Ugly, messy, gooey. Satay Bee Hoon is one of those fast disappearing hawker food in Singapore, that only a handful of stalls still serve them as it is labour-intensive to prepare the sauce.
Invented by the Teochew people who immigrated to Singapore with both Malay and Chinese cultural influences, it is a rice vermicelli dish topped with ingredients such as pork slices, cuttlefish, tau pok, cockles, beansprouts and poured over with a nutty and spicy peanut sauce.
Not everybody’s kind of food. And perhaps hardly ‘instagrammable’ due to its flat, brown appearance.
I won’t be surprised if many of the younger Singaporeans have never tried it before.
What constitutes to a good plate of Satay Bee Hoon? To me, it is a combination of flavourful, creamy satay sauce (must be warm!), fresh ingredients, and smooth bee hoon.
Here are 10 Satay Bee Hoon places that can warm the cockles of your heart:
Sin Chew Satay Bee Hoon
51 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #02-162, Singapore 588172
Tel: +65 9826 0782
Opening Hours: 11am – 1:30pm, 5pm – 10pm (Wed, Thurs), 11am – 2:30pm, 5pm – 10pm (Sat, Sun)
Putting this at the top because Sin Chew at Bukit Timah Food Centre serves up quite a note-worthy version of Satay Bee Hoon.
And they are opened for only 4 days a week.
You will find a long queue at this stall at all times, so be prepared to wait at least 20 to 30 minutes for your turn during peak hours.
They have three serving sizes of Satay Bee Hoon ($4, $5, $6), or you can also order the Cuttlefish Kang Kong ($6).
Their take on the Teochew dish was sumptuous, included with thin vermicelli (there is brown rice beehoon option too), tau pok, cuttlefish and pork slices.
All is drenched in this luscious, rich peanut sauce with lovely texture of finely ground peanut sauce that had some special spices included.
It is a taste that you don’t get elsewhere. Worth getting.
Shi Wei Da 食为大
Fengshan Market and Food Centre, 85 Bedok North Street 4, #01-41, Singapore 460085
Opening Hours: 5pm – 12am (Mon – Sun)
Once awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand, Shi Wei Da at Bedok 85 Fengshan Food Centre is a one-man-show operation. Be prepared to wait even if the queue is not that long.
Owner Mr Ng Kim Song prepares his sauce from scratch, including the roasting of peanuts and removal of the skin. No pre-mixes.
He then pours that thick, luscious peanut gravy over thin vermicelli and ingredients of pork, pork liver, tau pok and kang kong.
I actually liked it that there was no cuttlefish to be found because not every stall prepares this ingredient well, and its chewiness seemed to be out of sync with the rest of the dish.
This was one of the best Satay Beehoon sauces I had, which was rich, unique and tasty – with layered flavours of savoury, sweet and only a tinge of spiciness.
The pork slices and liver were tender and almost melted in the mouth, especially shiok when mixed with the hot sauce.
Bak Kee Teochew Satay Bee Hoon
#01-40 Redhill Food Centre, Blk 85 Redhill Lane, Singapore 150085
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 8pm (Mon – Tues, Thurs – Sun), Closed Wed
Bak Kee Teochew Satay Bee Hoon at 85 Redhill Food Centre is popular for its warm and comforting peanut sauce which got the consistency just right.
The stall serves up Satay Bee Hoon, Cuttle Fish Kang Kong and Cuttle Fish Kang Kong Bee Hoon.
Even if you are not a big fan of this dish, you may be a convert after trying their version, with many customers queuing up to 15 to 20 minutes to get their hands on a plate.
Their Satay Bee Hoon ($3, $4, $5) peanut sauce was fresh and fragrant with the aroma of peanuts, sweetness not overpowering with just a tad of spiciness.
While some of the other stalls have sauces that have that nuttier texture, this feels just right and coats the thin vermicelli evenly.
The portion size is quite generous with cuttlefish, liver, tender pork slices, tau pok, blood clams and strands of kang kong.
Soon Huat Teochew Satay Beehoon
6 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-47 ABC Food Centre, Singapore 150006
Opening Hours: 3pm – 10pm or sold out (Tues – Wed, Fri – Sun), Closed Mon, Thurs
This stall at ABC Brickworks Food Centre has a lot of awards to display, and rightfully so.
Uncle & Auntie Goh prepare their Satay Bee Hoon fresh every day with a recipe perfected over years.
There is also another branch at East Coast Lagoon Food Village.
The Satay Bee Hoon ($4, $5) comes in two serving sizes with filling portions, while there are options of Cuttlefish with Kangkong or Satay Beehoon without the beehoon (just the ingredients alone).
What I liked particularly were the tender and fresh pork and liver slices.
The sauce was slightly on the thin and sweet side, though it was very warm and distinct taste of five spice powder (I liked that, but some would find too strong).
Meng Hui Satay Bee Hoon
270 Queen St, #01-111 Albert Centre Market & Food Centre, Singapore 180270
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 5:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
This stall at Albert Food Centre is quite famous for their signature Satay Bee Boon and Cuttlefish Kang Kong, though I have visited a few times and it was not always opened.
The Satay Bee Hoon ($4, 5, 6) came with generous serving and ingredients of pork slices, liver, kang kong, cockles, and cuttlefish.
The peanut sauce was indeed very tasty and had its own unique flavour, with slight kick of spiciness only coming towards the end.
Plus, the sauce remained quite steaming warm throughout, with a lovely smooth consistency.
This is good-old Teochew Satay Bee Hoon with most of its elements done right.
Teochew Satay Bee Hoon
6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-46, Singapore 081006
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 3pm (Mon – Sun)
Managed by a granny, this is a famous stall at Tanjong Pagar Food Centre, but located at the back (closer to main road) so some people may just miss it.
Their Satay Bee Hoon ($3, $4, $5) has a distinctive taste unlike any other, as the sauce is said to be prepared with over 20 ingredients including luo han guo.
The hard work surely reflects on the taste of the dish, as the freshly grounded peanut sauce really brought out the taste of the ingredients.
Centre Satay Bee Hoon
724 Ang Mo Kio Ave 6 #01-12 Singapore 560724
Tel: +65 6505 9554
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Wed – Mon), Closed Tues
If you are visiting Ang Mo Kio, there are two stalls in the same food centre which serves up Satay Bee Hoon – Centre Satay Bee Hoon and Chiok Seng. Both have their fans.
Being around since 1979, Centre Satay Bee Hoon boasts of more than 40 years of experience in cooking the dish, meticulously perfecting the preparation from the satay sauce to each ingredient.
The Satay Bee Hoon ($4, $5, $6) comes with plenty of rice vermicelli along with chewy-delicious cuttlefish, kangkong, fresh prawns and cockles, sliced pork, and tau pok.
Accordingly, the peanuts were dry-roasted first, then added to the sauce which had to be cooked for a laborious long period of time.
There was a pleasant nutty flavour to the sauce which was generous and coated the bee hoon nicely. If I were to nit-pick, I thought that the pork slices were slightly on the tough side.
Jin Li Satay Bee Hoon 锦利沙爹米粉
Beauty World Food Centre #04-04, 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 588177
Tel: +65 91546406
Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm (Thurs – Tues), Closed Wed
Jin Li Satay Bee Hoon is one of the food legends in Beauty World Food Centre with over 35 years of experience of serving the finest Satay Bee Hoon.
There are three serving sizes of Satay Bee Hoon ($4, $5, $6, takeaway $5, $6, $8).
A plate comes with a variety of ingredients like lean pork slices, kang kong, tau pok, cuttlefish, prawn and cockles. (You can inform the stall person if you want to opt out of any ingredients.)
The secret of the irresistible Satay Bee Hoon at this stall lies in the satay gravy, with the bee hoon drenched in complex flavours with a rich and satisfying taste.
One thing you may note is that peanut sauce is nutty, yet smooth and creamy all at the same time, with a light fragrance.
Whampoa Satay Bee Hoon
90 Whampoa Dr, #01-38, Singapore 320090
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Sat – Thurs), Closed Fri
This is one of the two stalls famous for Satay Bee Hoon at the Whampoa food center.
The Satay Bee Hoon ($4, $5, $6, $8) is considered slightly pricy as compared to the competitor stall.
The plate comes with pork slices, cuttlefish, prawns, kang kong and tau pok. Ah, no pork liver.
The satay sauce could appeal to some due to its bits of roasted ground peanuts, but I wished it was less diluted.
Ah Mai Satay Bee Hoon
Chomp Chomp Food Centre Stall #17, 20 Kensington Park Rd, Singapore 557269
Opening Hours: 4:30pm – 11pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
The only stall at Chomp Chomp Food Centre that sells BOTH traditional Hainanese Beef Noodles ($6, $8, $10) and Satay Bee Hoon ($5, $7, $9).
Kind of strange, as I seldom see both sold at the same place.
Plus, they also serve up other interesting dishes such as Crispy Mushroom Platter ($18, $20), Fried Pumpkin ($6, $8, $10), Fried Chives Roll ($6, $8, $10), Crispy Chicken ($8, $10, $12), and Fried Wanton ($5). I suppose it is to satisfy Chomp Chomp customers’ penchant for fried/deep-fried food.
The Satay Bee Hoon had gravy with an interesting tang – was divided on it; though the peanuts were crunchy and aromatic.
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