Mei Ling Market & Food Centre at Mei Chin Road has reopened after a few months’ renovation work.
Some of the stalls were once at the Commonwealth Food Centre, contributing to the many “Margaret Drve” food which would remind many of their childhood days.
It is a two-storey building, home to 40 plus stalls. It is perhaps a 10 minutes’ walk from Queenstown MRT Station. Via public transport, you have to take a bus and walk a long way in. From the Commonwealth Avenue side, possibly a 15 minutes’ walk.
Shi Hui Yuan Hor Fun Specialty
Mei Ling Market & Food Centre #02-33
Opening Hours: 8am – 2pm (Wed – Sun), Closed Mon, Tues
Probably the most famous stall in this food centre as Shi Hui Yuan was awarded Michelin Bib Gourmand Award for consecutive years.
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 is famed for its Hor Fun in collagen-rich gravy and herbal braising sauce. Accordingly, that braising sauce has been stewed continuously over the last 30 years with chicken and duck meat and bones for that rustic flavour.
The founders developed a recipe using over 30 herbs such as dang shen, yang shen xu and luo han guo, in line with their Cantonese cooking philosophy of “food as medicine”.
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 $4.50 to $5.90.
Will recommend the Blissful Plate ($5.90) 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 duck without that usual gamey taste; and the soft braised mushrooms coated in dark sauce.
Lao Jie Fang 老街坊
Mei Ling Market & Food Centre #02-15
Tel: +65 9680 3898
Opening Hours: 8am – 2pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Known for its Cantonese-style Braised Beef Noodles, Lao Jie Fang stews the beef brisket for several hours in a preserved soya bean paste based stock until the meat is tender.
The Beef Brisket & Tendon Noodle is priced at $8 or $10, while the Beef Brisket Noodles alone is $6 or $8.
The tendon was indeed melt-in-your-mouth, with a quality that reminds me of Hong Kong’s.
As for the thin egg noodles, owner Mr. Chan blanches them while flicking vigorously to ensure each strand is cooked yet not soggy.
He would then toss the noodle in a specially made dark sauce before adding in the stew sauce.
Thin, springy, well-tossed.
Good Beef Brisket Noodles are few and far between in Singapore’s hawker centres, and this is one of them.
Apart from the Braised Beef noodles, Lao Jie Fang also Pork Rib Noodles ($5, $6) and Pig Trotter Noodle ($5m $6) which uses ter-kar (pork trotters) that is slow cooked without using a pressure cooker, so the bones remain hard while the meat becomes so tender.
Xin Lu Teo Chew Fishball Noodle 新路潮洲鱼圆粿條面湯
Mei Ling Market & Food Centre #02-05
Tel: +65 9771 8675
Opening Hours: 5:45am – 3pm (Mon – Wed, Fri – Sun), Closed Thurs
Xin Lu Teo Chew Fishball Noodle has been around for more than 50 years, having humble beginnings at the now-defunct Margaret Drive Food Centre. (Also read: 10 Must-Try FISHBALL MEEPOK In Singapore)
The current 3rd generation hawker-owner learnt his ropes from his father, helping him since he was 8 years old. Even though he studied to be a designer, he decided to make a career switch by helming the stall.
The ingredients of the Teochew Fishball Noodles ($4) are considered ‘no-frills’, with fishballs, noodles, seasoning like vinegar and tang chye (preserved vegetables), so the rest is up to the skills of the hawker.
While there are other variations elsewhere such as Bak Chor Mee or those added with sliced fishcakes, Xin Lu keeps theirs to just fishballs and noodles. Some customers may find this too ‘simple’.
The fishballs are handmade in-store with saito fish (wolf herring) and yellowtail fish, resulting in old-school savour with supple bounciness and slight chewiness.
They are slightly larger than the usual – almost ping pong sized. You may find them on the plainer side in terms of taste, but I think the richer seasoning in the noodles help balance it out.
Hup Kee Teochew Fishball Noodles
Mei Ling Market & Food Centre #02-38
Opening Hours: 6:45am – 2pm (Sun – Thurs), 6:45pm – 1pm (Sat), Closed Fri
This is another famous Teochew-style Fishball Noodles stall in the same food centre, with bowls going for $3.50 or $5.
Compared to Xin Lu’s this also includes slices of fishcake and fish dumplings.
It has this old-school savour, with fishballs being soft and bouncy – my favourite part of the entire meal. The noodles could do with slightly more sauce, though the pork lard was very addictive and added some fragrance.
You Huat Cooked Food 友发经济熟食
Mei Ling Market & Food Centre #02-19
Opening Hours: 6am – 12pm (Mon, Thurs – Sun), Closed Tues, Wed
There are a couple of economic bee hoon stalls in the same food centre, but You Huat easily draws in the longest line.
Items to add on include chicken wing, fish cutlet, nor hiang, fried popiah, fish cake, cai xin, otah, fish roll, hotdog, cabbage, chicken cutlet and egg.
Also served are Chee Cheong Fun, Nasi Lemak, and Peanut Porridge.
Hui Wei Lor Mee
Mei Ling Market & Food Centre #02-14
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.
Mei Ling Street (Handmade) Carrot Cake
Mei Ling Market & Food Centre #02-41
Opening Hours: 7am – 10am (Wed – Sun)
A carrot cake stall that gets sold out quite early in the morning, sometimes by 9am plus. Even if you do not spot a queue here, there could be several regulars waiting around for their plate.
Priced at $3, you get soft cubes of carrot cake made and fried on site, though some may feel that portion is on the smaller side.
Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice
Mei Ling Market & Food Centre #02-22
Opening Hours: 10am – 3:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Sin Kee is a well-known name among chicken rice stalls in Singapore, mainly serving poached chicken rice Cantonese-style.
Truth be told, there are a couple of “Sin Kee” around, and the ‘best’ version is said to be found at at Holland Drive.
What makes diners constantly coming back for more is essentially their signature dish Chicken Rice, all chunky slices of chicken meat served with a plate of flavourful yet surprisingly, not as oily rice.
Claypot Vegetable Rice (Sha Po Xiao Cai Fan)
Mei Ling Market & Food Centre #02-13
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 7:34pm (Tues, Wed, Fri – Sun), Closed Mon, Thurs
This zi char and claypot stall may not be that in the radar, but it does serve up quite affordable, comforting dishes.
Items on the menu include Claypot Pork-Rib or Beef Noodles ($4), Claypot Noodles ($4), Sliced Fish with Spring Onion and Rice ($4), Sweet & Sour Fish with Rice ($4), Fried Beef Kway Teow ($5) and more.
The one thing I would recommend is the Pig Trotter Fried Bee Hoon ($12) which almost reminded me of what my grandma would cook, with silky beehoon cooked with soft melt-in-the-mouth ter kah.
There was even strips of dried sweet beancurd (or tau kee), something I have not seen topped on this dish for a while. Oh, and the wok-hei makes this worth a try.
Mei Ling Market & Food Centre #02-31
Opening Hours: 9am – 3pm (Wed – Sun), Closed Mon, Tues
A stall of a different kind, Mr Bready gives a twist to the familiar Kueh, Soft Buns, Cakes and Cookies.
They are known for their handmade bread and kuehs which are made with premium ingredients, produced in small batches fresh.
While Huat Kueh 发糕 may usually be associated with festivals and offerings, they do incorporate special flavours that make the young ones keen to try out more.
Interesting flavours can include Rose Lychee, Sweet Potato Dried Longan, Gula Melaka, Matcha Cranberry, Blueberry Chia Seed, and Dark Chocolate with Chocolate Chips.
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