Hock Hai (Hong Lim) Curry Chicken Noodle – Michelin’s Bib Gourmand 2019’s New Entrant Remains Humble
When asked about their latest achievement, one of the staff, who was grinning from ear to ear, exclaimed, “Wow, how did news of us making the Michelin’s Bib Gourmand 2019 list spread so quickly?” Once she said that, the two other staff lit up and said, “We totally did not expect it!” I could sense how much the achievement meant to them..
Judging from how proud these guys were, you might think that they are the owners, but the owner actually works at a separate venue and manages the back-end operations. The original stall, which was actually located near Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre for more than 20 years, was helmed by someone else. The original owner then handed the business over to the current owner 6 years ago.
Every day without fail, the staff prepares pots of curry and satay sauce before the stall officially opens for business. Along the years, they have tweaked the recipe after receiving feedback from regulars. They understood that rather than keeping to the original recipe, they have to modify it to cater to changing tastebuds. I’m glad that they took feedback into consideration, or they might not be where they are today.
Hock Hai’s Curry Chicken Noodle ($4) left a deep impression on me when I first ate it. I remember being impressed by the generous amount of ingredients. The strips of tau pok (fried beancurd) were as soft as sponge. Be careful not to burn your tongue as the curry broth will squirt out when you bite into the tau pok. Although the tau pok had been soaked in the pool of curry for hours, you can still taste the savouriness of the tau pok. The potatoes were also adequately soft..
I saved the best parts of this dish for last — the chicken and curry. Everyday, more than 20 whole chickens are boiled, and chopped. I was given chicken breast and boy, was it moist, tender, and firm.
The curry was nothing like Heng Kee Curry Chicken Beehoon Mee‘s curry. Hock Hai’s curry was very lemak, lighter in flavour, and carried a slight sweetness. To put it simply, the broth was extremely palatable. Halfway through my meal, I find myself needing more broth to pair with my beehoon mee. Most of the time, when I eat curry chicken noodle (I loveeeee them), I don’t finish the curry as it’s usually quite filling, but I couldn’t get enough of Hock Hai’s curry. Don’t forget to add Hock Hai’s house-made chilli sauce (only meant for the curry chicken noodle and not the satay beehoon)!
When I asked the staff which dish (curry chicken noodle/ satay beehoon) was more popular, he said “both are around the same”. So, I decided to try the satay beehoon too! I love how savoury and nutty the gravy was! They certainly are very generous with the amount of gravy, which coated the beehoon, crunchy kangkong, beansprouts and smooth cuttlefish adequately! This dish was definitely above average.
So, does Hock Hai deserve to be awarded a Michelin’s Bib Gourmand? I’m raising both of my hands up in agreement! The staff shared with me how much they went through to get to where they are today, and I think that this award is a timely motivation for them to keep up their good work and do what they do best.
Hock Hai (Hong Lim) Curry Chicken Noodle
Address: 208 New Upper Changi Road, Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre #01-58, Singapore 462208
Opening Hours: 9am to 11pm daily.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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