Chia Keng (Che Jian) Hokkien Mee: Now that's what I call traditional HKM!

With Amagada


If you are looking for a truly traditional Hokkien Mee, then this is the place to get it. It's got it all. The opeh leaf, the crunchy pork lard, boiled melt-in-your-mouth belly pork, cut chilli and most importantly, a stock made from Sea Prawns or "Sua Lor" as it is called in Hokkien.

Yes, the taste of farmed prawns still fails to meet up to what God originally created prawns to taste like. When you bite into a "Sua Lor", you can immediately make out that extra sweetness in its flesh which you don't get with the farmed tiger prawns. And when they are used to make the stock, it adds that special old school taste to the Hokkien mee the fills the air with the aroma of anticipation when the Hokkien Mee is being fried.



Chomp Chomp is a Hokkien Mee lover's paradise. Aside from this particular stall and Ah Hock which I blogged about in the previous post, there is yet another stall which is a branch of the famous Kim's which is not bad, but it can never compare with these two owner run stalls.



I think that there are going to be fans of both Hokkien Mees here. I ate both at the same sitting and in my opinion, Chis Keng edges out Ah Hock in terms of the taste of the noodles, the use of sea prawns, the addition of belly pork AND the fact that they have crispy pork lard when you request for it. So for that, it deserves a 4.5/5. And on top of that, their signboard is also quite old school, as is the old man's 555 all cotton T-shirt!

Conclusion

Two great hokkien mees in the one Food Centre! So how many are fans of Chia Keng and how many of Ah Hocks?

Chia Keng (previously Che Jian) Fried Hokkien Mee
Chomp Chomp Food Centre

Left hand side towards the front

Open 5.30pm till 1am

56 comments:

Holy Drummer said...

My sentiments exactly. =)

Anonymous said...

Sounds delish
Is it possible to find a good hokkien mee in Raffles Place area for lunch?

jems said...

holydrummer, shall you organize a chomp chomp sessions that didn't take off the other time again? :)

ieat said...

Make sure you organize it late enough so I can come too!

Yu Ming Lui said...

You had me at "crispy pork lard". Good that there are TWO excellent HKM stalls in Chomp Chomp.

Damien said...

Am a sucker for HKM packed in opeh leaf :)

Between Che Jian & Ah Hock, i still prefer Ah Hock, maybe for sentimental reasons :)

ieat said...

Did Ah Hock use to have crispy pork lard and boild pork belly? Can't really be traditional HKM unless they have those

ladyironchef said...

i love hokkien mee, but chomp chomp is a bit far for me. haha

Holybro said...

Ok Holydrummer is currently in Bangkok looking for ah quahs with his friends hahah!!!

He will be back this coming monday..will duly inform him about considering a makan session to Chomp Chomp!

ieat said...

I hope he comes back still "Holy" or else he might have to just call himself "drummer"

sumosumo said...

ehhhhh....
Holybunny reads this blog too ....

but i was on msn with him this morning.. he said see, no touch...

he is indeed a holy good boy.
haha.

sumosumo said...

ehhhhh....
Holybunny reads this blog too ....

but i was on msn with him this morning.. he said see, no touch...

he is indeed a holy good boy.
haha.

ice said...

You had me at "crispy pork lard" too. Can Dr Les. kindly stop exuding HKM from my computer screen?...

cactuskit said...

Leslie is a HKM siao. ; )

Anyway, you so formal. Just call him Leslie can already. OR uncle also can. Hahahhaha.

ieat said...

Phew, at least he call me Uncle. Other people kena called Adonis, He Man Master of the Universe, Mr Marvel, Renaissance Man and PR Man. Uncle not too bad.

min~* said...

yay. you tried that hokkien mee stall too. i thought i was strange to prefer this lesser known stall than ah hock. :) i wanna eat hkm now! haha.

holybro said...

Tried this HKM once and I immediately fell in love with it. If only I stayed near Serangoon...sigh...another place to fill my stomach!

The HKM is just wet with fresh prawn stock and just absolutely slurpilicious like what HKM should really be!

JENCOOKS said...

Chomp Chomp is a must visit, so long never been there. Is the queue long?

HKM in opeh is so traditional, seeing is believing.

breadpig@rocketmail.com said...

Crispy pork lard?? Should we be eating healthy food nowadays? Hahahah....

I still like my all time favourite: Ah Hock Fried Hokkien Mee!!! :9

sumosumo said...

hey breadpig, dont be such a party pooper..

we talking about hkm here... more lard the merrier..

Chelsea said...

yup i agree with breadpig those lard is so super unhealthy...
im always a fans of ah hock and still prefer ah hock in terms of taste, look, or whatever haahaa

oh btw leslie, im pretty sure those prawns are not "sua loh" because sua loh cant be that red in colour :)

ieat said...

Jencooks, the queue depends on your luck. I was quite unfortunate that day as the guy before me bought 60 packets!! So it took quite a while.

Chelsea, I had a look at the prawn shells and they were the dusky cloudy colour. The flesh is also very sweet. I assumed it was Sua Lor and the Uncle although did not mention Sua Lor said that they were Sea Prawns and not farmed ones. So I could have been mistaken.

To everyone who are planning to go down to Chomp Chomp. Buy from both stalls and eat them side by side on the same seating and let us know what you think. I had Che Jian right after Ah Hock and I can tell you that you can immediately taste the difference in the prawns.

cactuskit said...

60 packets!!! That uncle really jia buay liao. ; )

Les, the colour may not be that dark. Could be your tweaking in photoshop.

ieat said...

Checked the original picture. If anything I lightened it a little because the lighting was a bit dim that day. Looks like we need to organize the ieat Team to go down one day to get consensus between these 2 Hokkien Mees! Next week ok?

Ping said...

Ah, can I come along too (Mong probably too)??? I've never tried this other stall. Have always beeb eating from Ah Hock whenever I go to Chomp Chomp. I can help organise the makan session! Chomp Chomp's so near my place, I can jog to it. Quite familiar with it. have 2 weeks before I leave. Am eating as much as I can... haha

ieat said...

Can start organizing at the forum. Get Holydrummer involved as he was the one who tried to organize one last time. Maybe Wed is a good day.

sumosumo said...

HD is in bangkok lah... we just talking abt it in the comments above

holybunny said...

YAY! Possible makan session around my area. Speaking of Che Jian HKM- this is the stall which holy drummer and I would patronise whenever we are there for some HKM! Besides good food in chomp chomp, they serve excellent beancurd dessert there as well! Simply can't wait :)

cactuskit said...

You should share more in the forum with the gang on what's nice in your area. : )

maxspeed@redline said...

After reading this thread, got such a big craving that i went down today after work. keep thinking about good old taste.

It was great to see the old team back.

Hes got 4 store assistants now. 1 dispatcher, 1 in charge of packeting and 2 serving.

I hantam 3 packets ta pau.

While waiting, I chatted with the stall auntie (his wife ?). She revealed that Ah Hock did not go into retirement. It was a planned break to rent out the stall for 2 years and then start again (He owned the stall). During the 2 years, he did contemplate to go into retirement cos the customer base may not be there when he returned.

His youngest son persuaded him to stage a comeback cos he wants to learn the trade and take over the family business eventually.The family got so many requests for them to come back, he eventually relent. Some of them have been eating the HKM for more then 30 years!

A well deserved break for the 60 year old Ah Hock. Rain or shine, hes been frying the noodles there for 40 years! Started at 18.

By the way, for those that had tried Nam Sing at Old Airport Road. Thats his cousin.

The HKM? By the time I got home, the gravy has been fully infused into the noodles. the taste? POWER!

Ate some, kept some for lunch tomorrow. Thats as much carbo I can take for 1 day.

Holy Drummer said...

Back from Bangkok, and I have to tell you that Thai food is totally awesome and super cheap - well that's another story altogether...

Chomp Chomp this week? It's time to head down!

Holy Drummer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Drummer said...

Alright we are all set to tackle chomp chomp head on. Sign up here at the forum NOW:

http://ieatishootipost.proboards50.com/index.cgi?board=makan&action=display&thread=702&page=2

live2eat said...

aiyo...food must ask me lah, saya LIVE2EAT leh.

FRIED HOKKIEN MEE..oooh...my dear FHKM, my all time favoutire, who else.. AH HOCK of course lah!! Have tried so many incl this Che Jian but this Che Jian no kick leh. Aroma not up to standard and somemore quite soggy and oily. AH HOCK's version is the traditional of the traditional. Even you dont see or eat the porky lard (some pals here are craving for this unhealthy stuff), but the aroma is just there. Morever, you dont feel jelark after eating. That's the best part of it - AH HOCK FRIED HOKKIEN MEE is always Healthy and O-ii-shi.

ieat said...

Well, LIVE2EAT, Team Ieat will be heading for Chomp Chomp tonight (Thurs) to do a group review of both Hokkien Mees. You are most welcome to come and defend your Ah Hock FHKM or as they say at weddings, forever keep your peace. Meeting at 10pm

melvin said...

hey ieat..

so whats e verdict from team ieat? haha

ieat said...

The night we went, they happened to be closed

Anonymous said...

I don't know why, but I ordered this today and they served some kind of chicken rice chilli with the HKM! Really ruined the taste for me siah.

Holy Drummer said...

Anonymous,

Don't you even know what chicken rice chilli is?! Chicken Rice Chilli?! That's dry sambal belachan for you, Che Jian's new improved version is spicier and more kick, my kind of chilli.

Anyway fyi, traditionally HKM is eaten with red chilli slices, not the sambal that we are used to dabbing and mixing in our noodles as influenced by the style of nyonya mee. Machiam mee goreng already.

Towkay just came back from holiday not long ago and he looks rejuvenated. The lard is still solid and the HKM is still power.

Still beats Ah Hock anytime...

sumosumo said...

prankster, HB... ignore.

Anonymous said...

No reason at all for me to prank. Doesn't matter if you think I'm a prankster, but I'm just writing what I experienced that day. I am a chilli nut, and I know for sure that the chilli on my plate that day was not sambal belachan. It wasn't the 'usual' one as reflected in these photos but was a lighter-coloured type of chilli which tasted like thicker chicken rice chilli. Next time will try it with just the chilli slices and will also try Ah Hock, since I prefer mine with more bee hoon.

Holy Drummer said...

I din say you were a prankster.

But with all due respect, your comments as an anonymous does not hold much credibility.

I just had a $5 packet while watching Obama's inauguration ceremony this early morning and the chilli was nothing like you described.

I myself am a chilli nut as well and for you to say it is like chicken rice chilli makes me truly wonder. Your partiality towards Ah Hock makes me wonder further.

jks said...

What partiality? I've never tried Ah Hock so I said I'd like to try. Aiyoh what's so wrong about that? That particular plate of my HKM really wasn't sambal belachan. There is no reason for me to lie. I was only posting as anon because I hadn't gotten around to creating an account (or if an acc can even be created...). My hubby shared the same plate of HKM that day and he was also puzzled by the chilli. Only difference is he liked it, and I didn't.

Sigh, I'm only posting the truth of my personal experience that day. Doesn't matter if nobody believes. Nothing I can do anyway.

ieat said...

Next time take a picture jks! Drummer is an ardent supporter of Che Jian. If it is chicken rice chilli you tasted, perhaps it is only a one off. Anyway, do post a few more comments and after a while people will get to know you. We have a lot of anonymous posters and sometimes their comments have other agendas.

jks said...

Thanks doc. You may be right about it being a one-off. Will bring a P&S camera at least next time. BTW, tried the HKM at Changi Village recently. Quite interesting that it was a majority of chor bee hoon and only a wee bit of yellow noodle. The 'chap' was not bad, but because it was CNY Day 2 and it was one of only a few stalls open, it was super busy and the chef kinda hurried through his cooking so the bee hoon was a bit undercooked. Will try again at a less busy time for him.

Another not bad HKM is at Geylang Bahru Food Centre - Red Stove. Very nice couple who have been there for several years (signboard faded liao). A bit stingy with the ingredients but still, not bad.

ieat said...

Have you tried the Tian Tian Lai one which I blogged about recently?

jks said...

Nope not yet. Been meaning to try it though! Do they have more bee hoon? My hubby and I prefer that, haha. But he likes his HKM wet (like the one from Whampoa market), and I prefer somewhere in between - not too drenched, but not too dry also. I've tried Uncle Alex's and really liked it. Hubby didn't like it though...

Anonymous said...

I live near chomp chomp and I always eat the hokkien mee on a regular basis. I have to say this though, few years ago, the hokkien mee was really good. Recently, maybe it's due to the change in the ownership or something, the standard of the hokkien mee has dropped. On one occasion, the hokkien mee was so dry!!! It had no gravy and it tastd like normal beehoon. Subsequent times I bought it, it was not as dry as before but still not as good as few years ago. I have since found other places which has better hokkien mee than this stall. It's such a shame because it is so convenient.

Anonymous said...

this comment is for the Anonymous who post on June 26, 2009 10:25 PM and claim that he/she live near chomp chomp... this stall is che jian not ah hock... please don't confuse it...

Porkie Pie said...

Went there for a late 2nd dinner. Ordered both Che Jian and Ah Hock so I can compare side by side. The uncle selling wanton mee beside Che Jian saw me ordering both, so he came and told me, "Try both la. Then you'll know which one is better" (in Chinese) and sat at a table near me watching (make me a bit embarassed sia)

Anyway, the fried pork lard was a bit cold/not crispy (I think it might have been fried a while ago before the HKM was fried). But I could imagine how terrific the freshly fried, crispy pork lard would enhance the HKM. Pork belly was nowhere to be found - but then again, I have not finished the plate, so I'll look closer. And about the controversial chicken rice chilli raised up by jks, I am sorry to say that it is true. It's sort of like a mix of chicken rice chilli and Malay (ikan bilis) sambal. No, I am not a chilli nut, but the texture and taste of the chilli is definitely different from the drier sambal I am used to.

Ah Hock on the other hand has a lighter taste and the fragrance came out easily whereas Che Jian has a heavier and subtler taste (sorry about the inarticulate description of the taste). My personal preference - I like Ah Hock better tonight, but if the lard is crispier and pork belly is to be found, then Che Jian would be much more competitive.

Note 1: I ate there pretty late. Around 10:20-10:30 p.m. So it might have influence the quality of HKM somehow.

Note 2: The prawns in both HKM taste similar to me - both very good. Although I think the prawns in Swee Guan is actually sweeter (but please avoid the toilet there haha).

Note 3: My experience in HKM is nothing compared to a lot of foodies here e.g. Holy Drummer so pls don't get angry if I have some misjudgment ok?

Note 4: Is there a chomp chomp thread in the forum? I can't seem to find one. I'm thinking of posting the pics of chilli to make it easier for scrutiny and further discussion.

Note 5: I still have some ta-paued and 'marinated' in the fridge right now. Planning to have them for breakfast tomorrow with a fresh taste bud since tonight I suspect my first dinner (tasty Chinese food - esp. Ma Po tofu) impaired my umami sense.

ieat said...

Porkie Pie,

All I can say is that I think you are a person after my own heart!

cactuskit said...

This guy has a serious case of foodiesm. ; )

ieat said...

Porky Pie, do join our forum! We would love to hear more of your reviews!

ieat said...

Porky Pie, do join our forum! We would love to hear more of your reviews!

Porkie Pie said...

I am in the forum. But the nick's slightly different, porkiePie.

Btw, I didn't find the pork belly. :(

ieat said...

Next time ask the uncle and tell him you want pork belly

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