When some of my friends who were hardcore fans of Song Kee from Upper Serangoon heard of news of their closure in July last year, they were sad, devastated and lost appetite towards all fish ball noodles. No kidding.
This may bring light for those missing Song Kee’s signature herh keow (fish dumplings)… the shop has reopened.
Not the other one, but the original.
Song Kee Fishball Noodles, managed by 3 siblings, has relocated to 128 Tembeling Road, in Joo Chiat, right outside the main gate of Haig Girl’s School.
Do not be confused with Finest Songkee’s Fishball Noodle (which took over the space once occupied by the one-and-only Song Kee Fishball Noodles), or the one at Toa Payoh, or the one in Ang Mo Kio or even at Eunos.
ALL of which are run by their relatives, and not related to the original store.
For first-timers, just follow the person in front of you in the queue. Head towards the back of the shop (in front of the kitchen) to make your order, payment, grab a table number, find a table, sit down and wait.
I waited for one hour at the table before food came.
Fishball Noodles are available in Small ($4), Medium ($6) and Large ($8) where you get to choose from 6 different types of noodles: Mee Pok, Mee Kia, Yellow Noodles, Mee Tai Mak, Kuay Teow and Bee Hoon in either Dry or Soup version.
Opt for the Fishball Dumpling Soup if you crave for additional fishballs, HERH KEOW and tau pok are available at $6/$10.
So what’s the difference after Song Kee’s relocation to Joo Chiat?
Firstly, there will be two chefs instead of one to cater to the crowd.
One of them is the second brother and also the previous chef, recognised by his stylo gelled hair and the other is their younger sister.
Our hardcore friend (who ate as often as 2-3 times weekly at their Upper Serangoon outlet) was a tad disappointed with the noodles that day, the texture being on the softer (and soggy) side.
Other friends have also remarked that Song Kee has somehow lost its ‘magic’.
On further ‘investigation’, the gelled hair brother was cooking for takeaways, whereas the sister was the one handling the dine-in orders that day.
Suggestion: Enquire on the chef on duty for both dine-in or takeaway orders before making your decision.
Fans of their signature herh keow need not worry if the standard differs, because it doesn’t disappoint.
Prepared by the same youngest brother, the texture was amazingly smooth, slimy and slippery that it literally glides down the throat followed by bursts of juices after every bite.
Hand-made using Malaysian yellow-tail fish and a bit of tapioca flour for the flattened fish skin, a mixture of minced pork, shallots, fried garlic and flat fish bits were folded into dumplings.
The reward from this 50 minutes of hard work to create 80 dumplings is definitely worth the queue.
Secondly, there’s an ice cream counter named “Sng Gor” which means ‘ice cream’ in Teochew within the shop.
This is where traditional meets hipster, attracting the younger crowd (cues Haig Girl’s School students) to patronise them.
With 25 flavours (it’s no joke) such as Thai Milk Tea, Coconut, Gula Melaka and cones in 4 different colours (but not flavours) such as black, green, red and brown just because it’s “Instagram-worthy”.
Priced at $3.80 for a single scoop, $7 for double scoop, additional $1 for premium flavours such as D24 Durian and $0.80 for the cone, I enjoyed the texture which was creamy, with that obvious flavour.
One downside was that the ice cream melted really fast. It was really “Kang Kor” (“hassle’ in Hokkien) to eat at “Sng Gor” when the ice cream started dripping within a minute.
Thirdly, their operating hours had changed from 6pm – 1am to 11.30am – 9.30pm, serving lunch and dinner instead of their dinner and supper crowd.
Which means instead of queueing in the cooling evening weather, people in queue will probably have to tahan the afternoon heat.
Good food is always worth the queue, and Singaporeans won’t mind travelling and queuing for good food.
Go early as there’s a limited quantity of 800 – 1000 herh keow daily.
Parking can be a problem with a few parking slots along the narrow Tembeling Road and on weekdays where kiasu parents will stop their cars outside Haig Girl’s School to pick up their child.
Put enough carpark coupons, taking into account the queueing time, waiting time and photo-taking time before you start the (fish)ball rolling.
Song Kee Fishball Noodles
128 Tembeling Rd, Singapore 423638
Tel: +65 9336 2745
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 9.30pm (Mon-Sun)
Other Related Entries
Wah Kee Prawn Noodles (The Esplanade)
KL Traditional Chilli Ban Mee (MacPherson)
Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle (Smith Street)
Fish Ball Story (Beach Road)
Bee Kee Truffle Wanton Mee (Golden Shoe)
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. Daniel’s Food Diary paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.