Oh, Hokkien mee. This fragrant seafoody noodle dish, alongside char kway teow, is undoubtedly one of the cornerstones of Singaporean cuisine.
Like all other matters of the heart (read: food), finding the best Hokkien mee in Singapore is an utterly contentious issue.
Here are some of the best spots on the island for this beloved dish on the island, and while they might differ in the particulars, they’re brought together by their utter deliciousness.
Come Daily Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee
Tian Tian Lai (or Come Daily) serves up a lip-smackingly good version of the dish that’s enough to get us to come daily.
Their gooey, wet-style Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee (from $4) is produced using a recipe established back in 1968, and we have to say that in this case, old is certainly gold.
The flavourful and fatty pork and prawn broth covers every inch of the noodles, with the final dish topped with a generous handful of tau gay for freshness and crunch.
This stall is fairly popular, so be prepared for a wait.
Come Daily Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee is located at Blk 127 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh #02-27, Singapore 310127, p. +65 9671 7071. Open Tues — Sun 8am — 2.30pm.
Bedok Corner Hokkien Prawn Mee
Bedok Corner is one of the stalls that uses the thinner vermicelli noodle in their Hokkien mee rather than the thicker rice noodle, which is great if you’re after something a little less rich.
The thin noodles are perfect for soaking up every bit of flavour from the umami broth; add a dash of lime and sambal belacan, and you’re in heaven.
Bedok Corner Hokkien Prawn Mee is located at Blk 1 Bedok Rd, 29 Bedok Corner Food Centre, Singapore 469356. Open Tues — Sun 4pm — 9pm.
Geylang Lorong 29 Charcoal Fried Hokkien Mee
This place is a fairly well-known one, famous for their old-school method of frying Hokkien mee over charcoal, lending to a one-of-a-kind smokiness that takes wok hei to a whole new level.
Their Fried Hokkien Mee (from $6) is thus definitely a must-try.
This stall is helmed by Alex See, whose late father ran the original Geylang Lorong 29 Hokkien Mee in the 1960s, and is now being passed down in the family to his daughter and son-in-law.
Geylang Lorong 29 Charcoal Fried Hokkien Mee is located at 396 East Coast Road, Singapore 428994, p. +65 9733 1388. Open Tues — Sun 11.30am — 7.30pm.
Swee Guan Hokkien Mee
Swee Guan is the other half of the original Geylang Lorong 29 Hokkien Mee legacy, run by Alex See’s younger brother Hock Siong, inviting much comparison and competition as to which hokkien mee is best.
Swee Guan’s Hokkien Mee (from $6) is also cooked over the characteristic charcoal fire, with the charred aroma infusing into a gooey prawn broth that soaks into the thicker egg noodles.
They’re also not stingy with their seafood!
Swee Guan Hokkien Mee is located at 549 Geylang Road, Sing Lian Eating House, Singapore 389504, p. +65 9817 5652. Open daily 5pm — 11pm.
Eng Ho Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee
This Ang Mo Kio stalwart is a favourite in the area, dishing out fragrant, rich plates of Hokkien mee.
Made in a slightly wetter style, the richness of the pork and seafood broth is carried by both egg noodles and thinner rice vermicelli, great for people that like both types of noodles.
The chewy sliced squid and prawn add some texture, and their fresh chili adds a zing that really brings the dish to the next level.
Eng Ho Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee is located at Blk 409 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, #01-34, Singapore 560409. Open Wed — Sun 4pm — 11pm.
Original Serangoon Fried Hokkien Mee
Another heritage establishment, this stall was originally helmed by Mr Neo, a crippled man fondly remembered by many to fry, plate and sell his hokkien mee —all while sitting down.
The stall claims to use the same recipe originated by Mr Neo all these years ago, and it certainly tastes delicious, tossed in prawn, sotong, and pork belly too.
This is one dish you might actually want to da bao, as it’s packed in opeh leaves that imbue a unique flavour into the noodles.
Original Serangoon Fried Hokkien Mee is located at 566 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 218181. Open Tues — Sun 4.30pm — 11pm.
This article was first published in City Nomads.