Nian Nian You Yu. After my last hawker listicle on Bak Chor Mee Soup in Singapore, I thought the ‘natural progression’ would be on Fishball Noodles.
There are many Fishball Noodles stalls in Singapore, but not many serve hand-made fishballs and fishcakes anymore. So I really treasure one if I come across any. Interestingly, I came to realise that many different brands source from the same supplier, but anyway… that’s beside the point.
Fishball Noodles somehow taste better with mee pok (maybe that’s just me) – the noodles characterised by its flat and slightly broad appearance.
There are many good stalls around, and I tried up more than twenty from LiXin Teochew Fishball Noodle (ION Orchard), Fa Ji Fishball Noodles (Kovan Market and Food Centre), Chun Fu Fishball Noodle (Kovan Market and Food Centre), Thye Hong Fishball Noodles (Ghim Moh), Tom Cityzoom Mee Pok Tar (Ghim Moh) and Jalan Tua Kong Lau Lim Mee Pok.
Don’t get angry with me if your favourites are not listed lah. For example, I actually enjoy Song Kee Fishball Noodles at Toa Payoh Lor 5 – it’s my go-to on a personal basis, though I thought the final product was not so consistent of late.
Ru Ji Kitchen – Holland Drive
44 Holland Drive #02-28/29, Singapore 270044
Tel: +65 9435 0820
Opening Hours: 7am – 1pm (Tue – Sun), Closed Mon
Ru Ji Kitchen first started at Holland Drive, Blk 44 #02-28, and now 3 other outlets in Singapore – Old Airport Rd, Blk 51 #01-37, Redhill Lane, Blk 85 #01-25, and Toa Payoh Lor 7, Blk 22 #01-58.
I read that there are quite differing qualities among the 4 stalls; and I tried both the original Holland Drive and Old Airport Road outlets.
Being freshly made, the fishballs and fishcake are of great quality. The famed fishballs begin as a beaten mixture of fish paste, using only pure fish meat with no flour extenders added.
If you are not up to too much spice, order ”少辣” (Shao La, less chilli) so that the spicy, savoury sauce at the bottom of the noodles are just enough to coat the noodles once mixed. The pork lard also provides that pleasant crunch. Ru Ji Kitchen (Holland Drive)
Hock Lee Fishball Noodles
270 Queen Street, Albert Food Centre, #01-102, Singapore 180270
Opening Hours: 6:30am – 12pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
You must come here early enough, or the fishballs generally get sold out early. This is a great place to stop by for breakfast as the stall opens bright and early at 6:30am.
They serve freshly made fish ball noodles with or without soup and your choice of noodle such as mee kia and mee pok.
The dry Mee Pok ($4) are cooked quite al dente with a delightful springy texture, tossed with vinegar and chilli.
But it is those fishballs that steal the show as they are quite divine – very juicy and bouncy. I also enjoy the clear soup garnished with fresh coriander and spring onions. Probably one of Singapore’s best fishballs.
Hock Seng Choon Fish Ball Kway Teow Mee
16 Bedok South Road, #01-50 Bedok South Food Centre, Singapore 460016
Tel: +65 9789 6160
Opening Hours: 12pm – 11pm (Thurs – Tues), Closed Wed
Hock Seng Choon Fish Ball Kway Teow Mee has been around for over 20 years and still a popular choice at Bedok South Food Centre.
Expect irregularly-shaped and not perfectly round ones with a texture that is tender yet firm, bouncy (not rubbery) with a good bite.
Unlike other hawker stalls which add too much flour to extend the fish paste, Hong Seng Choon is generous with the fish paste made from scratch so you can taste the subtle sweetness of the ikan parang fish.
Others find them a little saltier than most fishballs, but generally are praised for being one of the best fishballs in the Bedok area.
The seasoning sauce included some sweet tomato ketchup which makes it a little ketchup-sweet, and not everyone would like that. Hock Seng Choon Fish Ball Kway Teow Mee (Bedok South Food Centre)
Song Kee Fishball Noodles
128 Tembeling Rd, Singapore 423638
Tel: +65 9336 2745
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 9.30pm (Mon – Tues, Thurs – Sun), Closed Sun
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.
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.
Getting the herh keow is a MUST here.
The fishballs are 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.
However, there are some fans who said remarked that Song Kee has somehow lost its ‘magic’ after its move here.
Eng Huat Fishball Mee
22B Havelock Road, Stall 26, Singapore 162022
Opening Hours: 6:30am – 9:30am (Mon – Thurs), 11am – 1pm (Fri)
This is a stall for all the early birds out there. The stall is a one man show, meaning that the meals are prepared by only one person, and the wait can be tediously long when the queue is long.
Plus I been there a few times (not the most convenient food centre to get to), and it has sometimes closed.
But all of it is worth it for a bowl of their fresh and delicious fishball mee pok.
Make sure to get their early, as they were already running out of fishballs (and only left with fishcake) by the time I got to the stall say like 9am.
The Fishball Mee Pok ($3, $4) comes with generous toppings, and I loved the mix of sauces with crunch pork lard which gives this old-school flavour.
The deep-fried fishcakes with a thin crisp outer layer was pretty-tasty as well.
Ah Ter Teochew Fish Ball Noodles
7 Maxwell Rd, #01-14 Amoy Street Food Centre, Singapore 069112
Opening Hours: 7am – 4pm (Mon – Thurs), 7am – 3pm (Fri – Sat), Closed Sun
The genesis of Ah Ter Teochew Fishball Noodles was a Chinese immigrant who came to Singapore in the 1950s.
He made a living making fishballs by hand, then opened a stall at Maxwell Food Centre in 1958 called 亚猪鱼圆肉脞面 (literally, “Asian Boar Fish Ball and Minced Meat Noodles”).
Now run by Ah Ter’s son Gilbert at Amoy Food Centre, the stall specialises in the same handmade fishballs that have become popular through the years.
An order consists of a bowl of soup, with your preferred noodle in a separate bowl – tossed in the signature chili sauce.
What’s special in this sauce is that it’s a blend of 7 ingredients stir-fried continuously for 6 hours.
Made-fresh-daily pork lard and fried shallots are thrown in for added flavour, plus a splash of black vinegar to add sour notes and some tomato sauce.
The medium-sized fishballs are made from fresh saury fish, bought fresh daily from the market at 3am, and have a soft, bouncy texture. Ah Ter Teochew Fishball Noodles (Amoy Street Food Centre)
Yam Mee Teochew Fishball Noodles
209 Hougang Street 21, 01-35, Kovan Market & Food Centre, Singapore 530209
Opening Hours: 7am – 9pm (Tues – Sun)
There are three popular fishball noodles in Kovan Food Centre itself – Fa Ji, Chun Fu, and Yam Mee. They all have their own fans with constant queues during the weekends, and Yam Mee seems to come most highly recommended.
Now helmed by 3rd generation hawkers, it was frequently recommended by Channel 8 variety shows and attracts many non-Hougang residents to head down.
Enjoy the best Mee Pok in town since the 1970s at this 3rd generation hawker stall.
The best thing about the Mee Pok Dry ($4) was that every strand of noodles was coated with mixture of flavours, and a wonderful balance of chili and vinegar.
The fishballs were bouncy and had a fresh taste. The noodles tasted a bit alkaline though, but overall the dish was above average.
Hup Kee Fishball Noodles
158 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4, #01-590, Singapore 560158
Tel: +65 9093 8576
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 1pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Something different. This is where you can get taste of the authentic, handmade Malaysian style fishball noodles.
Less is more – this holds true for this quaint little stall.
They have a minimalistic menu, and focus their expertise and talents towards making delicious Malaysian style fishballs every day. They don’t use the pre made type that has flour in it, but rather get the meat off fresh yellowtail fishes to have the perfect and authentic fishballs, with best flavors and no added preservatives or store bought taste.
The Fishball noodles with soup ($4.50) had 4 pieces of fishballs in the bowl, along with some tasty slices of fishcake.
The bowl also had fried stuffed beancurd and wanton, and topped with crunchy spring onions and fried shallot.
I loved the simple and classy flavors with sweet and fresh taste, which gelled in well with the chili and vinegar. There was this dark sauce but made it different from the usual styles.
Ming Fa Fishball Noodles
246B Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 574370
Tel: +65 6455 4890
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 5am (Mon – Sun)
Ming Fa Fishball Noodles is a chain noodle shop with outlets at Upper Thomson, Our Tampines Hub, Admiralty Hawker Centre, Blk 529 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, Chinatown Food Centre, New Market Road, Woodlands Link Soon Hong Eating House, Holland Road Market, Bukit Batok East Blk 279, Tekka Centre, Market Street Interim Food Centre, and Paris Ris Central Hawker Centre.
The shop at Upper Thomson seems to be the most well-known due to its occupancy of an entire shop space, and opening hours till 5am in the morning. The business has been taken over by his children, and operates on a semi-automation model.
The prices are considered quite reasonable, and the highlight of their stall include Bak Chor Mee, Fuzhou Fishball Noodles, and Curry Chicken.
The Fishball Noodles include springy meepok cooked to al dente, coated with crispy pork lard, vinegar, and chilli. The fishballs are soft, bouncy and quite consistent in taste.
Timbre+ 73A Ayer Rajah Crescent, Singapore 139957
Opening Hours: 6:30am – 3:30pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
The success of Fishball Story by Douglas Ng is an inspiring one, that hopefully can encourage other young Singaporeans with that passion to become ‘hawkerpreneurs’.
This stall used to be listed in the Michelin Guide with a Bib Gourmand, though it is no longer included after its move to Timbre+.
For $6.00, you get a choice of noodle tossed with homemade sambal chilli, vinegar and crispy porklard, served with handmade fishballs, fishcake, fried beancurd skin wrapped with fishmeat, and crispy fishskin.
What differentiates this bowl with the others are the sambal chilli and fishballs.
The chilli paste fried with fried shrimps added this layer of fragrance and light crunchiness to the base, also adding a lift to the noodles. Perhaps it was better during Golden Mile days, though it still has its fans at Timbre+.
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