The COVID-19 situation made life and work a lot harder for hawkers.
This stall had it more challenging, as it was officially opened in April 2020, just a couple of days before the “Circuit Breaker” kicked in.
Delonix is a 3rd generation hawker selling Fishball Noodles, and thus the name of SanDai Fishball 三代鱼圆 which means “three generations”.
His family has a stall called “Heng Kee” at Toa Payoh’s Kim Keat Palm Market #01-82 which has been around since the 1960s, and he grew up helping his dad in the wet market.
With a passion for the hawker trade, he applied for the NEA incubation program after turning 21, passed after multiple rounds of tests and interviews.
However after opening up the new stall and only 4 days in operations, “Circuit Breaker” happened.
Amoy Street Food Centre which typically has a high footfall especially during lunch hours, has become a lot emptier when the CBD workers worked from home.
He decided to take a break first and reopen during “Phase 1”, so he is back.
One thing I noted about the location – SanDai Fishball is just next to the immensely popular Han Kee Fish Soup.
There is another well-loved stall of Hua Kee Wanton Noodles in the same row, and queues do get intertwined and crazily-long during peak lunch hours months ago before the CB. (If you are curious, Han Kee had a ‘short’ 10-15 pax line when I visited.)
On SanDai’s menu are Fishball Noodles ($4), Yong Tau Foo Noodles ($4.50), Fishball Soup ($3.50), Yong Tau Foo Soup ($4) and Specialty Tao Kee ($4).
Customers can add on vegetables, noodles, and tao kee from $0.50 to $1.00.
The Yong Tau Foo come in fixed sets, with items being the most popular ones sold at Heng Kee stall.
I enjoyed that the meepok had a pleasant bite that is neither too hard nor soft, well-tossed with the sauce and didn’t clump up even after dabao.
The chilli sauce after mixing was quite ‘power’, slightly on the spicier side, and I wished for just a notch more of the vinegary spike. Just minor tweaks on the balance, and the noodles should be a crowd-pleaser.
I thought that the chilli sauce was a better gel with the Fishball Noodles than the Yong Tau Foo overll.
The star was the fishballs, all unevenly shaped as they were made by hand from scratch at 1am in the morning.
Only 100% yellowtail fish is used in the making, with no mixing with stock, starch or other cheaper fish paste such as surimi to create.
Delonix felt that machine-made fishballs end up being squeezed hard together, and become more ’zhak’ (I suppose that means tight and squeezed).
Therefore, you would find that the fishballs have bouncier texture and more ‘airy’. Personally preference, I wished there were softer but they were good stuff.
SanDai Fishball 三代鱼圆
Amoy Street Food Centre #02-128, 7 Maxwell Road MND Building Annexe B, Singapore 069111
Tel: +65 9633 8231
Opening Hours: 6:30am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
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