328 Katong Laksa (Joo Chiat)
In 2013, the founders of this humble laksa stall in Katong beat celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay in a much-publicised Hawker Hero challenge by making a better bowl of laksa. The defining characteristics of Katong Laksa are the thick rice vermicelli noodles and the rich coconut gravy.
Combine these with plump shrimps, fish cakes and fresh cockles, enhanced with the aroma of curry leaves, and you get a bowl of internationally renowned laksa.
Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa
While this stall in Hong Lim Market & Food Centre is known for its laksa, those in the know also patronise the stall for its tangy, addictive mee siam that is laced with a not-so-secret ingredient: fruit juice. In place of the usual tamarind water is a special blend of fruit juices that cuts through the richness of the mee siam gravy and lends a fruity fragrance to the dish.
Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa
This milky, spicy noodle dish is best savoured piping hot and what better way to keep it bubbling after it’s been taken off the stove than in a rustic claypot? The time-honoured gravy recipe here features a mix of ingredients such as chilli padi, blue ginger, turmeric, belachan, shrimp paste and lemongrass fried first to release their fragrance, then slow cooked for over two hours. Freshly squeezed coconut milk gives the gravy a rich, thick texture and helps it cling onto every rice noodle strand.
Hong Kee serves up Hainanese-style beef noodles in both its soup and dry forms. In the soup version, the noodles swim in a clear but rich beef stock that is cooked for 24 hours. Though the soup version is delicious, it is the dry form that pulls in the crowds with its succulent beef slices and gooey, starchy gravy topped with salted vegetables and accompanied by a piquant chilli sauce.
Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee
The magic of Hong Heng's prawn noodles lies in its prawn stock, which the owner ladles not one but two full scoops of into the wok for a plate of noodles. He then cooks the noodles in the stock of beautiful briny, prawn flavours long enough for the flavours and aromas to permeate the alkaline and white noodles, resulting in a hearty, flavourful plate.
Sin Huat Eating House
For those willing to brave the infamously long waits and surly service, the reward is a plate of crabby goodness so divine you’d be also willing to overlook it’s $77 per kilogramme price tag. The rice vermicelli is braised in an umami-laden stock redolent of crab, while the crabs, still in their shells, remain meaty and sweet.
Singapore’s outpost of the Michelin-starred ramen eatery in Tokyo offers the noodle in three soup bases. The Miso Soba and Shio Soba are made with an enticing chicken-seafood broth, rock salt, red wine and rosemary, while Tsuta’s signature Shoyu Soba is made with dashi brewed with a combination of beef, chicken, clams and and three types of soya sauces, including one specially brewed by an artisanal soya sauce producer in Japan’s Wakayama prefecture.
A Noodle Story
Tuck into a bowl of Singapore-style noodles (pictured in banner) which is a marriage of Japanese ramen with Hong Kong-style wanton mee, accompanied by a slab of char siew cooked sous-vide for 36 hours and then lightly smoked with wood chips, and finished with a Singaporean flourish of home-made sambal and hae bee (dried shrimp). This hawker stall sees long lines at lunchtime and has recently made it first foray overseas to Hong Kong at Tian Tian Plus.