Heng Kee Curry Chicken Noodle: Traditional 50-Year-Old Curry Mee Stall With Long Queues At Hong Lim

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It’s always interesting to find out for yourself if the highly-lauded food stalls with perpetually long queues are really worth the wait.

Inspired by the local television show, Where The Queue Starts, I decided to put myself in one of those notoriously long queues at Hong Lim Market And Food Centre, specifically at Heng Kee Curry Chicken Noodle stall.

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Despite Ah Heng Chicken Curry Bee Hoon Mee, their one other rival, having recently gained a Michelin Plate, Heng Kee still sees a steady flow of loyal customers.

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Having one item on the menu definitely expedited the wait; customers only had to choose between Small (S$5.50) or Large (S$8). I heard that you could request for specific parts of chicken if you order the larger portion, with most, I believe, taking the chance to order their tender drumstick.

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Fronting the stall is an overflowing pot of Hainanese-style poached chicken. With a recipe that’s been around for more than 50 years, their curry gravy is thick and robust; I could smell it even before reaching the storefront.

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As food writers, we are accustomed to merely tasting a dish as opposed to emptying it out whole. Yet, I couldn’t resist polishing off the entire bowl of mee, curry gravy included.

It’s not for the health conscious, with it being a little greasy, but in this case, healthy and tasty can’t be matched.

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I chose to have a mix of yellow mee and bee hoon, although you could have either on their own. Each bowl comes with a generous portion of curry-soaked tau pok, thick slabs of fish cake, a handful of beansprouts and chicken chunks.

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While the tau pok was average, I thought that their long-cut fish cakes were interesting. While some fishcakes have an overpowering briny taste, theirs was surprisingly delectable.

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Non-chilli lovers probably cannot fathom the need for sambal on the side when the main dish, curry, is already spicy. Granted, the curry is spicy and fragrant, but more on the mild side than it is piquant.

In fact, I actually found the curry a little sweet. The punchy sambal mixed into the curry or simply dipping the ingredients into it was satisfyingly good, with a fragrant hei bei flavour coming through.

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Since I did not get a choose the chicken part in my bowl, I was relieved to find chunks of chicken that were a little bony as opposed to tough chicken breast meat.

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The smooth gelatinous texture of poached chicken skin may not sit well with some, but soaked in the robust curry, I couldn’t resist eating it. Seeing how tender the meat actually was, I could only imagine how much better the drumstick would’ve been.

I’m not really one to queue for newfangled treats or the arrival of overrated fast food chains in Singapore, but for our humble hawker stalls, I would. That said, there were a few I’ve been to with Michelin recommendations that were just not quite worth the excruciating wait.

So if there’s any queue I’ll return to, Heng Kee Curry Chicken Noodle is definitely one of them. If you’re eating with others, we recommend trying both curry noodle stalls to see for yourself which fares better!

Expected damage: S$5.50 – S$8 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

Heng Kee Curry Chicken Noodle

531A Upper Cross Street, Hong Lim Food Centre, #01-58, Singapore 510531

Our Rating 5/5

Heng Kee Curry Chicken Noodle

531A Upper Cross Street, Hong Lim Food Centre, #01-58, Singapore 510531

Operating Hours: 10am – 2pm (Tues to Sat), Closed on Mon, Sun & PH

Operating Hours: 10am – 2pm (Tues to Sat), Closed on Mon, Sun & PH