Ho Bee Roasted Food: Is AMK’s most popular roasted meat stall worth its never-ending queues?

Just a few months ago, I visited Xiao Di Roasted Charcoal Delights and had what were the best roasted meats to grace my palate in my 22 years of living to eat. No joke, they were that excellent. It was after my review was published that a Facebook commenter directed me to Ho Bee Roasted Food.

Oh, a worthy competitor? Say no more; my latest food-venture saw me at Ang Mo Kio 628 Market where the fabled stall resides. I was itching to find out if my new-found favourite stall would be dethroned that soon. It was also the perfect excuse to treat myself to yet another roasted meat feast.

Ho Bee Roasted Food - Stallfront

Can’t locate the stall? Impossible. According to my friends who live in the area, Ho Bee Roasted Food is never seen without a queue. No, not short, sporadic ones; we’re talking about never-ending queues that stretch both literally and into the odd hours after lunchtime.

Now get this: the stall has been dishing out roasted delights in AMK for the better part of 2 whole decades. Yet, it has maintained its status as the neighbourhood’s most popular roasted meat stall all this time. No easy feat, huh? All that was left for me to do was to put the fare to the test.

What I tried at Ho Bee Roasted Food

Ho Bee serves up single portions of Char Siew Rice and Roasted Pork Rice for just S$3.50, while the perennial favourite combination of both goes for S$4. Dang, I can’t be the only one who’s been forking out S$5 on average for the latter.

Affordability? Check. I suppose that alone could explain part of the stall’s popularity. Time for the flavours to do the rest of the talking, then.

Ho Bee Roasted Food - Roasted Meat Dish

Budget Barbie mode off, foodie mode on. My dining partner and I headed straight for the Roasted Meat Dish (S$16), a platter starring the roast meat quadfecta of Char Siew, Roasted Pork, Roasted Duck and Roasted Sausage

The meats are accompanied by some fresh coriander and tangy house-made achar which would come in handy if you need a palate cleanser to cut through the grease. 

Sadly, they were all out of Char Siew during my visit (at regular dinnertime, by the way; how?!), and I was given Roasted Pork Ribs instead. Fine by me, because they’re prepared the same way. But man, I was really looking forward to the Char Siew.

Ho Bee Roasted Food - Roast Pork

Alright, that’s enough lamenting; let’s get to work. When it comes to roasted meat, you’ll always catch me reaching for my all-time favourite, roasted pork, first. And that’s exactly what I did. The pieces on this platter were pretty plump, each sporting a golden-brown sliver of crackling.

Oh, if only I could add sound effects to this article! The sio bak went down with a satisfying krak, instantly passing the crunch test with flying colours. The pork itself was tender and succulent, with the perfect meat-to-fat ratio. More importantly, each morsel was well-seasoned, its savoury juices bursting in my mouth.

Ho Bee Roasted Food - Chilli

You know how a typical roasted meat stall offers 2 types of chilli? Correct me if I’m wrong — one is usually an aromatic blend of hae bee, chilli and shallots, while the other is a zesty, spicy garlic chilli blend a la chicken rice chilli.

Well, Ho Bee’s house blend combines both of those worlds into a single unique concoction. If you think it’s an incongruent mish-mash, you couldn’t be more wrong. That fragrant and fiery blend was simply addictive and paired extremely well with that juicy Roasted Pork.

Ho Bee Roasted Food - Roasted Duck

Next on the chopping block was the Roasted Duck. Each hefty piece was adorned with a delicate layer of red-brown skin that glistened invitingly. Spoiler alert: it tasted as good as it looked.

The duck meat was the epitome of tender; it was moist, soft and devoid of the protein’s characteristic gaminess. The paper-like skin was rendered to perfection and had pleasant hints of char that complemented the savoury meat. They get full marks on this one; I never knew duck could taste this good.

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Ho Bee Roasted Food - Roasted Pork Ribs

Now that I was done with the classics, I went on to sample the honorary addition: the Roasted Pork Ribs. Aside from the fact that these bite-sized chunks of meat had their bones in, they really did resemble the char siew they were replacing.

Although I deboned the ribs with relative ease, the meat was disappointingly dry and tough, requiring considerable effort to gnaw through. Nonetheless, I found merit in the pleasant sweetness of its caramelised glaze and the well-balanced flavour profile of its marinade. However, I couldn’t help but wish for a smokier nuance.

Ho Bee Roasted Food - Roasted Sausage

And finally, I tucked into the last of the roasts: the Roasted Sausage, which I was thrilled to try for the first time. Don’t call me suaku just yet; it isn’t the most common offering at roasted meat stalls in the first place.

The firm sausage slices, each coated with a honey-like glaze, had a pleasant savoury sweetness riddled with hints of rice wine. I would describe them as a cross between the smooth, chewy texture of Taiwanese sausages and the distinct flavour profile of lup cheong.

Overall, they were decent; neither impressive nor inedible. However, I did wish for the slices to be more substantial, as the ones I was given provided an underwhelming mouthfeel that detracted from their potential.

Ho Bee Roasted Food - Gravy

Beyond the roasted meat, one aspect of the stall that was particularly laudable to me was their service.

For one, we were served a generous plate of gravy, which we liberally doused over the Rice (S$0.80) that we ordered to pair with the roasted meat. This addition wasn’t only a thoughtful gesture; the luscious gravy was gob-smacking in its own right. With gentle yet robust notes of garlic balanced out by sweet, herbal undertones, it served as a perfect complement to the plain white rice.

Ho Bee Roasted Food - ABC Soup

What’s more, we were free to help ourselves to complimentary bowls of ABC soup. This comforting concoction was both light and flavourful, enhanced by the natural sweet-savoury essence of a medley of corn, soybeans, pork bones and potatoes. What a wholesome and nourishing way to complete the meal!

Final Thoughts

Ho Bee Roasted Food - Overview

You can never go wrong with a hearty roasted meat feast, and Ho Bee Roasted Food was no exception to this rule. My dining partner and I left the food centre with our plates polished and stomachs satisfied.

So, has my favourite roasted meat stall been ousted from its throne? Honestly, no. Regardless, that doesn’t mean I think any less of Ho Bee and the wonderful roasts they offer. I’d also say that their queues are worth braving.

While I found the Roasted Pork Ribs and Roasted Sausage somewhat underwhelming, I thoroughly enjoyed the Roasted Pork and especially the succulent Roasted Duck. You’ll be seeing me skip straight to the Roasted Pork & Roasted Duck Rice (S$5) on my next visit. Hopefully, I’ll also get to try the Char Siew I missed out on this time around.

Expected damage: S$3.50 – S$8.80 per pax

11 best roast meat stalls in Singapore for a shiok meal

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Our Rating: 4 / 5

Ho Bee Roasted Food

628 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4, Ang Mo Kio 628 Market, #01-84, Singapore 560628

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Ho Bee Roasted Food

628 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4, Ang Mo Kio 628 Market, #01-84, Singapore 560628

Telephone: +65 9227 5608
Operating Hours: 11am - 9pm (Thu to Tue), Closed on Wed
Telephone: +65 9227 5608

Operating Hours: 11am - 9pm (Thu to Tue), Closed on Wed

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