So, I queued 2 HOURS for Wanton Noodles.
120 minutes. You can watch a movie, burn a few hundred calories from jogging, or reach Bangkok from Changi Airport.
But this was for Chef Kang’s Wanton Noodles.
(Click PLAY for video highlights of Chef Kang’s Noodle House.)
I dropped everything to head over to Toa Payoh when I saw Dr Leslie Tay’s (@ieatishootipost) Facebook posting.
It was like a dream come true for me – one of my favourite Singapore Michelin chefs selling my favourite hawker food.
Close friends would know that I have been to the Michelin-starred Chef Kang’s at Mackenzie Road 5 times the last year; and I even celebrated my birthday there. Because he serves up dishes you cannot find anywhere else.
However, apparently too many people had the same idea as well.
When I reached about 11am during the weekends, there were already about 40 pax in front. In a queue, you would have nothing to do but surf endlessly on Facebook, or chat with the people around you. They all came after seeing Dr Leslie’s posting.
The power of food bloggers. *cough cough*
Jackson Square is not the most convenient place to find food. It comprises of light industrial complexes, with a canteen at Block A where Chef Kang’s Noodle House is located.
People around me estimated to be shortly below an hour’s wait, but it turned out be about 2 hours, as a couple of customers ended up ta-baoing many bowls. (4 pax in front of me abandoned ship.)
Chef Kang’s Noodle House serves up 3 items – Noodle with Char Siew and Wanton ($5), Noodle with Shredded Abalone, Char Siew, and Wanton ($10), and Pork Belly Char Siew ($10).
Here’s why the noodles earned positive reviews: the noodles used are specially imported bamboo pole ”jook sing” type, similar to those used in many eateries in Hong Kong, without the strong alkaline taste.
Pork belly roasted in a charcoal oven is used for the char siew, and naturally brewed soy sauce makes up the main part of the base.
I personally found many components working well together – the thin, springy noodles coated in a flavourful, rich sauce accompanies with pieces of crispy lard (yums); the wantons even had shrimps in them; and the cloudy soup was not the “MSG-flavoured” type and tasty.
The tender Char Siew itself had that delicious caramelised-sweetness, not the shrivelled, thinly-cut ones.
All-in-all, worth it for $5.
Is this the best Wanton Mee in Singapore? I won’t declare it YET, but I would say top 5.
Some Singaporeans would prefer the plainer old-school type (like Kok Kee), while this has a mix of Hong Kong-Malaysian flavours. I thought that the sauce could be on the heavier side.
As for the 2 hours queue, I don’t think it was worth it. Perhaps go during weekdays or when the hype subsides. (I am the type of food blogger who would go queue for his food, really to have that fuller experience to write.)
Also to share, I saw a kinder side to Singaporeans as I was in the line. When the cooks announced they were running out of Char Siew, those who intended to ta-bao or order plates of roasted pork decided to abandon the thought, so that customers behind can also get to try the Char Siew Noodles.
The neighbouring zhi-char stall also offered free Hai Cheong Kai to those waiting hungry in the line. So nice.
Chef Kang’s Noodle House
Block A, Jackson Square, 11 Toa Payoh Lorong 3 Singapore 319579
Opening Hours: 8am – 4pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 2pm (Sat – Sun)
Other Related Entries
Lee Fun Nam Kee (Toa Payoh)
Yan Kee Noodle House (Circular Road)
Ah Ter Teochew Fishball Noodle Bar (Lor Telok)
Eng’s Char Siew Wantan Mee (Tanjong Katong Road)
Wanton Fu (Jalan Besar)