Updated: Nam Sing Legendary Hokkien Mee: Old Airport Road Food Centre Part 1 of 9

Updated pics at the new Old Airport Road Food Centre

I think it is appropriate to start this nine part series on the Old Airport Road Food Centre with the very famous Nam Sing Hokkien Mee which is regarded as the best Hokkien Mee in many a makankakis' books. Old Airport Road Food Centre is an amazing Food Centre that has many good things to eat. I had a list of 16 stalls that are recommended by the forummers!

I was a little apprehensive that day because I had tasted this Hokkien Mee before and it did not leave me any lasting impression. BUT on the day that it mattered most, I am happy to report that the Hokkien Mee came through with flying colours!

Oh yes, all four of us felt the Hokkien Mee was exceptionally good on that day! Nam Sing Style of Hokkien Mee is the dry type with much of the thin gravy being absorbed by the Noodles and the thin Bee Hoon. Some say that the best way to eat the noodles is to Tar Pau (doggy bag) because by the time you reach home, the noodles would have absorbed all the gravy.

The noodles and bee hoon were Al Dente and had a very pang (savoury) taste with each bite. It was so good I was tempted to finish the whole plate, but I had to remind myself that we had other things to eat.

If you ever wondered what a Hokkien Mee uncle likes to eat for lunch, the answer is Fish Porridge. He told me that he was Hokkien but his mother is Teochew when I remarked that his Teochew was very Peh (Pure). Other hawkers told me he is actually Teochew because you can't rent a stall in Old Airport Road Food Centre unless you are Teochew. (As you will find out later, most of the famous hawkers featured in this Food Centre happen to be Teochew)

Anyway, I asked Uncle what was the secret of his Hokkien Mee. Did he use very special prawns? Nope, just good prawns and ikan bilis (Anchovies) in the stock, he said. He told me that it boils down to good control of the wok fire. The trick is to quickly seal the noodles or else there will be a bad Kee smell to the noodles!

New pic taken at the renovated Old Airport Road FC

Update: 11 Jul 2007
It's been a while since my post on Nam Sing Hokkien Mee and in that time I had the opportunity to taste a few other famous Hokkien Mees. With the opening of the New Old Airport Road Food Centre, I had in mind to review the ratings for this particular Hokkien Mee stall because it does stand out from the rest. I have been back to eat the Hokkien Mee a few times between the 2 posts and it has been one cut above the rest.

At yesterday's tasting session however, the quality faltered a little. Perhaps the uncle is getting used to his new environment. It was still a wonderful plate of Hokkien Mee but it just lacked the extra special taste that day. However, despite the occasional inconsistency, I feel it is fair to up the rating for this stall to 4.6/5 for being a cut above the rest.


There is a reason why he is the Makansutra Legend for Hokkien Mee and why some people really put out their necks to say his is the best. After almost one year and many different Hokkien Mees later, I am now one of them!

Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee
Old Airport Road Food Centre (Renovated)

7am to about 8pm when everything sold out
Closed as and when Uncle feels tired


superfinefeline said...

Ha ha! U're tooo kind to put my weight down as 45kg! :P

Thanx for being so sweet to send me home in ze pouring rain. :)

Anonymous said...

This stall serves the traditional style of Hokkien mee. Notice that they serve only cut chilli. The boss insist of only selling it this way as that was how it was eaten during the olden days. Its true that sometimes the taste is not consistent. I think the best time is to eat when there is less crowd.

Holy Drummer said...

wah lao got project so I missed the outing =(

Yeah and to note is that they use only cut red chilli instead of the usual sambal paste. Surprisingly enhances the taste!

One of my favourite hokkien mees =)

Jess said...

What a timing! Went there last evening around 6.45pm, just on time to see them cleaning up...:(

Does the stall finish that early on weekends too? Thanks!

ahbeR said...

Went there on Monday night. Think it was already closed. So I went to queue for Lao Fu Zi's Char Kuey Teow cos 'many pple queue mah, must be nice, so I queue oso lor'.

Turn out it was nothing fantastic and not worth the 25min wait.

I noticed that among the Hokkien Mee entries, there is one that is not featured.

Wisma Atria's Tai Hong Hokkien Mee is defintely a must try for everyone who passes by Wisma Atria. There is a queue EVERY single time. Serves $4, $6, $8/&10 (i think).

It is served over one of those brown leaves and the taste is consistent. The sambal chilli is very nice also, I always ask for more chilli.

Whenever Im at Wisma Atria foodcourt this is the only thing I eat. But be prepared to queue!

It was one of the stalls that was invited to fly over and cook for New York's Singapore Day Food Fest.

Highly reccomended.

Damien said...

My favourite Hokkien Mee :) If the Hokkien Mee is sold out, I'd have the pork porridge instead.

kp&jean said...

i tink the Wisma's Wing Tai Hokkien mee std is v inconsistent...the 1st few times i ate when it juz opened at Food Republic..its was really gd..but after a few more times..the std really dropped v fast..

i tink the reason is tat they fry 1 big wok of HKM at 1 time..so somehow its not as nice..

Rawlinson said...

For my fav plate of HKM, you can try the one at beach road hawker center (army market) level one. The name is 'Hai Nan Fu Jian Fried prawn noodles' located in btw a chicken rice stall which is also pretty good and fruit stall.

It served the dry version same as the nam sing but in my personal opinion I think its better than nam sing.

Holy Drummer said...

imho, Wisma Atria's HKM is overrated - they cook en masse. =x nothing to shout about, tastewise.

James said...

lol, about what Rawlinson said..., i have to add in something, $3 & $4 portion is pathetic, eating $4 is like eating $2 elsewhere. if u really want to eat must order the $5 portion.

James said...

Just went down yesterday to have lunch. WOW, the hokkien mee is cook to perfection. But one disappointment though is i prefer usual chili paste. I will definity return to eat again. Best time to go will be around 2pm where there is less Q.

pickles said...

I went there on Saturday evening at 5.30 pm and of all days, he was CLOSED!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I've always played cat and mouse with the stall at old airport road. only tried it 2x and its fabuoulous..the rest, it was always closed...sigh... miss it so much!

major key said...

I went to old airport rd for lunch and found that they "tar pao" this hokkien mee beforehand (if you want takeaway). I was a bit disappointed but I guess that's what you get when the stall is "uber" popular.

ice said...

Hello Les,
Any idea if uncle is closed on 1st & 15th of the lunar calendar? Is that why he's not opened on those aforementioned "ad hoc" days?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I lived in Singapore during my teenage years. And I miss what I used to call "Fujian Sia Mien"...and finally to find your blog showing the best place to get it..I'm returning in Dec, and I've noted Old Airport Road for lunch! If you know the recipe, can you post it up too?

Anonymous said...

Ate this a couple of times. First time it was completely unremarkable. Second time it was above average but not great. No crispy pork lard which I love. Probably inconsistent. I ate Geylang Lorong 29 HKM 3 times. All 3 times were shiokalicious. Yummy :)

Fanatic said...

For the best experience in eating this hokkien mee.. do the followings:
1) Ta Bao and bring home to eat, OR
2) If you have to eat there, then when it is served to you, you need to endure and wait for at least 5 mins before eating and at the same time stirring the noodles repeatedly to make sure that the gravy are well mixed with the noodle. After 5 mins, the noodles would have soaked up all the gravy and now you can start to enjoy the best hokkien mee in Singapore.

Another "Best Practice" advice from the Fanatic :)

Mr Round said...

A couple of months ago, I came across your post and wanted to try it.

On a rainy Thursday, after lessons, I took a bus from Yio Chu Kang to the Old Airport Road Hawker Centre.

After a while, I finally managed to locate it...but I didn't see the old uncle there. There were a couple of middle-aged guys there and appeared to be discussing something when I approached them.

After paying the money, one of the guy grabbed a pre-prepared plate for HKM and shoved it towards me.

Taste rather soggy. The "sauce" existed in the form of water-like substance, while the noodles tasted like regular "mee fen."

Was kinda disappointed by my first visit to the stall. Maybe it's because the Uncle wasn't there, or maybe I went to the stall at a wrong time (estimated to be around 3.15 pm?)

On the other hand...maybe I should have gone home and rest (I live in Yishun) instead of taking the long bus ride to that area, since I was feeling a bit light in the head that day.

Still, it was not a total loss, since I went to get my fix of Mr Wong's Seremban Beef Noodles after that.

Can anyone give me suggestions regarding which day and which timeframe would I stand a better chance of tasting the real quality?

Thank you and hope all of you will have a great new year ahead.

With regards,
Chris, second year Media student.

ieat said...

Unfortunately it is a bit of a hit and miss with Nam Sing. When the uncle is there and not too many people, you can get a nice Hokkien Mee. It's been about 50% success rate for me.

Mr Round said...

Ahh..I see...well, guess I would have to try my luck again next time...before the older generation of hawkers all fade away.

Thanks for the reply ieat.

All the best for the year ahead.


Chris said...

Personally I don't like the "dry" version.

Prefer it with lots of gravy. That's why after I tried the version at Old Airport, I had no idea what was the big deal.

My favourite stall used to be at Newton, facing the carpark, with prawns shelled. I am not sure if they are still there as I have not been to Newton for a long time.

Another thing I want to comment is Hokkien Mee must eat in Opeh leaf for extra shiokness. But not the tinnie-winnie ones that some hawkers cut and put at the bottom of plate.

zhouzi said...

Chris, maybe you would like to read ieat post here http://ieatishootipost.sg/2008/10/thye-hong-hokkien-mee-have-hokkien-mee.html. Perhaps that is the stall you mentioned.

jon marc said...

yesterday 1+pm i queue for 15min (chef was just frying up a new wokful of mee - damn impressive to watch him!) for a takeaway order (no prawns no sotong).

ate it around 4pm. cold but amazingly dry (the paper wrapper was just a little bit damp) and delicious.

i can imagine things can only get better while hot (and for those who like the seafood and chilli, definitely more shiok).

having eaten the hokkien mee at tanglin halt FC, and some others, i can say this is first one that has totally won me over. im a fan from day 1!

Danesh said...

I stopped Hokkien Meeing (too often) after I saw this at Kim's!


Heh :-) But can't totally wean off lah!

georginapng said...

My friend tapao for me last week and even when its cold, it is still delicious so I can imagine how it'd taste like when its hot & steaming straight from the wok. Guess I gotta make my way there sometime soon!

Anonymous said...

I went twice but still no chance to eat. It's either an off day or off to a holiday. When exactly is he opened?

M said...

Went there today at about 15:30 to be told by some middle aged guy that they just sold out. Well, Chuan Kee Satay wasn't far...

stinkingjellyfish said...

was there yesterday and it wasn't the old uncle frying =(

ieat said...

Must have taken a break. Hope he is still there normally!


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