After a 3-week search for the best wanton noodles in Singapore – I’m restricting this post to Singapore-style wanton noodles, the sort slathered with chilli paste & topped with boiled(?) char-siu tinted red (instead of genuine HK-style roasted char-siu) which is de riguer in Singapore traditionally. Of course, HK-style wanton noodles are also widely available in Singapore these days, but they are a wholly different dish/category altogether and won't be covered here. Back to Singapore-style wanton noodles, here are, IMHO, the top 3 (each have their supporters & detractors, but all have withstood the test of time and had been around 30-40 years):
#1 Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wan Ton Noodles @ Old Airport Road Food Centre: Noodle texture was perfect! The lard-based dressing/sauce used was out of this world! Generous scattering char-siu (the local poached then tinted-red variety, not roasted HK-style) and poached wanton dumplings. Chilli paste used was not scald-your-tongue spicy, but piquant and complemented the whole dish perfectly. Queues are long (30 minutes during peak meal-times) and the middle-aged lady at the serving counter can be called the Wanton Noodle Nazi: scowling & barking at customers. But we’ll endure her for the sake of the wonderful noodles.
#2 Kok Kee Wanton Noodles @ Lavender Square: The noodles had the perfect texture – somewhere between al dente and soft (the way local palates liked it). The char-siu (also poached/red-tinted) was a bit anaemic. Poached wanton dumplings, whilst not exceptional on their own, complemented the whole dish. The chilli paste used was very spicy! Waiting time at peak meal-times: 45 minutes.
#3 Fei Fei at Joo Chiat Place: This phenomenally popular wanton noodle place was favored by many Who’s Who in Singapore, and waiting time during peak meal-times can be killing: 45 minutes. The noodles have that sticky, chewy freshly-made texture. Char-siu slices were dry & a bit bland. The chilli paste was burn-your-mouth ultra-spicy (!!!) – the way Singaporeans love it.
Singapore-style wanton noodles are spicy, greasy, brash & in-your-face, and may lack the subtlety and finesse of HK-style wanton noodles (with its perfectly al dente texture & carefully-balanced soup stock). But that's what Singaporeans look for when they turn to one of their favorite comfort foods.
Address/Opening Hours below (Note: hawkers in Singapore are notorious for changing their opening times without prior notice, so take these as a rough guide)
Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wan Ton Mee
51 Old Airport Road
#01-113B Old Airport Road Food Centre
Opening hours: Tue–Sun 12 noon – 3pm, 5.30pm – midnight.
Kok Kee Wanton Noodle
380 Jalan Besar
#01-06 Lavender Food Square
Opening hours: 12.30pm – 12 midnight (closed Wed & Thu every 3 weeks – good luck!)
Fei Fei Wan Tan Mee
62 Joo Chiat Place
Tel: 6345 7515
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 6.45am – 10pm, Sun 6.45pm – 9pm.
Photos show the wanton noodles offered by Hua Kee, Kok Kee & Fei Fei respectively.
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