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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, Pek Kio Market & Food Centre, 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)
Rule Of Thumb
Rule Of Thumb

Set up only a few weeks back, this nondescript stall in a coffee store at Toa Payoh Lorong 7 has garnered a pretty good following mainly from residents. Chef Neo, previously from Les Amis, and his wife mans the stall daily from 10 to 2pm. Go before lunch if you can to avoid the crowd. The hokkien mee is served in the wetter style where the noodles were simmered in a flavorful broth and it truly absorbed the goodness of it. The ingredients were pretty generous too, with 2 shrimps, some slices of sotong and pork belly for a $4 portion. It isn’t overly oily as well. The only downside is that the noodles lacked the wok hei, otherwise it’s really quite good

Price: $4/$5/$6
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Located within the Pek Kio Hawker Centre, this stall serves the Teochew style of kuey chup which comes with some thinly sliced duck meat, a quarter of egg, intestines, tau pok, and slices of pork belly. The rice noodles were silky and I like the herbal broth that comes with it. The tau pok was very well soaked with the broth which is a light savoury broth with subtle hint of herbs. Now on the downside, the pork belly was over cooked and very tough and the intestines were not well cleaned. At $3.50, it’s value for money but there are more misses than hits.

Price: $3.50
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A very much underrated and unknown soy sauce chicken and a quick check on google reveals almost nothing. This came as a surprise as they served a pretty decent plate of soy sauce chicken. Old school in style which reminds me of the one I had when I was a kid at a stall along Sungei Road. The gravy sauce is sweet savoury and the noodles has a springy light texture. The chicken thigh was tender and soaked up all the goodness of the gravy.

Price: $4
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Freshly made ala order, these rice rolls were paper thin and wrapped with ingredients such as char siew, prawns, etc. The char siew were finely minced, giving it only the texture but not much of the taste. There wasn’t a lot too. The sauce was sweet-savory but lack depth but the sambal chilli lifted the rice rolls considerably. Overall a good plate of rice rolls.

Price: $3.50
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More commonly known as “Best Lu Mian in Town” as this is the only words that plastered the signboard. In actual fact, it’s 著名厦门街卤面 which translates to Famous Amoy Street Lor Mee. It has a long history which dates back to the 1960s. This lor mee is heavy on the palate as it kept me full for a really long time. A big part will be that all ingredients (hae zhor, fish, braised meat and fritters) were deep fried. The gravy was thick and gooey and pretty mild but went pretty well with the ingredients. Overall a decent bowl but be warned; it’s really filling and sinful.

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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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