Is there such a thing as smelly tofu being too stinky?
If you were to ask Hougang central residents, the answer is, "Yes, it really stinks and smells like an animal died and is rotting."
Which is perhaps the best advertisement and nudge to go by to try out the smelly tofu even more, because its fragrance is so potent.
Smelly tofu stall acing it
Currently, Hougang central is playing host to a massive pasar malam with the giant awning from July 21 to Aug. 5.
More than 50 stalls are selling a wide variety of food.
One food stall, in particular, has been doing really well, to the chagrin of residents staying in the nearby housing blocks, Shin Min Daily News reported.
"Full Mouth Of Fragrance" fried smelly tofu stall had 50 people in line on Saturday afternoon when the reporter paid a visit to the site.
A number of those in line told the reporter they had purposely made a trip to Hougang just to have a taste of the fermented dish.
Thought it was dead animal
But the sudden olfactory assault has not been so pleasing for some nearby Hougang residents.
One woman who lives at Block 522 Hougang Avenue 6, a 300m distance from the night bazaar, said she has been smelling the "stench" every day even though her unit is not even facing the stalls.
She said: "At first, I thought it was the smell of animal carcass, but after hearing complaints from ethnic Chinese neighbours, I realised it was stinky tofu."
Instead of just relying on a fan in the room to serve as ventilation as her usual practice, she has been forced to close the windows and turn on the air conditioning all night these past several days.
Otherwise, her two children will not be able to sleep well due to the pungent smell.
Another resident, who lives on the sixth floor of the same block, said the "stinky smell" has been drifting into her living room and kitchen ever since the night market opened.
Since her unit's window is facing the night market, she has had to close it from 11am to 11pm every day and light scented candles in the kitchen and living room.
Although ventilation is affected, it helps negate the "stinky smell".
A visitor to one of the flats close to the bazaar said the smell was immediately detectable once the window was opened.
Even for a smelly tofu lover, the stench can be too much after a while, the person said.
Those on-site okay with smell
Shin Min also reported that the people manning stalls in the bazaar said the tofu was not pungent but tasted great.
The area under the awning was observed to have proper ventilation, and sufficient air flow.
The smelly tofu stall is a crowd puller, according to the night bazaar organiser.
It was explained that exhaust fans are used to allow the smell to dissipate from exhaust pipes that expel the odours upwards and outwards.