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Local Delights - What I Grew Up With

Local Delights - What I Grew Up With

Featuring 88 Hong Kong Roast Meat Specialist, Beach Road Prawn Mee Eating House, Singapore Fried Hokkien Mee (Whampoa Makan Place Block 90), Xiao Di Fried Prawn Noodle, Kok Kee Wanton Noodle (Jalan Besar), Koung's Wan Tan Mee, Chey Sua Carrot Cake (Toa Payoh West Market & Food Centre), Tiong Bahru Lor Mee (Tiong Bahru Market), The Original Katong Laksa - Janggut Laksa (Roxy Square), Lay Eng Lor Mee
Rule Of Thumb
Rule Of Thumb
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Founded in the 60s, Koung’s Wanton Noodle is distinctively old school - one that uses ketchup as a component of its gravy base. This is one ultimate comfort food of mine. All ingredients except for the noodles are made in house. The noodles are slightly soggy but much less so than in the past which enables it to soak up much of the gravy. The made in-house char siew is wonderfully tender yet umami with its rim slightly charred. There’s also a good fat meat ratio. Of special mention is the wanton which are packed full of meaty goodness. Will be perfect if there’s some sole fish in it as well. I am not a fan of lard but the ones here are freshly fried and do not have any rancid smell, add some and elevate your dish to the next level.

Price: from $4 to $7 (pictured is the $6 more ingredients portion)
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Located within a nondescript foodcourt at Bras Basah complex, it’s one of the better minced meat noodle of recent memory. Soup was robust and savoury. The noodles were springy throughout, while the gravy has a good balance of vinegar and salty which makes it not overly heavy on the palate.

The star of the dish is the dumpling (only 1 though). It’s full of meaty goodness yet relatively light and making you want for more. Also, do add the roasted garlic and pork lard as they elevate the dish to the next level. My top 5.

Price: $4.50 / $5.50
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Never had the opportunity to try this famed wanton noodle previously and finally got my hands on a plate (or 1.5) today. I can understand the lure, and it’s unlike any wanton noodle that I’ve tried previously. At $5, it comes with 2 wanton, about 2-3 mouthful of noodles, some shreds of cardboard like char siew, a few strands of token veg and a splash of the chilli sauce. It’s definitely not sufficient for a meal! We bought 3 plates to share upon 2.

The gravy was a mix between sweet and savory and I can’t quite put a finger to what goes into it but pretty sure, there’s lard which gives its umami. The noodles were springy but there’s so little of it. The chilli weren’t spicy at all and tasted a little like those used at ngoh hiang stalls. The magic is when all of these are mixed together and they seem to complement each other. Worth a try once at least but it’s unlikely I’ll be here regularly. A little overrated I feel.

Go at around 1130 am before the queue builds up and forget about going in the evening as it closes very early

A star of this place is the fried wanton. A must have as it’s crispy and meaty

Price: $5 a plate
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Fried hokkien mee simmered to a thick gooey consistency, this is a longstanding popular stall with a constant queue at the Whampoa food centre. Not bad but doesn't come with pork belly. Ingredients are not abundant - 2 small prawns and a couple of sotong pieces. (Pictured here is the $4 portion.) Not in my top 3 favourite stalls for hokkien mee but okay if craving for a quick fix.

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Specializing in Batang fish as the store name goes, it serves one kind of fish - the Spanish Mackerel or more commonly known as batang locally. Offering many carb options to go with the soup such as ban mian, bee hoon (thick or thin), noodles (all kinds) and also offering the tom yum option. The fish slices are sliced thickly which gives it a good bite. Minimally processed, it allows one to taste its freshness - though this varies at times. The soup has a nice umami too. My go-to place for fish soup.

Price: $4
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Fluffy, soft, eggy and served warm - that’s how I like my telur prata to be prepared and here at the Jalan Kayu cafe, they made it real well. Oh and with a teh tarik gula manis to wash it all down, it’s the best comfort snack food. Yumms

Price: $1.50 for egg prata
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At just $3, this is a good plate of wanton mee that’s good value and pretty delicious! Will start with the wanton which are plump and meaty. The mee kia are the only noodles sold here, and are springy which blends well with the chilli sauce. Char siew while is pretty average and on the lean side, complements perfectly too.

Price: $3 onwards
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Good sized chunky carrot cake fried with fish sauce and chye poh, this is one dish not to be missed. Available in black (sweet soy sauce) or white, it’s fried to a slight crisp at the edges, and it’s a flavor bomb!

Price: $3/$4/$5
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Attitude of the staff at this outlet was really bad. Was 1 sec late in indicating my preference and was not allowed to choose bee hoon with yellow noodle. Gravy was mild without much flavor and not of much depth. Fried fish was good though, fresh and piping hot, it was also not too oily.

Price: $3/$4
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Really doughy, and head to chew. Very lackluster without much flavor. Making it worse, the curry dhal accompanying it was watery and lacked any such flavor. Overall very disappointing and wouldn’t order it again.

Price: $1.50 for egg prata
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Old school Teochew braised duck which is less common these days as compared to the sweeter gooey version. The meat is tender, well braised and savory. The braised gravy is the watery version but is a flavor bomb and savory. Have it with rice.

Price: $3.50
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One of the many carrot cakes stores at Tampines Round market, and this is my favorite. The market underwent a 3 months renovation which made it much more airy and cleaner (less pigeons). The carrot cake is fragrant, fried to a light crisp with plenty of eggs and the chilli added a slight spice element to the otherwise already savory dish.

Price: $3/$4
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