WHEN she was 38 years old and about to make a fresh start in life, Ms Jeannie Hong pestered a visiting uncle for his oyster pancake recipe.

The uncle, who hailed from Fuzhou province in China, taught her how to make the snack, a delicacy rarely found in Singapore.

That was 10 years ago, and Ms Hong had just quit her job as a manager in a local shipping company. After she learnt the recipe, she began selling the pancakes at Maxwell Food Centre.

On Sunday, she won the speciality stall award in the City Hawker Food Hunt, a competition organised by City Gas and Shin Min Daily to promote clean and authentic hawker food in Singapore.

The competition was supported by the Health Promotion Board, the National Environment Agency and the Singapore Tourism Board. The award for the speciality stall was the newest addition to the competition, which was in its third year.

505 Jurong West hawker centre won the award for Singapore's Favourite Hawker Centre, through voting by thousands of Singaporeans from April to September.

Jurong hawker centre tops