food

Mun Theng Fang Rojak, Whampoa: This is what all rojak should be like

Last Updated: May 14, 2021

Written by Nicole Lam

I think salads get a bad rap for being boring and tasting like rabbit food. I don’t know who came up with that narrative. But somewhere along the road to ubiquitous kale salads and celery juice, we decided that salads, while good for you, compromise too much on taste. To that, I say, you’ve clearly never had blue cheese dressing, and it shows.

Storefront of Mun Theng Fang

All my duties as the unofficial PR manager for salads started when I saw Mun Theng Fang Rojak’s byline on their stall, ‘Singapore Blended Chinese Salad’. It made me chortle and agree that if there was any kind of salad that I wouldn’t mind having, again and again, it was this. Plus, anything with wedge lettuce doused with copious amounts of blue cheese dressing.

Like many local dishes that have achieved canonical status as a definitive piece of Singapore’s hawker food, rojak is a special one. The kerfuffle of ingredients that make up this dish is simple and wholly ordinary. First, you have Chinese turnip, pineapple, cucumber, and crispy you tiao, to name a few. Then, it’s drizzled in a sticky, sweet sauce made of pungent prawn paste that’s brightened with limes and piquant torched ginger flower.

That’s for the Chinese variety; Indian rojak is a slightly different ball game. While I’m always on the hunt for the best Indian rojak, we can just concern ourselves with Chinese rojak today.

What I tried 

Whampoa Hawker Centre is one of those hawker centres that are notorious for having decorated stalls. So if you ever want to be spoiled for choice, it would be here. I say this because Mun Theng Fang is not the only rojak stall at the hawker centre.

While the other stall is more popular, rojak connoisseurs would tell you that Mun Theng Fang has the edge over this other stall. A simple portion of rojak sets you back only S$4 and goes up as you add to and customise it.

Many people appreciate Mun Theng Fang because they grill their you tiao and cuttlefish over charcoal. That’s why you’ll smell the rich, aromatic perfume of fresh cuttlefish wafting from the stall as you wait for your rojak. Like many stalls, each order of rojak is made-to-order so that everything is crisp and fresh.

Close up of plate of rojak

The elderly uncle at the stall sports a smart comb-over and works with practised ease. It’s a slight wait for my plate of rojak, but like the customers before me, we wait patiently for it. Finally, the styrofoam plate arrives, and it’s an amalgamation of vegetables and fruits blanketed with a thick, syrupy sauce and showered with crushed peanuts.

A good plate of rojak is judged solely on the sum of its parts. A limp cucumber and the whole thing might get a disgruntled meh. However, since everything is made-to-order, the cucumbers and Chinese turnips are crunchy, crisp, and juicy.

Toothpick holding up youtiao

Of course, grilling your you tiao just adds a slight smokiness and tantalising crunch, which gives Mun Theng Fang that leg up. The same goes for the tau pok, which is both crispy and fragrant.

Then, you have to commend Mun Theng Fang in making sure that everything on the plate is evenly coated with their sauce. It’s a little more viscous than what I’m used to but more balanced than the pedestrian rojak sauce—a sauce that’s not overpowered with the prawn paste such that it overshadows the freshness of the ingredients.

Plus, the shavings of the turmeric-like torch ginger flower delivers the subtle spicinesses that’s addictive enough for a second mouthful. Before I knew it, the plate was clean. As someone who was somewhat ambivalent about rojak, this was a win.

Final thoughts

Plate of rojak

Admittedly, as a writer for a digital publication, there is a dictionary of buzzwords to get our readers clicking. While I’m not going to divulge all my secrets, one of them is this whole ‘hidden gem’ phrase.

Yes, it’s clickbait sometimes. However, while Mung Theng Fang is nothing hidden, it is a gem indeed. A rojak that ticks all the boxes and continues to haunt my lunch daydreams; this one is precious indeed.

Expected damage: From S$4 a portion

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Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Mun Theng Fang

90 Whampoa Drive, Whampoa Makan Place, #01-87, Singapore 320090

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Mun Theng Fang

90 Whampoa Drive, Whampoa Makan Place, #01-87, Singapore 320090

Operating Hours: 2pm - 9.30pm (Thu to Tue), Closed on Wed

Operating Hours: 2pm - 9.30pm (Thu to Tue), Closed on Wed

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