Not trying to show off here. I have pretty-much tried all the famous Hokkien Mee in Singapore and more.
It was an exercise I gave myself to write a Hokkien Mee guide, to really eat and not ‘grab’ random photos from elsewhere.
All right, maybe with the exception of one – Hokkien Man Hokkien Mee at Toa Payoh 7 which is right next to Kim Keat Palm Food Centre. Perhaps it was the 2-year plus long pandemic that caused this delay.
There is one key reason why many would be curious to try this humble stall in a kopitiam.
Chef-owner Xavier Neo was a former sous chef of Les Amis (though when he left the French restaurant in 2007, Michelin stars have not descended in Singapore yet), and also gathered experience at White Rabbit and Resorts World Sentosa.
He applied French technique in the cooking process of the Hokkien Mee. For example, the prawn stock is cooked similar to the preparation of lobster bisque.
The prices of the Hokkien Mee are at $6, $8, $10, raised from the original when it first started off (before reading on, I can tell you this is well-worth the money.)
The stall allows some form of customisation – “add noodle, add ingredients, add egg”, to even omelette and abalone.
I was kiasu and went as a first customer at 10am when the stall opens; though my friend advised against that because the wok won’t be that heated up yet.
That is some truth in that, but I still experienced that deep wok-hei in the plate. I would rank this one of the Top 5 in Singapore.
Some people like it wet, others dry. This version is closer to the wet side, with a texture that is semi-sticky, and the broth well-absorbed by the noodles.
Talking about the broth, this indeed had that ‘bisque-like’ quality and umami, and conspicuous amounts of garlic. A little more garlic and it may just tip that balance, but I think this was just nice.
Sometimes I find the yellow noodles elsewhere having a strong alkaline taste, but these noodles were specially sourced without the strong lye water taste.
If I wanted to nit-pick, I think the sambal chilli could better complement the noodles.
It was created inhouse by Xavier’s wife who used to sell Nasi Lemak, though I think it could do with more smokiness, spiciness or character.
Xavier revealed in an interview that he would like to achieve a Michelin star one day for his Hokkien Mee.
Well, the Michelin Singapore has already included the stall in the guide. Consider that one big step closer.
Hokkien Man Hokkien Mee
Block 19 Lor 7 Toa Payoh, Sing Hiap Huat, Singapore 310019
Tel: +65 8798 1525
Opening Hours: 10am – 2:30pm (Mon – Tues, Thurs – Sun), Closed Wed
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20 Must-Try Hokkien Mee In Singapore
Hainan Hokkien Mee (Golden Mile Food Centre)
Xiao Di Fried Prawn Noodle (Serangoon North)
Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Mee (ABC Food Centre)
Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee (Tiong Bahru Food Centre)