Winnie Ng is a corporate communications executive at Mitsubishi Electric Asia Pte Ltd. (MEAP) in Singapore. Her responsibilities include planning and coordinating corporate social responsibility and sustainability events for shareholders to build brand awareness for MEAP, and ensuring the company's information security management is in full compliance with the corporate governance standards.
Except for special occasions, Winnie has lunch at a nearby "hawker centre," an open-air style food court that is very popular in Singapore, with her colleagues. Hawker centres, Winnie explains, make the country "a food paradise" because in these dining complexes, vendors sell a lot of different foods from all over the world, such as China, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Thailand and Western countries, at pocket-friendly prices.
Today, as always, Winnie and her colleagues headed to their favorite hawker centre to grab a quick lunch, where they were attracted by the appetizing smell of zi char dishes. Winnie says that "zi char," also romanized as "tze char," is a Singaporean Hokkien word literally meaning "to cook and fry," which is used in fact to describe a wide variety of homemade style Chinese dishes sold at food stands.
At the hawker centre, Winnie chose stir-fried chicken and kailan (Chinese broccoli) with rice while her lunchmates each picked yong tau fu (stuffed tofu) in noodle soup and hor fun (Chinese rice noodles) with sliced fish. "I love homemade dishes," says Winnie. "And these zi char stalls give us a fast, cheap way to eat in Singapore. Not only that, but well-balanced meals are also served."
Mitsubishi Electric Asia’s main office, where Winnie works, is located near Queensway Shopping Centre.