We tried Singapore’s worst-rated Wanton Mee stall

A rating of 3.3 stars out of 5 isn’t that bad, right? Hey, I would have been delighted with a 67% score on some of my uni exams. S.S.S (Soon Soon Soon) Wanton Noodles at Lorong 40 Geylang has that rating from close to 250 reviews (at time of writing). I decided to try it for our Worst Rated series after receiving some anecdotal feedback.

Scanning the most recent reviews, I found a number of positive ones over the past 3 months (an almost 50-50 balance between good and bad). Looking further to the past year, I found that there was an abysmal drop-off— about 75% negative feedback. Did they drastically improve of late or was there an artificial boost going on?

sss - stall location

There was only one way to find out. It was a hot, bright afternoon when I made my way down to S.S.S Wanton Noodles. It’s easy to find, situated right on the corner of the main road. Despite the prime location for accessibility, there was no crowd. As my dining partner and I parked alongside the curb, we received some searching looks from the 5 patrons inside.

2 of them were having lunch; at the only other occupied table, 3 others sat smoking and talking, no food to be seen. The place itself is quite run-down and the sole staff member was a woman with a formidable look.

sss - stall front

Her service was pleasant enough, though, quite unlike the rudeness I’d read about elsewhere. There was a bit of a language barrier but she did her job quickly and correctly, so credit where credit is due. I baulked at the sight of the utensils and trays; they didn’t seem to have been changed for a long time.

There were 15 dishes and 12 sides listed and pictured on the signboard. I was here for the one that occupied the biggest space on the board.

We tried Singapore’s worst-rated Chinese restaurant

What I tried at  S.S.S Wanton Noodles

sss - wanton noodles and soup bowl

I had heard and read quite a bit about the wanton mee here, particularly the Signature Wanton Noodle (Dry) (S$4). Despite being their signature dish, it has been savaged by many a diner. However, I was keeping an open mind based on the generally nice service we had received.

We did not expect much for the grand price of S$4 but the portion did look tiny when it arrived. Just on looks, I would say that the Signature Wanton Noodle (Dry) is average  value for money.

sss1 - close up of fried wanton and dumpling

Breaking it down, there were 2 small fried wantons, 6 medium-sized pieces of char siew, and a few leaves of cai xin mixed with the noodles. There was perhaps a tad too much sauce at the base of the bowl and its acrid smell was a bit distracting. The bowl of soup had 2 boiled wantons floating in it, the same size as their cousins in the noodles.

I found that the noodles clumped together heavily when I pulled at them. This usually happens when they are not cooked right and I found them to be slightly chewy when I ate. Perhaps the problem was a lack of oil also played a hand.

The overuse of sauce was a problem for taste as well as smell— it overwhelmed the other flavours in the bowl. I would have preferred the sauce to be slightly sweeter as I find it is a better companion to the sweetish char siew.

sss - noodles and char siew closeup

Some diners have complained that the char siew they were served was stale. I didn’t find that to be the case. It wasn’t the freshest meat, given the dullish colour and lack of ‘springiness’ but, taste-wise, it was reasonably good. Each bite balanced out the strong tang from the sauce.

The fried wantons were average, at best. I suppose there was the amount of filling you would expect from a S$4 bowl. As with the char siew, there was nothing shockingly bad but it was an unmemorable affair.

sss - dumpling soup

My bowl of soup remained largely untouched— it was just too hot a day to indulge in any more. I did nibble at the pair of boiled wantons but I prefer the crispy ones more.

Final thoughts

The Signature Wanton Noodle (Dry) at S.S.S Wanton Noodles isn’t a value-for-money option. By the portion size and ingredients, I would expect it to cost no more than S$3. Factor in the quality of the food and the location, and this isn’t going to be one of the top contenders for my birthday celebrations.

Over the course of this Worst Rated series, I have rarely found myself rating stalls lower than their Google score. This is one of the rare occasions that I will— it was a super average affair, so my rating is a full star lower at 2.5.

What  S.S.S Wanton Noodles does have going for it is that it’s open 24 hours a day. I am sure that it gets the lion’s share of its daily business in the early hours of the morning, especially on weekends. So, if you are looking for a cheap meal in the middle of the night after you’ve spent all your salary on clubbing, you just may end up here.

Expected damage: S$4 per pax

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S.S.S. Wanton Noodles

1 Lorong 40 Geylang, Singapore 398047

Our Rating 2.5/5

S.S.S. Wanton Noodles

1 Lorong 40 Geylang, Singapore 398047

Operating Hours: 24 hrs

Operating Hours: 24 hrs