Word has it that Malaysia’s Ipoh makes the best hor fun, kway tiao and tau gay (bean sprouts) due to its karst limestone mountain mineral water.
The horfun will end up smoother, and sprouts grown from the spring water will be juicy and plump.
While the dish of Shredded Chicken Flat Rice Noodles is more commonly known as Kai See Hor Fun” (Cantonese) in Ipoh, we usually simply call it “Ipoh Hor Fun” in Singapore.
This comforting plate consists of silky flat rice noodles soaked in an indulgent savoury gravy with shredded chicken and braised mushrooms. Though it also comes in various permutations and ingredients here.
Most of the ones in Singapore may not be authentic-authentic ones like taste like what you have in Ipoh, as they are been modified or it is harder to get supplies from there now.
Here are 10 Ipoh Horfun specialty places or stalls in Singapore you can find some slurp-worthy ones, including some under-the-radar:
Tuck Kee Ipoh Sah Hor Fun
Hong Lim Food Centre #02-40 Blk 531A Upper Cross Street Singapore 510531
Opening Hours: 11am – 2:45pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
The queue for this stall tucked at a corner of Hong Lim Food Centre Level 2 can be considered insane to some, with a long line that can start way before opening hours of 11am, say at 10am.
Tuck Kee is most popular for its ‘ultimate’ Crayfish and Prawn Hor Fun ($10). The other choices are Chicken Prawn Horfun ($6), Pacific Clam Prawn Horfun ($6), and Abalone Mushroom Prawn Horfun ($6).
While more expensive than an average plate, it comes in a sizable serving, with three large prawns and whole crayfish halves.
The winning combination is really the smooth thinner than usual horfun that would slide down as you eat, and the tasty sauce cooked with chicken bones and prawns.
Instead of simply chomping down the food, you can slurp the noodles because it is soft, long yet not clumpy. Definitely one of the better versions around, but not sure it is worth the long queue.
Shi Hui Yuan
Mei Ling Market & Food Centre #02-33, 159 Mei Chin Road, Singapore 140159
Opening Hours: 8am – 2pm (Thurs – Sun), Closed Mon – Wed
Having been around since 1969, Shi Hui Yuan’s signature is slippery smooth Ipoh style Hor Fun (long and thin) with chicken, duck slices and mushrooms in gooey gravy.
The stall has also been consistently included in the Michelin Guide with a Bib Gourmand, and also has a outlet at Lau Pa Sat.
There are different permutations on the menu, such as Mushroom with Braised Chicken Feet, Mushroom with Chicken & Duck, Mushroom with Chicken Drumstick, Mushroom with Braised Spared Ribs, Mushroom with Duck Drumstick, and Mushroom with Shredded Chicken or Duck.
Each plate is priced at $4, $5, or $6.
Will recommend the Blissful Plate ($5) which contains a bit of everything, including pork ribs and duck slices.
Before serving, the hawker drenched the rice noodles in three different types of sauces from the pots – I reckoned one was cooked with chicken feet, the other with ribs, and the last in mushroom.
The two ingredients that stood out were the tender roast duck without that usual gamey taste; and the soft braised mushrooms coated in dark sauce.
The sweet, though quite diluted chilli would add a different dimension to the plate.
Ah Liang Ipoh Hor Fun 亚良怡保沙河粉
Market Street Interim Hawker Centre 01-35, 5 Cross Street Singapore 048418
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 9pm (Mon – Fri), Closed Sat, Sun
This is easily one of Market Street Interim Hawker Centre’s most popular stalls. There are other branches at Amoy Street Food Centre and Maxwell Food Centre.
Be sure and decisive when you make your orders here in front of the stall people, as this queue is easily the longest during lunch hours.
Most of the office workers are prepared to wait in line for a delicious plate of Ipoh Hor Fun, in 10 varieties included Shredded Chicken with Fried Fish Dumpling & Prawn ($4.50, $5.50); Crab Meat ($3.50, $4.50) – should be crabstick; Prawn ($3.50, $4.50); Seafood Hor Fun ($4.50, $5.50); and Fried Wanton Hor Fun ($3.50, $4.50).
This Ipoh Hor Fun is not quite like the usual hor fun you come across in most Singapore food centres.
Served with a flavourful dark sauce, this savoury Ipoh Hor Fun has a recipe that is unique to the stall owner, Mdm Ong.
I liked how slipppery smooth the rice noodles went with the gravy, and the fried fish dumplings are not to be missed.
Q Hor Fun
5 Cross Street, Market Street Interim Hawker Centre #01-26, Singapore 048418
Tel: +65 8575 7557
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm (Mon – Fri), Closed Sun
Opened by young hawkers and also at Market Street Food Centre, this is not your ordinary Ipoh Hor Fun stall, as there are a couple of fun surprises in store for you (and your palate).
Other than the rather safe Ipoh Shredded Chicken Hor Fun ($4.50), other choices include Curry Pork Chop Hor Fun ($4.50), Curry Fried Fish Hor Fun ($5) and Pork Chop with Mushroom Hor Fun ($4.50).
So there is either the classic mushroom sauce or curry.
However, there is still the more adventurous-tasting Chicken Chop Yuan Yang Hor Fun ($4.50), a combination of both sauces.
The creamy curry sauce took on the more primary role as it covered the more herbal braised sauce, but I liked that light coconuty fragrance and meaty chicken pieces.
Upon mixing, it was one messy goodness that strangely reminded me of the gooey Scissors Cut Curry Rice.
Weng Kee Ipoh Horfun
2 Changi Village Rd, Changi Village Hawker Centre, #01-19, Singapore 500002
Tel: +65 6545 6425
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 11pm (Mon – Fri), 8am – 12am (Sat – Sun)
Originated in 1976, 荣记正宗原味怡保河粉 is probably one of Changi Village Hawker Centre’s most famous stalls.
While there are other noodle items such as Fishball Noodles, Wanton Noodles, the signature plates to get are the Ipoh Horfun ($3.50, $5) and Chicken Chop Hor Fun ($3.50, $5).
Some online reviewers may say that standard is not quite like in the past, but it does bring back childhood memories.
The Chicken Cutlet HorFun ($5) came with succulent and appetizingly golden chicken cutlet, but the crisp was not longer quite there when sauced.
The horfun was still silky, drenched in a thick wholesome gravy cooked with old mother’s hen broth.
Yee Cheong Yuen Noodle Restaurant
31A Lor Liput, Singapore 277742
Tel: +65 6468 7737
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
Yee Cheong Yuen Noodle Restaurant has been around since the 1970s. Currently at Holland Village, it is managed by Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant.
Diners can choose a topping such as shredded chicken, char siew, braised chicken feet, roast pork, soya sauce chicken, braised beef brisket and more to be topped on hor fun, available soup, dry or with curry. I actually quite liked the noodles version.
For a air-conditioned restaurant, prices are still considered inexpensive, starting from $5.80 per plate.
The Silky Chicken Hor Fun ($6.80) uses only the drumstick and thigh portions of the meat, and cooked with the technique of ‘shocking’ the freshly cooked chicken in an ice bath that imparts the firm texture rarely found.
The thick gravy can be enhanced in flavours with their famous chili paste, which would give a good lift to the dish. Quite an old-school taste that regulars still enjoy.
Bak Kut Teh • Ipoh Hor Fun
270 Queen Street, Albert Street Food Centre #01-66, Singapore 180270
I have walked past this stall at Albert Street Food Centre several times, but never really got to try it as I wondered if it was strong in either of the dishes it offered.
Yes, this stall sells both Bak Kut Teh ($5, $8) and Ipoh Horfun ($3, $4) – a combination which is pretty unusual here.
You can have your plate topped with Shredded Chicken ($3, $4), Mushroom ($3, $4), Fried Fish Dumpling ($3, $4), or Char Siew Wanton ($3, $4).
The taste was surprisingly not bad, with a rich and thick sauce that coated the slippery noodles nicely (and not too starchy). I only wished there was some braised mushrooms to go along with the chicken, maybe I should do a top-up the next time.
Yun Heng Authentic Ipoh Shredded Chicken Hor Fun 元兴鸡丝河粉
304 Orchard Road Lucky Plaza #02-62, Singapore, 238863
Opening Hours: 8:15am – 6:25pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Well-hidden at Lucky Plaza, you can get some homely surprises and every-changing dishes at this eatery.
If you like the traditional, old-school flavors packed with a punch of nostalgia and familiar taste, you should love the Ipoh Hor Fun here.
The Signature Ipoh Shredded Chicken Hor Fun ($7.80) comes in both dry and soup variety. The soup version comes with chicken and prawn broth boiled over 6 hours for extra sweetness and flavours.
As for the dry version, it is included with sauce braised with mushroom and chicken feet for over 5 hours.
City Plaza #02-73, 810 Geylang Road, Singapore 409286
Tel: +65 9895 9972
Opening Hours: 12pm – 7pm (Mon – Sun)
This is my little secret which I will share with you, because I have told no one about it (and didn’t even IG story, yet).
The humble eatery at the Level 2 of City Plaza (yes, where Arnold’s Fried Chicken is) is opened after the “Circuit Breaker” by a couple who originated from Ipoh. The Chef used to work at Sessions Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa.
The strength of their Ipoh Horfun ($5) was in the chicken meat, poached well so that it was both tender and flavourful – plus it was a little on the cold side which some may just like.
I only wished that the base could have been saucier, though the owners say that Singaporean customers generally did prefer something that is more “zhong kou wei” (heavier in flavours). So you can let them know if you prefer slightly more sauce before hand.
Lou Yau 老友
Chinatown Point #B1-52, 133 New Bridge Road, Singapore 059413 (Chinatown MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
The horfun and beansprouts from Lou Yau come from the hometown of Ipoh, to make sure food is more authentic tasting.
The one person set with hor fun, steamed chicken and bean sprouts makes a suitable choice for a quick fix.
The thin long strands quickly slipped off and glided down back into the soup, a testimony that their horfun is indeed silky and smooth.
The soup felt a little plain though, lacking the ‘oomph’ and my guess is more people would prefer the dry version. Dip the chicken into the specially concocted chilli and ginger & spring onion dip.