Enter Chung Cheng Chilli Mee: a hawker stall that specialises in Chilli Mee topped with a signature chilli from a secret recipe. Located on the second storey of Golden Mile Food Centre, you will find that there is almost always a long queue at the stall.
Priced at just $3, $4 or $5 depending on the portion size, customers can select bowls that cater to their appetites. The offerings available are the traditional Prawn Mee, Laksa, and of course, Chilli Mee.
Upon cooking the noodles and ingredients, huge dollops of Chung Cheng’s special chilli paste are scooped from a large metal pot and added over the top. Unlike regular prawn mee that comes with a small side of chilli, the chilli served here is piled on generously.
If you’re wondering what makes the chilli so special — well, they throw in some secret spices together with the usual suspects of belacan, dried shrimps, garlic and onions.
Served over the counter, the Chilli Mee ($4) consists of yellow noodles and a whole slew of ingredients, such as beancurd, bean sprouts, fish cakes, pork ribs, prawns, and slices of hard boiled egg. It also comes with a bowl of herbal soup.
With all the ingredients in a regular laksa and prawn mee present, we certainly got our money’s worth at just $4 for a medium bowl.
The chilli paste itself was mildly spicy and didn’t provide as much of a kick as I hoped it would. However, it was definitely flavourful and fragrant covering every bit of the noodle.
Normally, I would rather have vermicelli noodles but the heaps of chilli went really well with the yellow noodles. The combination of slight sweetness and mild spice really amped up the shiok factor.
Remember to mix in the blobs of chilli paste with the noodles and ingredients thoroughly for maximum enjoyment. While this may not seem very different from the usual prawn noodles, the chilli paste blends in well and adds a nice flavour without overpowering the overall taste too much.
The pork ribs were lean and especially tender to the bite. Paired with the savoury chilli paste, the spices used to marinate the pork bones lingered in my mouth as a delightful after-taste.
Although the prawns may appear small, they are extremely crunchy and firm, making it another ingredient that tastes great when doused with the chilli base.
We tried the Prawn Mee ($4) in a medium size, as well. The soup was much like the one that accompanied the Chilli Mee, with its distinct herbal aroma — quite a refreshing change from the usual prawn noodle soup.
With similar ingredients and the same yellow noodle used, I think it’s safe to say that this would be a great alternative for those who aren’t particularly fond of the spice from the chilli. Or perhaps, if you like the soupy combinations better.
The Laksa ($4) wasn’t much to boast. It had all the components of a traditional bowl of laksa with the exception of pork bones in place of cockles. We felt that the coconut curry broth was a tad bit diluted and could have been more dense.
That being said, the rice noodles were of a great springy texture. It was of the slurp-worthy variety but could not be compared to the chilli mee, which was the clear winner.
If you simply can’t get enough of their chilli sauce, why not take home a packet at $3? Perhaps you can whip up your very own chilli mee from this flavour packet.
My final verdict: Chung Cheng is definitely worth a try for those who simply can’t do without chilli in their meals or have yet to try chilli mee for the first time.
While their chilli may not make for the spiciest of dishes, it is still undeniably delicious when tossed around with the noodles and other ingredients. That, coupled with its affordable price, is probably what makes Chung Cheng Chilli Mee one of the stalls that locals can’t help coming back to for more.
Expected Damage: $3 – $5 per bowl