Stinky Tofu Stall in AMK CNY Bazaar Forced to Close As Strong Odour Seeps into AMK Hub

Stinky Tofu amk
Image: Facebook (Man Kou Xiang Mala Skewers)

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Cats that have downloaded our app and read our articles daily would know about the CNY bazaar next to AMK Hub. In fact, we then decided to clickbait people by focusing on the stinky tofu in the bazaar, because that’s one of the most unique stores there.

I’ve been to the stinky tofu stall in the Sembawang Bazaar, and while the smell is strong, it doesn’t seem to affect anyone. In fact, people were lured to the smell—and that was also how I found the stall.

But it seems like it’s not the same over in Ang Mo Kio.

Stinky Tofu Stall in AMK CNY Bazaar Forced to Close As Strong Odour Seeps into AMK Hub

First thing first: how widespread is the smell?

From what I remember, you can smell it from about three to five metres away. Despite the smell, people were crowding around the stall, with some even taking in deep breaths because why not.

The only complaints I heard were the long waiting time; but now that it’s in Ang Mo Kio, it’s a different kind of complaint.

The stall in question, Man Kou Xiang Mala Skewers, claimed in a Facebook post on 16 January 2020 that AMK Hub has told them to close the stall.


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Here’s the translation of the post:

“Dear customers, we’ve just received a message from AMK Hub. Today will be the last day of operation for the stinky tofu stall. Thank you for your support!”

According to the folks at 8world.com, they saw that the stall is located at the corner of the bazaar and near the entrance of AMK Hub. They also noted that out of all the stalls, the stinky tofu stall seems to be the most popular among patrons.

The stall was located near Khatib MRT station last month as well, but there were no issues. For the Sembawang bazaar stall that I was at, the stall was deep inside the bazaar and therefore wasn’t near any entrance.

Plot Twist: They Opened Again

The next day, the stall posted this:

Here’s the translation:

“Dear customers, after some improvisation whereby four fans were installed, the management of AMK Hub felt that the smell is under control as it does not seep into the mall anymore. They have therefore allowed us to operate again. The opening hours are 11:00am to 9.00pm daily until 23 January 2020. Thank you for your support!”

I don’t know about you, but for them to work it out with the management without causing a hoo-ha online, I’ve become their fifth fan.

A person who works in AMK Hub claims in an interview with 8world.com that they’ve restricted their hours to 9pm (the bazaar closing hour is 11pm). He said the issue arises due to the how the door of the entrance works and the air-conditioning: because the door would open and close regularly, it’ll suck in the outside air regularly.

And of course, in this case, the mall sucks in a part of stinky tofu.

Which leads to the next question: why does the stall have to close at 9pm?

That’s because after 9pm, the air-conditioning in the mall would be shut off (or partially shut off) since the mall would be closing soon. Without that extra ventilation, the smell would linger within the mall more.

So having no smell after 9pm would solve the problem.

But just when you thought the problem is solved and everyone’s happy…

Plot Twist Number 2: They Close Again

Today, Man Kou Xiang Mala Skewers posted on Facebook again and it shocked the cats in Yishun:


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Here’s the translation:

“Dear customers, after consideration, and to reduce the smell, we’ve decided to upgrade our exhaust hood, and will be working with a local firm to custom-make an exhaust hood that can be used in a bazaar. This will ensure that as you enjoy our food, people around you would not be affected. In view of this, we will only reopen after this is installed; our sincere apologies for this. And once again, thank you for your support and understanding.”

Okay, please cue the WTF cat:

Image: mrwgifs.com

I have a few questions: firstly, what’s stinky tofu without the smell? And secondly, what’s stinky tofu without the smell? And thirdly…what the *toot* is stinky tofu without the smell?!

Reader Bao: Normal tofu lah.

Yeah.

Which brings us to the next question…


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What is Stinky Tofu?

Also known as fermented tofu, the snack that’s usually sold in night markets is fermented (duh, of course), which contributes to the strong odour that resembles “rotten garbage or smelly foot”.

It actually tastes much like any fried tofu (at least to me), but some people claim that the smellier it is, the better it tastes.

There used to be more stalls in Singapore selling stinky tofu, but finding one now is as difficult as finding an influencer who doesn’t show off his or her travels.

However, you can still find it in some Malaysia night markets, and many in Taiwan night markets.

Man Kou Xiang Mala Skewers’ Stinky Tofu Review

Here’s my subjective review of Man Kou Xiang Mala Skewers’ stinky tofu: the smell does resemble those found in Malaysia and Taiwan, but the taste is just meh: if not for the smell, I’d have thought that it’s just another piece of fried tofu.

And at the Sembawang bazaar, I had to wait for nearly 45 minutes for my tofu to be ready.

Is it worth the wait, money and calories?

Not for the taste. But for the odour? A resounding yes.


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