Hometown Hainan Fen – Hainanese Sisters Serving Authentic Beef Noodles in Chinatown
Hainanese immigrants have long build a reputation as skillful coffee brewers and great cooks. Besides the renowned chicken rice which everyone is familiar with, the Hainanese also has other specialty dishes such as Hainan Fen (海南粉).
I don’t have much memories of having the real Hainanese beef noodles in Hainan island. But in Singapore, I have seen many stalls selling renditions of this authentic Hainanese dish. After receiving a recommendation from a friend, we dropped by People’s Park Food Centre to have a taste of Hometown Hainan Fen.
This hawker stall is run by two Hainanese sisters who got married and moved to Singapore about 10 years ago. Missing their traditional Hainan fen, they decided to open this hawker stall to satisfy their own cravings.
You can try the signature Hainanese Fun ($3.50 for pork; $4 for beef) or the Beef Brisket with Pickled Vegetables Fun ($5.50). Instead of using the traditional noodles from Hainan (which is similar to spaghetti), they are using thick vermicelli which is more slurpy. The noodles are topped with a thick, savoury gravy, some meat, peanuts, bamboo shoots, and pickled vegetables for added crunch.
The beef slices were soft, and paired well with the noodles. However, don’t expect the thick gravy to pack a punch. It had a very mild beef flavour, and a hint of sweetness. The different textures add a new dimension to the simple dish. Some of us love the bamboo shoot, but it is a little off-putting for me.
The beef brisket version is topped with beef tripe, pickled cabbage, brisket and bamboo shoot.
One of the sisters recommended the Hainan Pickle Fun ($3.50 for pork; $4 for beef) which I thought was a cold pickled noodle dish. Instead, it is a bowl of dry mee kia lookalike at room temperature. The toppings were similar but the star of the show was their house-made chilli sauce. They don’t use chinchalok here. Their piquant chilli uplifted the robust flavour of this dish (in fact, we just paired it with every dish). Mind you, go easy on the chilli if you can’t take spicy food!
We also had the Bao Luo Fun Soup ($3.50 for pork; $4 for beef) which is definitely much lighter in taste. I actually like this better because it is simple and comforting. The sour pickled vegetables were a refreshing touch to the soup.
Hometown Hainan Fen
Address: 32 New Market Rd, People's Park Food Centre #01-1100， Singapore 050032
Opening Hours: 10am to 7pm, closed twice a month
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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