For every Batman there is Robin, for every Feluda there is Topshe and for every Chinese food item, there is an essential side-kick without which, the taste would be best described as rather bland, insipid or plain tasteless!
The side-kick in this case is the ‘sauce’.
And mind you don’t let the not-so-gaudy term ‘side-kick’ fool you. For if Chinese Food is the film, the ‘sauce’ is nothing less than the ‘heroine’
There is a reason we call the sauce: ‘heroine’, for who else takes such effort and time to get ready?
Preparing sauces is a time-consuming task that takes months to reach the perfect flavour that would complement our palate and make us go ‘aaahh’.
Chinese cuisine has undoubtedly been one of Kolkata’s favourites since time immemorial. We loved it so much that we have custom made our very own Indian version of it that is rich in spice, colour, flavour and taste. But what is it that helps us to do so?
The condiments that are noteworthy in this aspect are soy sauce, chilli sauce, garlic chilli sauce and many more. These piquant sauces take you on a gastronomically crazy ride of flavours that leave you craving for more.
So where in Kolkata would you head to if you wanted to spice up your life, eh, cuisine?
Think sauce, think Sing Cheung.
From local stalls and fast food joints to high end restaurants, almost every person in Kolkata has tasted these aromatic treasures that have been presented to us by Sing Cheung, the pioneer of sauce manufacturing and production in Kolkata since 1954. They are the oldest manufacturers of authentic Chinese sauce in India.
C.H. Wong, who is the second generation running the Sing Cheung sauce business, fondly recollects earlier times-
“My uncle, F.S. Young , started this business in 1954. At that time, soy sauce was not much known in India. So, when he started the factory in Tangra with a very traditional fermented process of making soy sauce and chilli sauce, some people laughed at him because the Chinese community in Kolkata was not very big and he was doing business on such a big scale. Many people criticized him saying that this is a wrong investment but he saw the potential in the business and knew that it would be well accepted in time.” And the rest, as they say, is history.
Sing Cheung only started with two products but gradually, they catered to the demand of spicy flavours and the chilli sauce picked up very well, it was around this time that Chinese food started becoming very popular and that is how their business picked up.
Presently they have a huge variety of sauces that would blend with most cuisines.
Spoiled with choice
Some of the bestsellers at Sing Cheung are:
- Garlic Chilli Sauce
- Tomato Sauce
- Chilli Sauce
- Manchurian Chilli Sauce
- Schezwan Chilli Sauce
- Coriander Chilli Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
- Pasta & Pizza Sauce
- Red & Green Capchico Sauce
- Bar-B-Que Sauce
The Element of Change
THE SAUCE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!
The main USP of Sing Cheung is that they follow the very slow traditional form of making soy sauce that takes nearly a year for a batch to process. Unlike the chemical process where hydrolite, protein powder, caramel and some additives are used and the soy sauce is made in a day or two.
“OUR RECIPE IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT MAYBE THAT IS WHAT HELPS IN WORD OF MOUTH”
That may be the reason that their budget on advertisement is practically nil.
Other than sauce a must purchase item here is the Chinese five spice sauce. It is blended with five different types of Chinese spices. The sweet and sour plum is also a must try.
If Bulk is the way
If you are not aware, Sing Cheung has another unique practice among its customers. Here, you can purchase the sauce in the bottle that they provide or else you can bring your own bottle, as big as your need, and fill it with sauce here.
You would be surprised to know that the seasoning used in Wai-Wai noodles (produced in Nepal, and relished by the youngsters in India) is provided by Sing Cheung.
Value for money:
Here, 1kg of sauce at Sing Cheung can range from Rs.28-40.
Sing Cheung is a true success story that proves the saying ‘Believe in yourself, others will believe in you too.’
Where to find them
P-12, New C.I.T. Road (Lu Shun Sarani), Near Teritti Market, Kolkata 700073
Ph: 033 2237 4479
At Beacon Kolkata, we believe that the true culinary essence of Kolkata lies in ancient hidden eating/ food-related joints in the city such as Sing Cheung that are beyond ratings and reviews!
Kudos to the passionate souls who braved all odds and harboured the pristine love for food in Kolkata way before our times.