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Heritage Food Stories: WANTON Seng's Noodle Bar

From humble hawker stall to a bustling CBD hangout with a full menu of wonton noodle bowls, WANTON Seng's has seen quite the success. We reckon Ah Seng himself would be proud!

This sleek noodle bar on Amoy Street is a favourite among corporate types for their modern bowls of wonton mee. But its origins are a lot more humble, hailing from the famous Seng's Wanton Mee of Dunman Food Centre since 1968. Benson Ng, who's now one of the co-owners of WANTON Seng's, bought over the business seven years ago, taking it from hawker stall to a bustling CBD hangout with a pretty hefty menu.

Hi Benson! Tell us, what makes a good bowl of wonton mee?

Nothing special, just do the basics right!

You bought over the brand and recipes from the original Seng’s Wanton Noodles in 2013. What led to that decision?

I was looking for a change of environment. The opportunity came when my parents told me that Seng's was retiring and is offering the business up for takeover. I had been a supporter of Seng's wonton noodles since I was a little kid and thought it'd be a waste if his recipe is lost.

The Signature Char Siu Noodles ($7) sees springy egg noodles served with a generous amount of slow-cooked Japanese pork belly.

You also spent a whole year learning to cook the dish. What did you learn during that time?

Basically, everything from the frying of lard oil, marinating the pork mince and wrapping wontons, cooking the chilli sauce to service where you build the dish itself.

What’s unique about Seng’s, when you compare it to the other traditional coffee shops in the CBD?

A traditional bowl of noodles served in a contemporary environment. For example, premium noodles by the bar.

You’ve made many innovations to your noodles throughout the years. What are the constants?

Seng's signature chilli, and our references to traditional recipes. Also, our overthinking and under-achievements to keep us humble.

Do you get compliments about helping to continue Singapore’s food heritage?

We don't really deal with compliments, only complaints! (laughs)

WANTON Seng's also has a range of hawker-inspired sides, including Fried Chicken Skin Gado Gado ($8), Otah Saba Mackerel ($16), and Stir-fried Yuxiang ($10).

What are your own favourite local dishes?

It's hard to say which is my favourite local dish, we have so many good dishes. But when choices are limited, the usual go-to will be chicken rice.

What are the next steps for Seng’s?

To stay consistent and refinement of our dishes!


Read our Burpple community's reviews of WANTON Seng's Noodle Bar here!