Food

Mui Kee Congee Pop-Up Store: Hong Kong’s Famous Fish Belly Congee With Bold Wok Hei Flavour Is A Must-Try At Singapore Botanic Gardens From Now Till End Of 2017

Last Updated: July 13, 2017

Written by Cheryl Tan

I tend to avoid having porridge because it never keeps me full, but when I heard that Mui Kee Congee, a popular stall from Hong Kong, was coming to Singapore for a six-month pop-up in collaboration with Les Amis, there was no way I could say no to trying it.

Opened 38 years ago, Mui Kee is famous for the texture of its congee, made possible by a five-hour cooking process that utilises fish stock and pork bones to obtain a taste that’s both unique and multi-dimensional.

Held within Casa Verde in Singapore Botanic Gardens, the congee is served mainly for breakfast and lunch, with the owners looking to open a permanent shopfront in Singapore after the six months pop-up.

Unlike the Hong Kong outlet, this pop-up sells congee sets, paired with century eggs and you tiao. But if you’re worried that the congee won’t keep you full, it also offers side dishes that have proven popular like the Drunken Chicken.

With seven types of congee to choose from, I decided to start with the classic Sliced Fish Congee ($12.50). I can already imagine the shocked look on faces when people hear that each congee set starts from $12.50, but I’m not kidding when I say that it’s definitely worth the money.

With a silky smooth consistency, I thoroughly enjoyed the texture that this congee had. Sliced ginger laced the congee, which gave it a nice bite, and the fish slices were fresh and tender.

I was advised to try the Scallop Congee ($14.50) next, and I was excited for this since I love shellfish. To my surprise, the congee was more gingery with a slight hint of wok hei, which came from the sauteed scallops.

The scallops were rather small in size, but they were sweet, fresh and cooked perfectly. This will be a great choice for people who want something a little sweeter or without fish slices.

As mentioned, each of the sets came with a stick of dough fritters, or you tiao, and a century egg. Combine the century egg slices with the hot congee for a hearty spoonful; I loved how the yolk was creamy and the odour wasn’t as pungent. The you tiao were crispy, eat them fast before they cool down though!

Moving on to the Pig’s Innards Congee ($12.50). The colour of the congee was slightly darker after mixing up the ingredients, and the taste profile was vastly different from the first two congees.

Instead of the clean fish taste, the innards added a nice depth to the congee, which was all cooked perfectly well. There were also pork meatballs that were mixed with fish paste, thus resulting in a springier texture.

Take a break from the congee and try out some Drunken Chicken ($10). Surprisingly sweet from the goji berries, the chicken meat was tender and supple with slippery skin. The taste of alcohol is also very subtle, and I thought this was one of the best side dishes available there.

Ending off with the Fish Belly Congee ($14.50), I wholeheartedly suggest that this be the last congee you taste as the other clean tasting congees will taste a little bland after this flavourful dish.

The fish belly is sauteed with ginger and rice wine, which gives it an even stronger wok hei flavour than the scallops, along with a soft texture.

You might have been turned off by the higher prices, but I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to get congee of this quality and flavour elsewhere.

Expected damage: $12.50 per pax

Mui Kee Congee: Casa Verde, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569 | Tel: +65 64677326 | Website | Facebook

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