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Nam Sing maybe the most famous or certainly one of the most famous Hokkien mee places in Singapore and it is also considered by many to be the best. It’s located at Old Airport Road Food Centre, which also happens to be considered one of the most famous and best hawker centers in Singapore. I’d never been to Old Airport Road Food Centre, so I was excited to go there. Fourseasons from chowhound was meeting me there later that day to go try a bunch of the places. I got there early and went to Nam Sing by myself since I heard the line can get really bad (I think I was actually the first plate he served that day).
Now Hokkien mee can mean different things in different places. There is the Malaysian style one, which is what you see in the US. That one is thick yellow noodles in a thick dark soy sauce with pork, squid, fish cake and crispy pieces of fried pork fat (there’s also a Malaysian soup-y version that I’ve only heard of, but never tried). Then there is the Singapore version which does not use dark soy sauce and instead is in a semi-clear gravy with yellow noodles, bee hoon (rice vermicelli), shrimp, pork, squid and crispy pieces of fried pork fat. And to make this more confusing there is a dry version and a wet version meaning one has a lot of gravy and the other doesn’t. Anyhow, Nam Sing is famous for the dry version.
I didn’t talk too much with the chef or the guys working there and it’s a hawker center so it’s kind of quick service anyhow, but they do speak very good English, so if you don’t speak Chinese you’ll be fine.
So as I explained earlier this is yellow noodles and thin bee hoon (white rice vermicelli) stir fried in a clear sauce. However, unlike other places they don’t use any pork or pork lard, it’s simply a prawn and ikan bilis (anchovy) based gravy. It also has shrimp and squid in it as well. Also, instead of the sambal chili paste they normally give you, here they just give you soy sauce with cut up chili in it and a lime. It’s not the prettiest dish in the world, but oh man it was really good. The gravy has a wonderful savory flavor, the noodles were perfectly cooked and al dente and it had some nice wok hei (the smoky flavor you get from cooking in a hot wok) as well. The gravy was really addictive. I thought that not having the sambal chili paste was going to be a letdown, but you can really taste the flavors a lot better with the soy sauce and chilis, which I liked. One other thing is that this is lighter than normal since it doesn’t have any pork or pork lard in it, which I also liked. This is probably the best Hokkien mee I’ve ever had. Now I will caveat that with the fact that I hugely prefer the Singaporean version over the Malaysian version. If I wasn’t about to stuff myself with a bunch of other food at Old Airport Road I probably would’ve gotten a second plate. 9/10
I’ll be posting several more posts about Old Airport Road Food Centre (it’s kind of gross how much I ate there), but I definitely recommend coming to Old Airport Road and if you do you must try this place.