Some food stalls have ‘competitors’ close by their side which may in fact help their both businesses to thrive, such as Xing Ji Rou Cuo Mian and Seng Hiang Bak Chor Mee at Bedok 85.
The other are the two Wanton Noodle stalls at Old Airport Road Food Centre.
The Hawker Centre is known for two competing Wanton Mee, both facing the road side.
Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wanton Mee 华记后港祖传驰名云吞面 is the one without the electronic queue display; while Cho Kee Noodle is located two stalls on its right.
Years back during the “Yummy King” programme voting for the favourite Wanton Mee, neighbouring Cho Kee won the taxi drivers’ hearts, but it was this Hua Kee who earned the viewers votes to be Number One in Singapore.
Some diners may just order a bowl each from each stall, for a side by side comparison.
Located in the front row near the left extreme end, Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wanton Mee has been serving in operation for 3 generations since the 1940s previously in the Hougang area.
It stands out with its bright red signboard, posted media citations, and a long line of customers.
Hua Kee serves up a variety of noodles, from Wanton Noodles, Dumpling Noodles, Fried Wanton Noodles, Chicken Feet Noodles, and Shredded Chicken Noodles with Mushrooms.
The signature Wanton Mee ($4.00, $5.00), has eggy noodles that are chewy yet smooth in texture.
There was an old school vibe in how they prepare their version of Wanton Mee, with pork lard, salty wantons and char siew.
These noodles come with an interesting gravy sauce, which leans more on the sweet side and goes well with the spicy-smoky chili sambal to balance off the sweetness.
What really gave it its edge and extra bite was its fried shallot, chilli sauce filled with seeds and oily crunchy pork lard.
The bowl was almost swimming in chill oil and sauce, such that each noodle thread was well-covered with the spiciness. Definitely not for the health-conscious.
Make sure to mix well to distribute the sauce evenly into the noodles, otherwise it may be too spicy on some parts.
The wanton were soft in texture, while the char siew is of the deep red roasted crisp-on-the-outside type – not overly fantastic.
The complementary soup, served piping hot, carried a very light essence of wanton flavour and pepper. Perfect in cleansing your palate from the fats and spices.
They do have a particular style of their own, which I haven’t experienced anyhow else. It is an either you like or not thing, as some diners may be used to other styles of Wanton Noodles.
With that said, they don’t have a fantastic review. Reading through, I realised it had to so with the arrogant service – which I have (thankfully) yet to experience.
Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wanton Mee is also listed in the Michelin Singapore Guide, under the “Michelin Plate”.
Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wanton Mee 華記后港祖傳馳名雲吞麵
51 Old Airport Road, #01-02 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Tel: +65 9620 1543
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues
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Wanton Fu (Jalan Besar)
ENG’s Wantan Noodle (Tanjong Katong Road)
Tanjong Rhu Wanton Mee (North Bridge Road)