Hwa Huat at the popular Cheng San Market in Ang Mo Kio attracts a long queue each morning. It's claim-to-fame is its Fried Sotong Bee Hoon: stir-fried rice vermicelli noodles ("bee hoon") with squid ("sotong"), pounded red chillies, sliced fish-cakes and eggs, topped with chopped green scallions and freshly-cut red chillies.
The resultant noodles dish was moist and very subtly-flavoured, attesting to its Teochew/Chiuchow roots, rather than the Cantonese who'd have complained that there's no "wok hei". The Teochews, on the other hand, would have frowned upon cooking over a blazing fire to obtain the seared "wok hei" aroma so coveted by the robust Cantonese - rather, Teochew dishes depend largely upon slow braising, boiling, steaming and, where frying is concerned, cooking over a gentle heat.
I was in Ang Mo Kio by 8am today and joined the line in front of Hwa Huat for 20 minutes. The Fried Sotong Bee Hoon was light, with a subtle spike of heat from the pounded red chilli paste added during the frying process, a nod to our Singaporean palate which demanded SE-Asian heat that would have had our Teochew/Chiuchow brethren in China or Hong Kong recoil in horror.
I also ordered a plate of steamed then pan-fried Teochew "p'ng kueh": glutinous rice-flour cakes filled with glutinous rice, peanuts and dried shrimps. The Chinese peach-shaped cakes were pan-fried till slightly golden-crisped on the outside, whilst still moist on the inside, then served with more freshly-ground red chilli paste, and a drizzle of sweet dark molasses. Bliss.
Hwa Huat (Stall #01-129)
Cheng San Market & Cooked Food Centre
527 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10