us started to work from home with the exception of those who works as our healthcare personnel and in the essential services business such as supermarkets, F&B, delivery etc. 

With the Covid19 escalating into a pandemic, tighter measures being dished out gradually to control the crowd in the malls, wet markets, supermarkets, food courts we find ourselves spending quite a bit of time queuing to enter these venues.   I don't know about you but I get frustrated to have to queue for even 15mins just to go into supermarket to grab some groceries and a longer time when I have to make payment for my purchases.  At least an hour and a half slipped by easily with such supermarket trips.

Later, while the number of infected cases rises slowly, the fear of contacting the virus started to creeps subconsciously causing people to make lesser trips out of the house, ordering takeaways from Foodpanda, Deliveroo or GrabFood.  For consumer it is a convenient way to order food, for F&B business who have the manpower to make online delivery or have the means to collaborate with these food delivery companies it only have great positive effects on their business.

During such trying times, it is always the small businesses, usually family business that suffered the most mainly because they rely heavily on walk in customers.  In the past, they would have suffered in silence but not now.  With tech savvy children who worry for and about their parents and their livelihood, they took to the internet to help save their family business.

One such person who acted swiftly is the 2nd generation hawker owner of an eatery stall Melvin Chew.  You can read CNA report about him and his initiative over here.  All thanks to him, a group of like minded people who become moderators/admin to help maintain the groups he set up; Hawkers United - dabao 2020, Pasar United - dabao 2020 and Delivery United, they have helped many people in so many ways.

So far I have only ordered fruits and seafood for like less than 5 times. this is because I always think that they supplier will send sub-standard (at least to me lah) food to me plus I prefer to feel and touch my food before buying them.  However, tempted by the convenience offered in the groups mentioned above, I wanted to try ordering from the platform.  I decided to order fruits which in my opinion is safer, I mean the most the fruits sent over are bruised, cut the affect area away and still can eat them.  Unlike meat and seafood, if they arrived not fresh then I have to throw them away (then complain the hell at the vendor!)

After scrolling and looking at the fruits photo, I picked Ah Sam Durian coz of the premium fruits they offered at a slightly lower price than the fruit company I patronized before.  I told Deanna, the lady in charge of taking order, that I needed to offer the fruits to God so "please try to give me fruits that are not bruised and in good shape... banana need to be ripe but not overly ripe, pineapple must have nice crown.", not a difficult request right?  I was thinking maybe they will just agree but will not take me request seriously.  Not with Ah Sam Durian, look at the photo below~ the fruits came looking fresh and with no bruising, banana looks green but it turned yellow the next day, just nice for praying.  

I got a shock when I saw these 3 HUGE coconuts in the box, the description was "small coconut" thus I was expecting those cute little palm size coconuts where the husk is opened and ready for consumption.  Seriously, I looked at these 3 and stunned... messaged Deanna asking her how to open them. She patiently told me the easy steps, assured me that I will not need to use a lot of strength to whack it open with the chopper.  True enough, the husk hard but easy to crack open, I managed to open them in under 20mins and we all had cups of chilled sweet coconut juice after that.

This is my order last week, all our favourite fruits - lychee, USA cherry, Korean strawberry and Thai logan for me, passionfruit and avocado for DinoBoy.  Look at the size of that XL Australian avocado~ It is so fat with flesh that DinoBoy felt so full after eating half of it. 

Ah Sam Durian have fruit box too, just check with them on their current affordable offer.  Alternatively, you can choose the fruits you want and send them to your family and friends.

Since this is my 2nd purchase, I felt confident with the quality of their fruits to send 2 care packages to my 2 pals.  I chose 3 types of fruits that I know they will love and true enough both were delighted to receive the package and totally enjoyed the fruits.  

Note: you have to hit SGD50 for free delivery but with their premium fruits you can easily hit the amount.  It's next day delivery if you pay for your order before 11pm.

Then on the dreadful day 29 April 2020, tragedy hit us when DinoPapa left us suddenly (no it is not Covid19 related).  Till today I still cannot believe it and misses him loads.  As with all traditional ritual, there were things that has to be done till the 49th day of his passing.  I needed a few specific things to offer to him daily and on every 7th day,  For example, I need to offer lettuce with roots to him twice a day.  You would think it is a common vegetable, easily found in supermarket and wet market.  

That was what I thought so too, till I went to hunt for it.  Yes there are lettuce BUT no roots!  Can't even find them at the neighbourhood wet market.  Of course lettuce without roots is still acceptable but if possible one with roots will be better.  Don't ask me the reason for that, I didn't ask the Taoist priest, but this is one of the Teochew custom.

By this time, tighter measures were carried out every where.  There were only one entry and one exit point even at my neighbourhood wet market, we even have to queue to go into the vegetable stall (which was blocked up with only 1 entry/exit) and queue again to make payment. Strange thing is this is the only stall that has snaking queue, the other meat, poultry and fruits stall does have.  Anyway, waste of my precious time queuing under the warm environment only to come out empty handed.

Thank goodness for Pasar United - dabao 2020, I managed to link up with a family run vegetable stall Ah Yam Vegetable and my problem is solved!  Every week I will order my lettuce with roots together with some other vegetables for our own consumption.  The 2nd generation vegetable owner Hanwei is helpful and always try to ensure that the lettuce are completely dry before packing as water trapped in between the leaves will make the vegetable turn bad faster.

Here's a photo of one of my purchase from Ah Yam Vegetable.  The cost of the vegetable may not be competitive with supermarket but their quality and freshness is definitely better than those in supermarket.  

And Ah Yam Vegetable takes pride in delivering fresh vegetables.  There was once when Hanwei delivered my order, he told me that one of the vegetable I order does not look so great so he replaced with another vegetable without checking with me.  I remembered he replaced with doumiao which we don't really fancy (hahah! yes we have vegetable that all 3 of us don't like) but I accepted it because vegetables are easy to cook, even if you are not sure how to process it and cook it, you can check it out on youtube.  Best cooking solution for green leafy vegetable is to stir fry it with garlic and dash of light soy sauce.

Of course, I am easy and flexible with my purchase but if you are concern, I am sure you can let Hanwei know your preferred replacement vegetable, he will try to give them to you if they are of the same value and if they are available.

Note : Minimum order for delivery is SGD35 SGD28 (edited on 25 May 2020, just got notified that deliver fee has lowered.) and a small delivery fee of SGD5 to SGD10 depending on location.  Free delivery for order over SGD100.  They give free vegetable for every order that hit minimum order value, so far I have noticed that it is different vegetable every week.  My packet of garlic in the photo below was the free vegetable.  Delivery is 2 days after placing order, so plan your ordering carefully incase it has to be delivered 2 days later due to over whelmed orders. 

Here we have stir fried red round spinach, okra with eggs, pickled radish and stir fried spinach
Now, for DinoPapa praying ritual and according to Teochew custom, on every 7th day from the day of his passing I have to offer 五碗头 (clueless about the English name) that consist of pork belly, chicken with head and feet intact, fresh mullet (with scale n not gutted), fried taukua and a vegetable.  My challenge?  The chicken and the fish.

I don't frequent wet market but I know for sure mullet is a rare sight, I MAY be able to find chicken with head n feet. Sensing the difficulty, I turned to Pasar United - dabao 2020 again; that one is my life saver I tell you!

I wanted a vendor who can supply all meat, poultry and fish to me but most of them does not do that.  After a couple days of searching I finally found one - Market Boy - Wet Market Home Supplier.  Like the creator of Pasar United - dabao 2020, Kenny's family runs a poultry stall in the Clementi West wet market.

Kenny started the facebook page and website in April 2020 to help his parents and neighbouring stall owners to try to gather some business during this difficult period.  When I first chatted with Kenny I told him straight that I needed those 3 things and delivery has to be on Saturday only coz I needed them on Sunday morning, he okay-ed with me. 

One of the reason that I decided to order the items with Market Boy - Wet Market Home Supplier is because of a minor mullet incident that really tested everyone's patience.  When my Taoist priest told me to prepare the items, he said them in hokkien so mullet was orh-hu which direct translation literally means black fish, so I thought its any fish that is black and that is what I told Kenny too.  NO!!! I almost made a major mistake!  I think my Taoist priest almost got a heart attack hahaha~ because I really have no idea what fish is he asking for even after he patiently described the fish.  Kenny also hasn't got any clue after I conveyed the message to him BUT he told me that he will ask the fish monger uncle.  Thank goodness the uncle understood immediately what we wanted, confirmed with a voice whatsapp message and a photo.  Sent the photo to my Taoist priest who were super happy that we finally found the damn fish.

As his facebook platform took off, adjustments were made to ease the workload of himself and his small team thus they ceased weekend delivery.  I was worried and ok I admit, I was a little bit drama queen and whiny that day just to show how "upset" I was.  Kenny immediately told me that he will make special exception for me because I needed the items for specific purpose and will deliver my order personally on Saturday. This kind gesture touched my heart greatly!

Edited to add on 25 May 2020 - I was just informed by Kenny that they still do weekend delivery but only to certain area, my area is not in these area.  So check with them on their delivery schedule ok.

Now, if a business owner does not have customer's interest in their heart, they would not bother about their request nor go the extra mile to help solve the issue with them,  This incident speaks truthfully on its own about the attitude and service level Market Boy - Wet Market Home Supplier is offering.  Don't you agree with me?

Here's photo of the fresh meat and poultry on my past purchase.  The prawns you see further down is sea prawns, cost slightly a bit more but its huge and fresh.  I took a few pieces out to stir fry it with the Australia asparagus and mushroom, they tasted sweet and crunchy.  The remaining prawns were oven baked with just sauce (no photos to share here) and they tasted equally heaven too!

Note : Free delivery available for minimum order SGD60 and above, this is easily achievable if order meat, poultry and seafood.  They just newly launched a reward system, for now every 50 Market coins earns you SGD1 discount for your next order.  If you are not able to see the items that you want from the website, drop them a note and they will try to find for you. 

Pig's tail with black bean soup, steam cod fish, stir fry asparagus with sea prawns and turmeric mid wings
And so we shared with you the trustworthy facebook groups and vendors that will help ease your grocery shopping burden.  No more worrying about making trips to supermarket only to return with half of your grocery list, or queuing to get into supermarkets.

Stay Home Stay Safe and have your groceries delivered to your doorstep from the comfort of your home!

*** *** *** *** ***

Lastly, I like to say this before I pen off.

Do keep in mind that the vendors I shared here are all family owned businesses, some of the contact person have full time job working from home, some works in essential business, some of them are one-man show; that means they handle every thing from taking order to delivery.

I did not do price comparison because it is not my habit to do so (in another word, I am lazy lah).  Their prices are within my acceptable range, of course I take into consideration the quality of the food they delivered and the level of service they provide to decide whether to order from them or not. 

Use your Ps and Qs (if you don't know they just mean Please and Thank You) loosely, no one will be offended if you over use these 2 words.

Have the courtesy to let them know days in advance if you need your order on specific date so that they have ample time to make arrangement.  

Be understanding and flexible to accept any hiccups gracefully and alternative delivery dates or compensation (if any). 

Remember that we are in this difficult situation together, show some compassion towards your fellow Singaporeans.  Let's stay #SGUnited and strive towards a better days for weeks to come.


Disclaimer : This is not a sponsored post, I paid for all my orders with the vendors.  All opinions are 100% ours and based on our interaction and experience with each vendors.  All photos in this post unless otherwise credited, are copyrighted and belong to The DinoFamily, you may not use any of the photos for any purposes without seeking our permisison.


Post a Comment