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Cheap & Good: Old-school wonton mee, Food News & Top Stories

Forget brief cuts in order for you good meals. If you have a tender spot for oldschool hawkers who stubbornly abide by this precept, you’ll respect the wonton noodles at Wang Jiao Shu Shi at Hougang Hainanese Village Centre.

For a begin, the charcoal-roasted char siew that adorns every plate is freshly ready on the stall day by day. Nothing a lot has modified when it comes to meals preparation and cooking strategies on the stall because it opened for business on the meals centre in 1983.

Stall proprietor Leng Chee San, 65, and his three siblings, aged 56 to 67, learnt to organize Cantonese-style wonton noodles from their mom, who used to promote the dish at a stall on the former Kampong San Teng (now Bishan). His sister-in-law additionally helps out on the stall.

Prices begin at $three for a plate of wonton mee. The lady who took my order recommended I’m going for the $5 model, which has add-ons of sui kow (dumplings) and braised hen toes. Her suggestion is spot on.

The springy egg noodles are tossed in an addictively spicy sauce. The six slices of char siew with barely charred edges are lean and have no seen fats, so I brace myself for some critical chewing. Instead, I discover them tender and engaging. The braised hen toes are fall-offthe- bone tender and intensely flavourful.

The soup is a tad bland and nothing to shout about, in contrast with that of one other wonton noodle stall on the similar meals centre. That is about the one side I discover wanting. The filling within the dumpling has the fragrant flavour of tee poh (dried flatfish) and chunky bits of water chestnut.

  • WANG JIAO SHU SHI

  • 02-41 Hougang Hainanese Village Centre, Block 105 Hougang Avenue 1, open: 8am to 4pm (Mondays to Saturdays); closed on Sundays 

    Rating: three.5 stars

I might have preferred the filling extra well-seasoned, however the regulars who patronise the stall – lots of whom are seniors – don’t appear to have any complaints.

While most hawkers baulk at making Sunday their relaxation day, Mr Leng chooses to shut his stall on Sundays.

He says in Mandarin: “We cannot cope with the Sunday crowd. We would rather sell fewer plates and avoid compromising on quality.”

But there’s a lunchtime queue even on Mondays, when these within the know head for the stall.

Mr Leng, who used to tackle the principle responsibility of making ready the noodles, has since handed this over to his youthful 56-year-old brother, Mr Leng Kah Whye.

The senior Mr Leng now focuses on making ready the char siew, wontons and dumplings. Each day, the stall prepares 12kg to 13kg of char siew.

Mr Leng orders chilled Indonesian pork which he marinates in a single day in a particular mix of elements, together with sugar and soya sauce. He is explicit in regards to the lower of meat used, choosing pork shoulder that’s much less fatty.

The roasting course of is essential and warmth management is necessary to make sure the char siew is barely charred however not overcooked, he explains.“ It is like grilling satay over charcoal. Once the meat is done, you must remove it from the heat immediately.”

He additionally marinates minced pork collar for the filling within the wontons and dumplings.

Every alternate day, he painstakingly peels and chops 3kg of water chestnuts so as to add to the dumpling filling.

Mr Leng says: “My siblings and I are getting on in age, but for as long as we are able to, we want to continue making wonton mee with that traditional taste for our customers to enjoy. When our generation is gone, it will be difficult for people to get a taste of traditional food.”

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