Lor mee 卤面 is a popular Singapore hawker noodle dish with Hokkien origins.
It is categorised by thick gravy cooked with corn starch, five-spice powder and eggs, added with ingredients such as hard-boiled eggs, fish flakes, fish cake, ngor hiang (meat rolls) or fried fish – depending on the stall.
To complement the savoury flavours, customers add a drizzle of the rice-based black vinegar (usually the Chinkiang), some minced garlic, and for spice lovers, a dollop or two of sambal chili.
For this Lor Mee listicle, I tried more than 20 famous stalls, and I personally found this hawker listicle harder to compile than the usual – because the famous stalls are located at far ends of the island, with very long queues, and operate for short hours.
And it is starchy and filling, so I cannot cover more than a stall a day. (For food centres with 2-3 famous Lor Mee stalls, I go back on separate trips to try all of them.)
To me (while some may not agree with), the most important component of Lor Mee is the ’lor’ (gravy) itself. I am always looking out for that ‘magic’. It should be flavourful, and can hold on its own even without including additional vinegar, chilli or garlic.
Popular Lor Mee stalls in Singapore include Tiong Bahru Lor Mee (Old Airport Road Food Centre), Xiang Ji Lor Mee (Old Airport Road Food Centre), Yuan Zhi Wei (Whampoa Food Centre) Hoe Heng Lor Mee (Toa Payoh Lor 8), Jue Dai Lor Mee (Ci Yuan Food Centre), Zhi Xiang Lor Mee (Toa Payoh Lor 4), Ang Mo Kio Lor Mee (Chong Boon Market), Ah Mah Lor Mee (328 Clementi Ave 2), Heng Kee Lor Mee (Bendemeer Food Centre), Yuan Chun Famous Lor Mee (Amoy Street Food Centre), Soon Heng (Beo Crescent), Soon Heng Food Delights (Tanjong Pagar) and Ma Bao Lor Mee (216 Bedok Food Centre).
Just to name a couple. Here are 10 more luscious Lor Mee you can find in Singapore:
Xin Mei Xiang Zheng Zong Lor Mee 新美香卤面
51 Old Airport Road, #01-116 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 6am – 2pm (Fri – Wed), Closed Thurs
I remember Xin Mei Xiang Zheng Zong Lor Mee at Old Airport Road Food Centre winning (back in those days) the “Best Lor Mee” in “Just Noodles 面对面” on television hosted by Kym Ng.
The line does get very long during peak hours, with estimated wait of at least 20 to 30 minutes, and bowls can be sold out before closing hour.
Some customers may not find this worth the very long wait in the heat though.
What’s noteworthy in their Xin Mei Xiang’s Lor Mee ($4, $5, $6) is its generous serving of ingredients – you get your money’s worth.
The sauce, a key element in a good Lor Mee, was quite unlike any others I had before – thick and flavourful as it was prepared with five-spice and other seasonings.
The balance of being vinegary and spicy was done just right. Quite a complete bowl in terms of getting the different elements right from ingredients to the lor.
I never intended to finish that sauce but I did anyway. While some customers may feel it is on the plain side, it was not as starchy and didn’t give me that uncomfortable-filling feeling.
Ah yes, there is another similar-sounding Xiang Ji Lor Mee (#01-81) and Tiong Bahru Lor Mee (#01-124) in the same food centre, if you happen to crave for Lor Mee and Xin Mei Xiang is closed. Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee (Old Airport Road Food Centre)
Feng Zhen Lor Mee 鳳珍鹵麵
Taman Jurong Food Centre, #03-146, 3 Yung Seng Road, S 618499, Singapore
Opening Hours: 5am – 3pm (Tues – Sat), Closed Sun, Mon
People do travel all the way far-west to Taman Jurong Food Centre for this one stall – Feng Zhen Lor Mee.
With amazing flavours hitting all the right notes, it is no wonder this stall has all the great elements to attract Lor Mee fans to the stall.
Long queues are a common sight, but the efficient service is commendable. Try to avoid peak lunch time though.
There is both the basic Lor Mee ($3) and Fish Lor Mee ($4, $5) included with fish flakes. There were so many toppings such as scrumptious deep-fried meatballs that the noodles weren’t even visible.
Here’s what I like about the Lor Mee: the gravy had good consistency, moreish with well-balanced flavours that went amazingly well with the tender meatballs.
If there was one thing I needed to nit-pick, some parts of the ’lor’ was not well stirred, so could be clumpy at parts.
Besides Lor Mee, they also serve fried prawn rolls which make for tasty appetizers to go with your meal. Feng Zhen Lor Mee (Taman Jurong Food Centre)
Keng Heng Whampoa Teo Chew Lor Mee 慶興黃埔潮州鹵麵
#01-63 Golden Mile Food Centre, 505 Beach Road Singapore 199583
Tel: +65 9844 4853
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 1:30pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
It is hard to miss with the large flashy signboard compelling you to get a steamy bowl of Lor Mee, and no matter what time of the day you visit the stall, you will always be met with snaking long queues.
You may have to wait a good half an hour for your order even on weekdays.
The classic Teochew style Lor Mee is priced at $3 – $5 which I found reasonable. The large portion size was quite huge and shareable if you are not too hungry.
The bowl was loaded with tender pork belly balanced with the crisp and crunch of the fish skin (which is not commonly found in other Lor Mee stalls), fishcakes, fried wantons and chunks of crispy fish nuggets.
The gravy had a distinct sweetish taste of its own with the same starchy thickness its loyal fans all know and love. But not everyone would enjoy the gooeyness.
Oh yah, may want to go easy on the chilli as it can get overwhelmingly spicy. Keng Heng Whampoa Teo Chew Lor Mee (Golden Mile Food Centre)
Lorong Ah Soo Lor Mee 羅弄阿蘇卤面
105 Hougang Ave 1, Hainanese Village #02-51, Singapore 530105
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
This Lor Mee hawker stall is said to be in the business for more than 50 years, with old-school flavours that are a favourite with Hougang residents.
Make sure that you get to the stall during the early opening hours at noon, or prepare to wait at least 30 – 45 minutes for your order. They may also sell out earlier.
A bowl is reasonably priced at $3.50 or $4, and includes ngor hiang, fish cake, and braised duck meat.
This stall does not include fish flakes as it is labour intensive and the owner is worried there may be bones which affect many of their regulars who are more elderly.
As it is difficult to prepare the gravy (can get burnt or too watery if left there for long), the hawkers make just two big pots, cooked and seasoned till it is well-balanced with the right consistency.
The gravy may come across not as rich or robust as the usually stalls, but there was something delightful in terms of its lightness – you don’t feel so jelak. A nostalgic taste which is harder to find nowadays.
Soon Lee Lor Mee 顺利滷麵攡
Circuit Road Food Centre, Blk 79 Circuit Road, #01-07, Singapore 370079
Tel: +65 9298 0115
Opening Hours: 12pm – 8pm (Wed – Sun), Closed Mon, Tues
While Lor Mee is typically a morning breakfast affair, Soon Lee starts operating from noon onwards till early dinner time. (They used to serve from dinner till 2-3am but changed their operational hours.)
Soon Lee Lor Mee Stall has been around for more than 40 years.
Their ingredients comprise of their specialty fried fritters, fried fish, braised pork belly and hard-boiled egg (instead of braised).
All these ingredients are prepared fresh daily before business, and even the eggs are freshly cooked.
A bowl is sold at $3, $4, $5, though I would recommend getting the bigger bowls as the small may be too little in portion for the hungry customer.
I think why people like this stall is due to its old-school tasting gravy, which has a sweetish aftertaste. The crispy fried fritters also help to add crunch and textural contrast.
Zhi Xiang Special Lor Mee 智翔特制滷麵
93 Lor 4 Toa Payoh #01-49, Singapore 310093
Tel: +65 8233 0721
Opening Hours: 5am – 2pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
This stall is called “special” for a reason. The one thing that differentiates this from the other places it the addition of fried yam fritters.
Only the $4 version comes with the yam.
It is served in a separate bowl, with some bite-size pieces that you can dip into the dark gravy. It is more towards the crunchy size, somewhat like Mamee noodles.
While it added more textural layer, this is carb in carb on carb, and so can be rather filling.
The other components were more or less standard fare, though ngor hiang given also came in the entire long piece, and not cut into smaller slices. A not bad bowl.
Lor Mee 178 鹵麵178
30 Seng Poh Road, Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre #02-23, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 7am – 2:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Lor Mee 178 has been listed in the Singapore’s Michelin Guide with a “Michelin Plate” (not “star”) for quite a number of years, previously also frequently featured in local television food programmes.
On a side note, there are two famous Lor Mee stalls at Tiong Bahru Food Centre, the other being Tiong Bahru Lor Mee (#02-80). Both have equally long queues.
Lor Mee 178’s signature Lor Mee ($3.00) is a bowl of thick, flat yellow noodles in viscous gravy (the lor).
Unlike the ones in other Lor Mees, its flavourful gravy is not too starchy and has a good consistency to it. You could finish slurping a bowl without feeling too full.
I personally think that the lor was slightly on the ‘safe’ side, and may be seen by some as bland or not-so impressionable.
Would suggest going for the upgraded version with additional topping of crispy fried shark fritter ($4.00), evidently the winning element in this dish. Lor Mee 178 (Tiong Bahru Food Centre)
71 Lor Mee
115 Bukit Merah View, #01-71 Bukit Merah View Food Centre, Singapore 151115
Opening Hours: 6am – 1pm (Wed – Sun), Closed Mon, Tues
Slightly long queue here, though people not staying around Bukit Merah won’t have heard of this Lor Mee.
To me, there are two things that are appealing – the crispy bits and the consistency of the gravy.
At $3, the Lor Mee is very reasonably priced, as the portion size is quite filling, with crunchy pork bits, fish cake and ngor hiang.
The lor was not too starchy, and had a semi-sticky gooey consistency that was neither thick nor watery. Comforting for the tummy.
Best Lu Mian In Town
91 Whampoa Drive, Whampoa Food Centre #01-19, Singapore 320091
Opening Hours: 8am – 2pm (Sat – Thurs), 8am – 3pm (Fri)
This is testament that a good stall name can keep people curious and customers coming.
So, is this REALLY the “BEST Lu Mian In Town”?
While I don’t really think so (opps) – perhaps the gravy could be less thick-starchy and more flavourful, this is indeed a way that definitely catches every passerby’s attention. The other thing to beware of at this stall is the snaking long queues.
The stall only serves Lu Mian in $3 and $4 serving bowls. You will find the serving size quite generous with ample amounts of pork, fried fish, and even some crisp chicken pieces.
The braised pork slices were quite tender and delicious.
You can customize your bowl with the noodles of your choice, and addition of garlic, chili and vinegar to your taste.
With that said, there is another popular Lu Mian stall in the same food centre, called “Yuan Zi Wei”.
Hui Wei Lor Mee
159 Mei Chin Road, #02-14, Mei Ling Market & Food Centre, Singapore 140159
Opening Hours: 8am – 2pm (Wed – Mon)
Okay, the famous Hai Tang Lor Mee may not be around anymore at Mei Ling Food Centre, the newer Hui Wei Lor Mee though an unknown name (for now) serves up quite a noteworthy version.
Starting at only $3 (or $4), the Lor Mee is affordable and plentiful.
Plenty of ingredients were buried under a dark looking and thick gravy which may not look quite appetizing, but is a treat once you dig into it.
While the gooey gravy could do with more robust flavours, the other components such as the pork slices lor bak, half a braised egg, and those large pieces of deep-fried battered fish made this a very decent bowl to have.
The fish when soaked in the gravy, retained that slight crispiness and was quite a thick fleshy piece.