There are five components in a plate of wanton mee. 1. Noodles, 2. Char Siew, 3 Wanton, 4, Sauce, 5 Chilli and ok lah, 6 if you count the soup. So far, I have yet to find a stall that gets all 6 components right. I have endeavored to find that elusive stall in the past 8 years and have finally come to the realization that it is an impossibility. Not because it can’t be done, but because there is no consensus on what constitutes the perfect bowl of wanton mee!
For some people the most important part of the dish is the noodles, for others, it’s the chilli and still others regard the char siew as of prime importance. There is one school of wanton mee enthusiasts who insists that the char siew must be the lean, dry type that is colored with fluorescent orangey red dye, roasted to death and left out to dry. For these people, the stall which I am talking about today is not worth even considering. Today’s story would, instead, appeal to the school of enthusiasts who think that the best thing to accompany a mouthful of springy noodles is a thick slice of juicy, sweet, unctuous char siew. If this is you, then read on…..
Of the 6 components, Fei Fei (肥肥) Roasted excels in at least four. The two most outstanding components are the char siew and the noodles. The Aunty at this stall does nothing but cook the noodles and each portion is cooked to exacting precision. The resulting noodles are springy yet not overly toothsome. For those of you have not paid much attention to the texture of noodles before, this could be that “aha” moment where you suddenly realize how a perfectly cooked plate of egg noodles should be like!
While the aunty specializes in making the noodles, the uncle’s job is to roast and slice the meats. I didn’t order the roast duck so I can’t vouch for how good it is. The char siew though, is very good! It is perfectly roasted such that the meat is still springy yet tender. They use the bu jian tian (pig armpit) cut for the charsiew, so some sections of the meat can be quite fatty while other portions can be lean. Make sure you let the aunty know of your preference. I had the char siew when it first came out of the oven and felt that the flavour of the Hoi Sin sauce was a little too strong. However, by the time I brought it home for my family, the char siew had a bit more time to settle and it was excellent. The other two components which are very good are the wantons which are plump, decent sized and delicious and their chilli sauce which is full of crustacean umami. 4.5/5
Do take note that when the stall opens at 9.15am, only the duck is available, but the queue would have already started to build. The char siew will be ready only at around 10.30am, so if you are going for the char siew (and most people are) then you will have to time your queue properly so that you are in front of the stall when it is ready. They don’t take advance orders, so you would need to go back to the beginning of the queue again it is your turn to order but the char siew is not ready! They will usually sell out by around 12.30pm!
If you like your char siew chunky and your noodles springy, then this stall might just be the holy grail of wanton mee you are looking for! The stall owners put an amazing amount of effort into roasting the char siew, making the wantons, the chilli, the noodles and the sauce to produce a plate of wanton mee chock full of chunky, freshly roasted charsiew for just $3 a plate! No wonder there is a perpetual queue outside the stall for the 4 hours that they are open!