Last Updated: May 13, 2019
Hor fun is one of those underrated dishes that are close to Singaporeans’ hearts, but not the first thing that comes to their mind. Nonetheless, the silky smooth noodles and rich gravy is one that is always so satisfying.
Hor fun is also a versatile dish which goes well with most proteins such as seafood and beef, with the perfect kick when enjoyed with sambal. However, getting hor fun right is no easy feat. For the flavour and texture to be great, optimal cooking time and control of the fire is imperative. Being a fan of hor fun myself, I decided to take up the challenge of sourcing 14 hor fun dishes so hor jiak you will not hor-der anything else.
A perfect option in town, especially for those who need an affordable yet fuelling meal after loads of walking and shopping, Maddie’s Kitchen is conveniently located at Far East Plaza, serving up delectable curry rice and seafood dishes.
I personally love their food here, and always get the Seafood Hor Fun (S$8.80). This dish is served with a plethora of fresh and delicious seafood, but the hor fun itself is a winner.
The hor fun was velvety smooth as I picked it up but retained a nice chewy bite. I love how full of wok hei it was, as evident from the charred bits. Its smokiness complemented the silky eggy gravy that was infused with seafood flavour. If you are looking for a hearty plate of Seafood Hor Fun, it probably doesn’t get better than this.
Located in Toa Payoh, Hao Kee Seafood Deluxe is one of the many zi char stalls in the area. They differentiate themselves from others with their delicious dishes, which is evident from the many hungry and waiting diners that arrive even before the peak dining period.
With most tables ordering the same few items, I had to get my hands on one of their popular items, the Chye Poh Hor Fun (S$15/large). This teochew-style dish intrigued me as I love chye poh on my chwee kueh so I had high expectations for this.
When it arrived, I was slightly dubious of its lack of colour and gravy. However, I can attest that it tasted better than it looked. The wok hei was very evident in the dish, and I liked the smokiness without it being overly oily.
The chye poh was indeed a heavenly addition, sweet and crunchy that went really well with the dish. This combination may sound odd to some, but it definitely worked.
Hao Kee Seafood Deluxe: 203 Toa Payoh North, #01-1097, Singapore 310203 | Opening hours: 11am – 2pm & 5pm – 10.30pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue | Tel: +65 8688 1382 | Facebook
Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hoon is conveniently located in a coffee shop just a street away from Star Vista. You know it’s a good one when there are queues even on a weekday.
They are famous for their signature XO Fish Head Bee Hoon, evidently, but what I love from them is their San Loh Hor Fun (S$6). The hor fun here differs from the rest as it is slighter thicker, giving it a chewier bite.
The hor fun noodles are first fried before being tossed with the delicious fish gravy, fresh fish slices and crunchy bean sprouts. I liked how there was a significant amount of wok hei in this dish, which complemented the sweet and gooey fish gravy.
The fish slices were flakey with a pleasantly sweet aftertaste. Coupled with the fragrant garlic bits in the noodles, this dish had many layers of flavours and made for a very satisfying meal.
Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hoon: 19A Dover Crescent, Singapore 131019 | Opening hours: 11.30am – 2pm & 5 – 11pm (Daily) | Tel: +65 6778 3691 | Facebook
Here’s one for the Easties as this hidden gem is located at Downtown East in EHub! Yam’s Kitchen serves up traditional Chinese zi char dishes with a unique twist.
I had to feature Yam’s Kitchen Two Ways Hor fun 严家鸳鸯河粉 (S$8.80/small, S$20.80/large). It is exactly what it is named, with half the hor fun deep-fried instead of being cooked the usual way.
It may sound slightly strange but it was absolutely delicious. The deep fried hor fun noodles were piled on top of the usual hor fun.
If I didn’t know better, I would have thought they were chunky crisps as they tasted exactly like it. It was salty and crunchy, which gave the dish more texture. I also liked the evident smokiness from the wok hei and the fragrance of the garlic-infused in the gravy.
Yam’s Kitchen: 1 Pasir Ris Close, E!Hub Downtown East, #04-101, Singapore 519599 | Opening hours: 11am – 3pm & 5.30pm – 10pm (Mon to Fri), 11.30am – 10pm (Sat & Sun) | Tel: +65 6584 5884 | Website
I’m not sure if fried hor fun is a thing in the East, or the people there are just more creative. Jin Hock Seafood Restaurant in Tampines is one of the well-known zi char places for those living around the neighbourhood.
Similarly, they serve up a unique item that I had to try, which was the Double Flavoured Hor Fun (S$15). With three thumbs up beside it on the menu, I was pretty sure I was in for some good food.
Indeed I was, with the deep-fried hor fun layered on top of the smooth and silky hor fun. The portion was huge, with loads of clams and leafy greens studded throughout the normal hor fun. I liked that the crispy deep-fried hor fun reminded me of crackers at first bite.
Yet, it was chewy in the middle which was reminiscent of the normal hor fun.
The smooth and silky hor fun at the base was equally as tasty, with a good amount of wok hei. Coupled with the rich seafood broth and 20 fresh clams, this was such a steal.
Jin Hock Seafood Restaurant: 844 Tampines Street 82, Street 82 Coffee House, Singapore 520844 | Opening hours: 11.30am – 11.30pm (Daily)
There are so many variations of hor fun these days I can barely keep up. Fu Man Seafood Zi Char (福满海鲜) in Hougang does their hor fun in a unique way, claypot-style. You can choose your spice level (less spicy, spicy or spicier), topped with loads of seafood.
Their Claypot Hor Fun (S$10/small, S$18/regular, S$25/large) may not be on their menu but it’s one of their signatures.
It was served sizzling hot with a mountain of seafood. Upon noticing the raw eggs plopped on top, I gave it a good mix. The hor fun resulted in a creamy consistency with a tinge of spice from the stock. I liked that the stock was rich and flavourful, perhaps attributed to the plethora of seafood added inside the claypot itself.
The noodles were silky smooth and whilst it was overall spicy, I could not stop myself from having mouthful after mouthful. It was that addictive and appetising. The wok hei was also evident, and I liked how the claypot managed to keep our food warm for a prolonged period.
Fu Man Seafood Zi Char 福满海鲜: 703 Hougang Avenue 2, Singapore 530703 | Opening hours: 12pm – 10.30pm (Daily) | Tel: +65 6913 7087
This is one of the more popular hor fun stalls. Located at Hong Lim Food Centre, Tuck Kee (Ipoh) Sah Hor Fun 德记(怡保)沙河粉 is easily noticed from their snaking queues, especially during lunchtime hours.
I had to try their CrayFish Prawn Hor Fun (S$8). To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from their ingredients considering the very affordable price. I was very surprised when I saw three whole crayfish halves and three huge prawns.
Not only are they large in size but extremely fresh and delicious too. I removed the meat from the shell easily, and the crayfish even had roe in them which gave the dish a satisfying crunchy texture.
I also appreciated that the prawns were already de-shelled, which meant more effort from the owners. The prawns were succulent and crunchy with a tinge of sweetness, which went well with the glistening flavour gravy.
The hor fun noodles themselves were velvety smooth and had a nice fragrance from the fried shallots. They were cooked to perfection, which also signified good control of timing and fire. These are only achievable with loads of experience, which they evidently have.
Tuck Kee (Ipoh) Sah Hor Fun (德记(怡保)沙河粉): 531A Upper Cross Street, Singapore 051531 | Opening hours: 11am – 2.45pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun | Tel: +65 9826 2083
Yishun Park Hawker Centre may be a popular choice for loads of new eateries with slightly more modern food choices. Xin Long Xing is one of them. While they do have traditional options such as their signature Seafood White Bee Hoon, something else caught my eye.
The Chilli Crab Crayfish Hor Fun (Prices vary accordingly to number and size of crayfish available). We were told the usual price range of this dish is between S$12 – S$20. Our plate of Chilli Crab Crayfish Hor Fun was priced at $13 with two pieces of crayfish.
They were kinda tiny but I decided not to judge it based on its size but taste. Indeed they were small, but their freshness made up for it. The meat was very easy to remove from the shell, crunchy with a hint of sweetness in the aftertaste.
The hor fun noodles were well cooked too, although they did have the tendency to clump up. Thankfully, the viscous sauce was absolutely delightful as I had to mix the hor fun very thoroughly. Studded with bits of egg whites, it was both sweet and spicy.
It actually matched up to restaurant standard chilli crab sauce. While this wasn’t one of the best hor fun, the uniqueness of it does take it up a notch.
Xin Long Xing: 51 Yishun Avenue 11, Yishun Park Hawker Centre, #01-28, Singapore 768867 | Opening hours: 11am – 9pm (Daily) | Tel: +65 6221 0331 | Facebook
This may be slightly out of the way for many, but trust me when I say it’s worth the travel. Kranji is a place that’s away from the crowds where Bistro Gardenasia resides. It’s very different from the cafes we are used to, with a farm stay and event space all in the mix too.
Not only is the vibe and ambience starkly different and calming from our usual fast-paced lifestyle, but the food is also very different. They had Char-grilled Ribeye Hor Fun (S$20), something I’ve never tried before. I was sceptical but more curious than anything else.
I was glad I got it. The portion justified itself, with a huge slab of steak layered on top of the hor fun. While the flavours were atypical of a usual hor fun dish, it actually worked really well together. Sweet, salty and peppery all at once plus the tender and juicy meat, this was worth the S$20.
Another version of a zhng-ed up zi char dishes? Yes please! I had to try them at Tang Kay Kee, who are popular for their Fish Head Bee Hoon but offer a small range of other zi char bowls as well.
I love black bean sauce and ordered their Black Bean Beef Hor Fun (S$7). It came with a sous vide egg and a side of crispy enoki mushroom which made it look very instagrammable.
It tasted as good as it looked, with tender slices of beef that had a distinct smokey and peppery taste to it. As I mixed in the perfectly oozy yolk, it gave the savoury black bean an additional creaminess.
I liked that it took the spice level down a notch and enhanced the wok hei. Thumbs up to the crispy enoki that added a textural variation to the silky hor fun noodles too.
Tang Kay Kee: 531A Upper Cross Street, Hong Lim Food Centre, #01-70, Singapore 051531 | Opening hours: 11am – 2.30pm & 5pm – 10pm (Daily) | Tel: +65 8157 2641 | Facebook
This is a more traditional take on hor fun as compared to some on this list, but equally delectable. Shi Hui Yuan Hor Fun Speciality 实惠园驰名香滑河粉 is located at Mei Ling Market & Food Centre, which is home to some pretty good grub in Queenstown.
The hor fun here is awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand, so I subconsciously planted some standards in my head as I ordered the Mushroom With Chicken And Duck (S$4). The first scene that hit me was the generous use of Chinese wine, which gave a nice balance of sweetness from the savoury gravy.
I liked that the silky smooth hor fun leaned towards the thin side, which made it easier to eat. They also clung on to the gravy well. This added flavour to the tender chicken and duck meat when eaten in one mouthful. Although the portion of meat was slightly sparse, it was decent for its size.
Shi Hui Yuan Hor Fun Speciality 实惠园驰名香滑河粉:159 Mei Ling Road, #02-33, Singapore 140159 | Opening hours: 8am – 2pm (Thurs to Sun), Closed from Mon to Wed
Westies, you’re in luck for this is one of the best hor fun I’ve had! Located at Yuhua Village Market And Food Centre, I’m sure this is a familiar place for those who live in Jurong. CAI (财) serves up really good hor fun at an affordable price.
The Beef Hor Fun (S$4.50) is one of the most popular versions, with good reason. Not only are they extremely generous with the ingredients, but they also taste amazing. I liked how the flavourful gooey gravy had a tinge of sweetness that was not overwhelming, which went so well with the thick yet tender slices of beef.
CAI (财): 254 Jurong East Street 24, #01-14, Singapore 600254 | Opening hours: 10.30am – 2.30pm & 5pm – 8.30pm (Daily)
Old Airport Road Food Centre is one of the most popular hawker centres with an abundance of delectable food choices. Hua Ji XO Fish Head Bee Hoon is one of my top choices, with many others feeling the same way too. The long queues speak for themselves, with most people ordering their signature fish head bee hoon soup.
However, their runner-up dish has its fair share of fans as well. Their Sliced Fish Hor Fun (S$4.50) looked pretty good as well, as I ordered it for the first time.
I liked that the hor fun was cooked in dark soy sauce. It gave a nice sweet contrast to the glistening and savoury egg gravy. This was heavier on the palate as compared to other hor fun in this list. However, full-flavoured dishes are my thing so I didn’t really mind.
In addition, the fish slices were thick and fresh with a flakey texture. I enjoyed how the clean tasting fish slices were able to alleviate the richness of the hor fun.
Hua Ji XO Fish Head Bee Hoon: 51 Old Airport Rd, Old Aiport Road Food Centre, #01-118, Singapore 390051 | Opening hours: 12.30pm – 10pm (Fri to Wed), Closed on Thurs
Those who lament that malls do not have delicious hawker standard foods may have to take back your word on this one. Lor Duck:乐峰卤鸭 is helmed by Uncle Tan, the owner of the famous Redhill Lor Duck Rice and Noodles.
He retired in 2017 but now he’s back. I had to try his signature braised duck, and I’m glad to say it’s just as good as I remembered. The meat was succulent, and the skin was melt-in-the-mouth soft.
Their Signature Hor Fun (S$1.80) to pair with the duck and other dishes is available too, in both soup and dry versions. I personally always get the former as I liked the herbal broth that reminded me of kway chap.
In addition, the noodles were thin and silky smooth which made them really easy to eat. They had a nice bite to them as well.
However, the dry version was just as good. The fragrant hae bee was more prominent in this, with complemented the sauce. Savoury without being overly salty and a hint of spice, this made the slightly pricey S$1.80 worth it.
Lor Duck: 3 Simei Street 6, Eastpoint Mall, #01-33, Singapore 528833 | Opening hours: 10am – 10pm (Daily) | Tel: +65 6702 0252
While compiling this list of delectable hor fun places, I have grown to love this local delight even more. Whether it is in hawker centres or slightly posher restaurants, hor fun will always be one of those comforting and satisfying staple dishes.
Have you been to any of these places? If not, let us know where your recommendations for good hor fun are. We’d love to visit them too!