Wanton Mee: A ton of them at Joo Chiat
By Cecilia Joven Ong - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015
Wanton mee fans, rejoice. Judging from the mass-love foodies here have for this comforting old noodle dish, it is not set to fade out into oblivion like the Tasmanian tiger. More stalls are offering it around the island and some even come with spinach spiked versions. Somehow, the Joo Chiat and Katong area seem to be a hotbed for wanton mee and over the years, many such hawkers there have earned their stripes with the unforgiving hungry hordes. Here is a list for your culinary exploration.
ENG’S WANTON NOODLE HOUSE
287 Tanjong Katong Road Singapore 437070
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 9.00 pm
This is probably the most famous name for Wanton Mee in this area and it has been around for about 60 years. The late owner passed on a few years back of a heart attack but his children and family have since taken over the reins and continued his legacy. They are well known for their ridiculously hot chilli sauce but they have toned it down after moving to their current, more genial café location, but it still packs a punch. Though their standard has declined slightly, it was still a pleasant meal. The smaller bowl is priced at $4.50 and the nicely cooked noodles were springy and infused with the fragrance of the pork lard oil but the pale, artificially pink coloured char siew was a bit too bland.. The wantons were just decent with well-seasoned fillings. The soup was flavorful with a slight hint of sweetness.
FEI FEI WANTON MEE
72 Joo Chiat Place Singapore 427785
Operating Hours: 24 Hrs
This is probably one of the most talked about Wanton Mee in Singapore. This Fei Fei Wanton Mee is started by the elder brother in the family when he broke away from the original stall that used to be just down the road but later closed when the younger brother moved on. Though the talk may still be about the texture of the noodles, it somehow lost its edge over the years. Their prices begin at $4. The texture was a bit too firm with lumps of noodles spotted in the bowl. The wantons particularly the fried one were tasty though smaller in size but the char siew was just decent. Their chilli sauce complemented the noodles well and added flavor. Because of their customers’ feedback, they’ve decided to start serving soup along with their Wanton Mee.
DUNMAN ROAD CHAR SIEW WANTON MEE
271 Onan Road #02-19 Dunman Road Food Centre Singapore
Operating Hours: 10.00 am to 8.00 pm (Closed on Thursdays)
This stall used to be known as Eng’s Wanton Mee but changed to the current name when one of the partners left and brought along the old signboard and name with him. Their overall presentation was rather dull and unappealing. The smallest portion is at $3.00. Their wantons fared the best amongst all with flavorful filling though a tad salty. The chilli has a distinctive sharpness with lingering spiciness; it is much spicier in comparison to Eng’s Wanton Mee. Due to their connection, certain similarities can be detected particularly in the sauce mix and chilli.
JOO CHIAT AH HUAT WANTON NOODLE
271 Onan Road #01-04 Dunman Road Food Centre Singapore
Operating Hours: 7.00 am to 4.00 pm (Closed on Mondays)
The stall owner operated the original Hong Mao Wanton Mee since the 60s but decided to sell off their business and retire in 2012. But in 2013, She joined her brother and started the current stall. Their basic plate of Wanton Mee starts from $3 onward. The texture of noodles lacked a certain chewiness and springiness. I could taste the sambal in the chilli, the spiciness is still kept at a comforting level but is slightly salty. The texture of chair siew was rather tough but the soup was nicely flavored.
HONG MAO MIAN JIA
182 Joo Chiat Road Singapore 427453
Operating Hours: 7.00 am to 8.00 pm (Closed on Mondays)
Two brothers who are fans of the original Hong Mao Wanton Mee bought over the name and its recipe when its original owner retired. Though the same recipe is used, the taste is not quite alike as the intensity of the original flavour had been tweaked. Their basic plate of wanton mee is $3.50. The noodles were slightly drier and the chilli was spicier than expected with slightly sweet tones. Their char siew tasted quite decent but the wantons did not stand out. The soup was rather light and a little bland.