Hey Makan Kakis! Our foodie friend Lyn Lee of Awfully Chocolate & Sinpopo Brand joins us to recommend an incredible accompaniament to awesome Fried Hokkien Mee – SATAY. Not just your regular grilled meats on a stick, but luscious, decadent, chargoal-grilled PORK BELLY SATAY! Served side-by-side to the folks behind the famous Geylang Lorong 29 Hokkien Mee, which we’ve previously featured here.
Said Hokkien Mee is charcoal-fried for that deliciously smoky wok hei and the same charcoal-smokiness is front and centre in the pork belly satay, which comes with gorgeous charred marks seared in stripes across the succulent meat.
Our hawker culture has officially been added to the Unesco list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity! In celebration, let’s go back and explore some of our best-loved hawker dishes, as voted by GOLD 905 listeners earlier this year. Simply scroll through & click on the list I’ve conveniently compiled for you below.
With sincere thanks to all the hawkers past, present and future, for all your hard work, expertise and contributions to Singapore’s unique food heritage. We salute you!
For more, come back often and explore my entire archive of delicious Makan Kakis recommendations!
In the labyrinth of stalls at ABC Brickworks Food Centre, one man has been quietly serving up outstanding hokkien mee since the 1980s. Only recently have his noodles been making a bigger noise, thanks to a Michelin Bib Gourmand mention. My Makan Kaki Koh Han Jie, Head Chef of Elfuego and quite the gourmand himself, recommended that I get in line despite the longer queues, to try Mr Toh Seng Wang’s expertly fried noodles. Which got me thinking – what makes this hokkien mee so special that people are willing to queue for a taste of it? You’re about to find out…
Click the links below for more on the perfectly fried hokkien mee from Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng:
TASTE: Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Hokkien Prawn Mee is located at ABC Brickworks Food Centre, 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-13, Singapore 150006. It’s open Thursdays to Tuesdays, 3pm to 10.45pm. Closed on Wednesdays. Tel: +65 98629296 *NOTE: ABC Brickworks Food Centre was closed for Renovation Works From 16 March till 20 June 2020. But hurray! They’re back in business, so you can hurry down for your hokkien mee fix!
SEE: Hello Makan Kakis! Our celebration of the top local eats (as voted by Gold 905 listeners) continues with that quinessential South-China noodle dish, Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee. A rich stock made from prawns and pork is key for the making of a great plate of Hokkien Mee, wok-fried with a mix of seafood, meat, yellow and rice noodles, with chilli sauce and calamansi lime on the side. Personal preferences run the gamut – some prefer a wetter consistency, some expect lots of wok hei (breath of the wok), some think pork belly is essential. But everything pivots around that delicious saucy stew the noodles are sautéed in.
While there are several South-east Asian versions, this variety has its roots firmly in China’s Fujian (Hokkien) cuisine, but reached its evolutionary peak in Singapore, thanks to the culinary resourcefulness of early settlers. Before it got its current name, Hokkien Mee was known as Rochor Mee, for the stretch of road where the dish was first created and sold by Chinese immigrants from the Fujian province.
One origin story mentions Chinese sailors who congregated along Rochor Road and thriftly used excess noodles from factories in the area to create hokkien mee using flavours from home. Though this romantic historical account can’t be verified, most won’t dispute that Rochor Road was synonymous with the early days of hokkien mee. Such noodle stalls are now found all across the island, though only a few really stand out. Thanks to recommendations from Gold 905 listeners, we checked out two popular stalls. One brought the fat, one brought the fire, but both absolutely brought the flavour.
This circuit breaker season, as we all continue to stay home, I’m hunting down delicious food you can order in easily with a budget of around $20 including delivery fee & enough to feed 2 – 4 people. This week, I recommend a stall called Yuan at Ghim Moh Market that specialises in Thai stewed beef noodles. I went straight for their recommended signature beef combination boat noodles.
At just $8 for a hugely generous portion, you get a choice of thin or thick bee hoon, kway teow or tang hoon. I went with the latter and it was a wonderful choice. The food was delivered still hot, with the beef broth packed separately to prevent sogginess. The tang hoon, or glass vermicelli, travelled well and arrived slippery-smooth yet springy. And I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it wasn’t plain, but rather, seasoned and stir fried – good enough to eat dry on its own.
The great thing about a soupy dish is you can always reheat the broth for a piping hot meal. Pouring the hot soup over, I was rewarded with the mouthwatering mingling of rich beef broth, naturally sweetened with onion, dark soya sauce and spices. The soup was slightly herbal in flavour, which combined well with the garnish of fragrant fried garlic, bean sprouts, shallots and spring onion. Topping it all off was a combo of tender stewed beef shank, lip-smackingly soft beef tendon, as well as slices of beef (beef balls are usually included, but due to Covid-19 affecting supplies, these are temporarily out of stock). Thai gun powder, or chilli flakes, is a must for added kick and I even mixed in a whole container of their chilli sauce which was awesome. Chillies and vinegar perfectly balanced heat, saltiness, sourness and a touch of sweetness to really brighten the whole bowl of beefy brothy bliss!
Greetings Greedies! Boy, have we got a treat for you this week! Our Makan Kaki Chef Anthony Yeoh (Chef-owner of Summerhill) casts his culinary net once again around his Ghim Moh neighbourhood to bring us his recent discovery. Remember the good old Margaret Drive Hawker Centre? Lots of delicious things were served there, but sadly it’s since been demolished and all that’s left is a barren field. All the hawkers disappeared, leaving many of us wondering where they went. Well, Chef Tony can tell you where at least one of those hawkers moved to – the fried Hokkien Mee stall is a quite a new to Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre, but it always sees long queues and sells out quickly. Whenever Chef Tony visits at noon, everything’s been snapped up and the stall’s neon red CLOSED sign is all lit up.
When Denise paid them a visit just before dinner time at 5pm, sure enough, said neon sign was on, but delicious smells were wafting from within. The chef-owner was hard at work, prepping for dinner. At this point, there were already 5 people queuing in anticipation for the stall’s opening. When his wife finally arrived, the neon sign flipped from red to green and finally, it was OPEN for business!
So why is this stall so popular? Is it nostalgia? Possibly. But Chef Tony says this is really good stuff and it’s the broth that makes this Hokkien Mee so special. It has a natural sweetness from a combination of squid, prawn heads & pork bones bubbling away in a giant pot right next to the wok. The broth is rich, savoury and is what makes this Hokkien Mee so delightfully sloppy, wet and messy – exactly how Chef Tony likes it! Continue reading “Margaret Drive Hokkien Fried Prawn Mee”→
We’re on our final episode in the month of August and as we conclude our Nation’s birthday celebrations, our foodie friend Chef Anthony Yeoh, now Group Executive Chef of Bird Bird & Artichoke, returns with more delectable recommendations, starting with one of his go-to stalls when he’s East-side. One thing that can be said of Singapore, you can’t get more unique than a stall with Geylang in its name that’s not actually in Geylang! The same can be said of many other stalls across our island, and as Chef Tony observes, it’s a quirk to preserve the brand & the reputation through the (albeit geographically incorrect) name!
So back to the stall in the spotlight this week, if you love Hokkien Mee, you’ve got to get yourself to East Coast Road for Geylang Lorong 29’s delicious version. In a word, this Hokkien Mee is AWESOME, especially if you prefer yours “wet”. Chef Tony loves it with a coating of viscous sauce, thick and gelatinous from the liberal use of pork and prawn stock.
And it is indeed the stock that’s the very foundation of a good Hokkien Mee. A well-seasoned wok and a heaping of noodles to soak up the deep, rich flavours of said stock are all you need! And here, they leave just enough gravy for the noodles to swim around in. What you get is a lip-smackingly collagen-y, juicy plate of yellow mee, bee hoon, pork belly, fresh prawn & sotong redolent with that distinctive fire-breathed wok fragrance.
There are different plates of different sizes and different prices – the one shown costs $10 and while gigantic, is good for 2-4 to share, or for one very large appetite! Regardless, you’ll inhale the lot – it’s that good! You can also upgrade your Hokkien Mee with extra oysters or big prawns, which are both good choices when you feel like spoiling yourself. The stall also sells oyster omelette and Chye Tow Kway (Carrot Cake), which are pretty good too, but Tony finds himself returning again and again for their excellent signature Hokkien Mee. You should too!
TASTE: Geylang Lor 29 Fried Hokkien Mee
396 East Coast Road, Singapore 428994
Open 11.30am – 9.30pm (Closed Mondays)
Tel: +65 97331388
Going to the market is a fave pastime of Violet Oon‘s, but wet-marketing at Tekka can be quite a marathon endeavour and at the end of a hot, sweaty shopping trip, she is always on the look out for nearby places to cool-off and relax at. This week, Violet recommends an unexpected oasis in Little India that hasn’t been discovered by many as yet. A hidden gem of an urban hotel perched atop the Farrer Park MRT Station, called One Farrer Hotel & Spa.
This the perfect foil to the earthy hustle & bustle of Little India, a cool respite from the heat and a great place for round-the-clock dining at its restaurant, the aptly-named Escape. What’s wonderful is that Escape offers up truly 24-hour dining – breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between – from its extensive ala carte menu, featuring local delights like fried Hokkien Mee, chicken rice, wanton mee soup and beef hor fun, to its ‘Interactive Kitchen’ buffet at lunch and dinner times. Nine live cooking stations serve up a mouth-watering international array of Chinese, North Indian, Japanese, Western and local cuisines.
Check out the fresh seafood spread – sushi, sashimi, lobster, oysters and more! Other highly recommended dishes include the One Farrer Lobster Laksa (thick, rich, made with Maine Lobster & served with Homemade Otah) and the Durian Symphony (a durian mille feuille, kind of like a crepe rolled with gula melaka).
The cherry on top for Violet was really to discover that the executive chef, KK Kong, is none other than the young man who used to work for her in Takashimaya when he was 18 years old. Fast forward 20 years, Violet is delighted to see how far Chef Kong has come, planning these menus and creating wonderful meals for hotel guests and customers alike.
At Escape, you’ll find the food delicious and the ambiance quiet and relaxed. Add the attentive staff and you have a great place for the whole family to eat, anytime of the day.
TASTE: Escape Restaurant And Lounge
One Farrer Hotel & Spa
1 Farrer Park Station Road
Open Daily 24 hours
Interactive Kitchen Buffet – Lunch 12 – 2.30pm
Interactive Kitchen Buffet – Dinner 6 – 10pm
Supper 10pm – 5am
All Day A La Carte Dining
Reservations: (+65) 6705 7828