Famous Wonton Noodle shop Chee Kei 池記 from Hong Kong has opened in Singapore, at Changi Airport Terminal 2.
For fans, that there is no need to get a plane ticket out, as the eatery is located at the public area on the departure hall level, sharing space with Yakun.
The brand started way back in 1994 on Russell Street in Causeway Bay, opposite to Times Square. (It has an outlet which took the space previously occupied by the Michelin-starred Ho Hung Kee 何洪记, and unsuspecting tourists might have thought they were the same.)
It currently has 6 outlets in Hong Kong, including Causeway Bay (Percival Street), Mongkok (Langham Place), Kowloon Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui (52 Lock Road), Central (Chinese Club Building) and HK International Airport (Gate 40).
To be honest, I have tried at the Causeway Bay shop a couple of times, but more because it was a place of convenience and the food was generally satisfactory.
I made a far trip down to Changi Airport 2 anyway (one of those unusual times I am there but not travelling), because I missed the taste of Hong Kong.
Some of the signature offerings included Shrimp Wonton Noodles ($8.95), Dumpling Noodles ($7.95), Braised Beef Tendon Noodles ($8.95), Chilli Meat Braised Noodles ($8.95), Braised Beef Tendon and Brisket with Rice ($13.95), and Shredded Pork & Century Egg Congee ($9.95).
Priced at about HKD42 in Hong Kong, the bowls are moderately more expensive in Singapore. Oh well.
I had the Shrimp Wonton Noodles ($8.95) in soup. (Note: Most Hong Kong Wonton Noodles are known for their soup rather than dry versions, unlike Singapore’s noodles.)
It was a fairly decent bowl, of springy QQ noodles and mildly plump wontons wrapped with chunky shrimps. The soup had that slight alkaline taste, but it wasn’t overpowering.
Somewhere there was just that something missing, maybe it was the warmth of the bowl, or the umami-ness of the soup.
Perhaps it was psychological, as every time I had Wonton Noodles in Hong Kong I would have that feeling of bliss. And this was.. ”It’s okay.”
I also ordered the Two Combination Braised Noodle ($10.95) included with Beef Brisket and Dumplings.
The dumplings were the saving grace, moist, plump and wrapped with strips of black fungus. The pieces of brisket were on the dryer side though, and lacked that melt-in-mouth texture.
Thankfully, there was still that delicious and familiar XO Sauce that helped lift the taste up.
And now, I really miss Hong Kong all over again.
Chee Kei Singapore
Changi Airport Terminal 2 (Public Area – Departure Hall), 60 Airport Boulevard Singapore 819643
Tel: +65 6241 3124
Opening Hours: 24 Hours