Last Updated: June 3, 2019
With authentic Cantonese recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, Ho Fook Hei Soy Sauce Chicken (好福气豉油鸡) prides itself on serving up unadulterated Canto classics with love and sincerity.
Located at Great World City, Ho Fook Hei is Joyden’s latest venture. Some of you might be familiar with Joyden — it’s a locally-owned family business that is best known for brands such as Joyden Seafood, Joyden Canton and Joyden Treasures.
What I found particularly interesting about Ho Fook Hei was its name.
Not only does it translate to “prosperity and good fortune” in Cantonese, but it was also missing the word “Joyden”, which is present in all its other restaurants’ names.
Upon asking, I found out it was because this was Joyden’s first casual-dining concept and it wanted to focus on its pride and glory, the rose wine soy sauce chicken, rather than its original name.
With over 106 seats in the restaurant, Ho Fook Hei’s decor was a good mix between traditional and modern, with solid and sleek marble-patterned table tops and leather seats lining the space.
What I also liked were the larger-than life illustrations that filled the walls. Upon closer inspection, I realised all the drawings depicted how Ho Fook Hei’s time-honoured Specialty Rose Wine Soy Sauce Chicken came to be.
There were even gorgeous drawings of chickens being braised in a myriad of herbs and chefs cooking up a storm in kitchens.
The Specialty Rose Wine Soy Sauce Chicken (S$35/whole, S$19/half) was succulent and incredibly tasty, with a unique umami broth that had a sweet floral fragrance.
The chickens are brined overnight which helps to keep the chicken tender. Braised for an entire day in a special home-aged soy sauce with over a dozen Chinese herbs and spices, this gives the chicken its beautiful caramel coat, which was delightfully springy and taut.
Prior to being served, top quality rose wine imported from Hong Kong is added carefully to the braising liquid, so the rose-like aroma remains while the alcohol is dissipated. Ho Fook Hei called this rose wine sauce “liquid gold”.
I absolutely loved the chicken. It was soft and silky, with a tinge of firmness and springiness, and I bit into each piece easily. Flavour-wise, the chicken was naturally sweet and had a tinge of saltiness from the soy sauce.
Surprisingly enough, the floral flavours were very subtle when I ate the chicken meat alone, but as I slurped on the “liquid gold” itself, I could taste notes of tangy plum and star anise really clearly.
I was told that Ho Fook Hei retains the same pot of braising liquid and the chefs simply top it up with more flavour every day, thus becoming more full-bodied and flavourful as the days go by.
Be sure to order Ho Fook Hei’s Egg Noodles (S$3.80) to go with your rose wine soy sauce chicken!
Immediately, it reminded me of how traditional egg noodles would be cooked in Hong Kong — thin, slippery yet springy, and cooked al dente.
The noodles were an absolute delight. Despite being so simple (it’s literally just egg noodles, sauce and blanched vegetables), Ho Fook Hei elevated this one-dish meal by tossing its egg noodles with its signature “liquid gold”.
As a result, each mouthful of egg noodles had a nice balance of flavours. It was savoury and sweet, while the noodles had a good bite despite being slippery and smooth.
If you prefer to have your chicken served together with your noodles, you can order its Specialty Rose Wine Soy Sauce Chicken Noodles (S$8.80) instead.
When Ho Fook Hei’s Honey-Glazed Black Barbeque Pork Belly (S$13) arrived at my table, I knew straight away that it was a crowd favourite.
Just look at the shimmering and glossy dark coat, with a layer of tender pink meat peeking from under each slice!
The char siew was fatty and luscious, with a distinct caramel-like glaze on the outside that was deliciously smoky and nutty, with a sticky-sweet finish.
Looking at how promising the char siew looked, I hoped that the meat would’ve melted in my mouth, but the meat was a little more on the firm side, with a nice bite to it.
A definite must-order when you’re at Ho Fook Hei, the Red Grouper Fish Fillet Congee (S$9.80) is great for sharing as it serves two to three pax.
Served with thickly-sliced fresh red grouper, this comforting staple is topped with ginger, spring onions and coriander leaves.
As someone who grew up having porridge on weekends, I’ve got to say, Ho Fook Kei dishes out a stunning bowl of congee. It uses a mixture of short grain rice to achieve a silky texture, so it wasn’t too watery nor thick.
The congee was comforting and soothing, like the kind I’d have on a rainy day or if I’m feeling under the weather. It was slightly starchy and the congee was cooked till the rice granules itself were slightly disintegrated, the way an authentic bowl of Hong Kong congee should be.
I loved how the slices of fresh red grouper went with the thinly sliced ginger — it was appetising, whetting my appetite while warming my tummy at the same time.
As Joyden is a well-known seafood restaurant in Singapore, it’s no surprise that it continued to sell several of its best-sellers at Ho Fook Hei.
One of my personal favourites was the Cod Fillet Steamed with Old Ginger Sauce (S$24.80). The dish is topped off with thinly-sliced spring onions and fried ginger slices.
The cod was buttery and smooth, with a nice mild spicy kick from the finely-grated old ginger.
I especially loved that there was a nice balance of flavours in this dish alone, with the sweetness from the fish, salty soy sauce, and spice and zest from the old ginger.
You can also choose to order the Steamed Cod Fish (S$24.80) in three other sauces: Ho Fook Hei’s Signature Nonya Assam Sauce, Teochew Style or Superior Soy Sauce.
End off your meal on a soothing note with the Red Bean Soup with Aged Mandarin Peel (S$4.50).
This classic Chinese dessert was warm and comforting, and had a strong citrus burst from the aged mandarin peel that helped to cut through the thickness of the dessert.
There wasn’t anything fancy about dining at Ho Fook Hei — and I say this in a good way. I felt like I was right at home, sipping on warm soup while snacking on classic Chinese dishes like wonton noodles, char siew and steamed chicken.
Ho Fook Hei’s version of the rose wine soy sauce chicken was stellar and absolutely spot-on in terms of flavours and textures, and it went super well with the Hong Kong-style noodles. The entire meal left me feeling comforted and satisfied.
Expected Damage: S$8.80 – S$30 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Ho Fook Hei Soy Sauce Chicken (好福气豉油鸡)
1 Kim Seng Promenade, #01-141, Great World City, Singapore 237994
1 Kim Seng Promenade, #01-141, Great World City, Singapore 237994