Kaiyi’s Wanton Noodle – Vietnamese Style Wanton Mee in Beach road
Wanton Mee is something that you can literally get ANYWHERE in Singapore. But have you ever had wanton mee cooked by a Vietnamese? This store hidden in a corner of Golden Mile Food Centre is single-handedly run by Mei Er, 29, who moved to Singapore 6 years ago from Ho Chi Minh City after marrying a Singaporean.
The store name ‘Kai Yi Wanton Mee’ is actually named after her 2 year old daughter. The food here is cooked from the heart! Unlike other hawker stalls which usually get their meat and other ingredients from a supplier, Mei Er visits the wet market once a week (on her off day) to grab the freshest ingredients for her dishes. Even the chilli is made in-house by her.
“I don’t think the meat from the suppliers is fresh enough, I prefer to see and buy it myself. Even the minced meat is minced by hand.”, she told us. We really respect her dedication!
So what exactly is the difference between Singapore-style wanton mee and the Vietnamese rendition that Mei Er sells?
According to Mei Er, she includes garlic inside her handmade dumplings. Other than that, she prefers to include more vegetables and less meat in her dishes. Mei Er told us that even though Vietnamese Wanton Noodles is not a dish that is commonly enjoyed by the majority of Vietnamese locals, it is actually a dish that is prepared by part of the Vietnamese-Chinese community.
We tried the signature Char Siew Wanton Mee ($4.50). You get a bowl of noodles tossed with black sauce, and topped with lettuce, lean slices of char siew and 2 crispy fried wantons. The wantons here are extremely crispy, without a stale oil smell, but it could have used a tad more filling. We especially enjoyed the homemade chilli which Mei Er does from scratch. The mee kia noodles look deceivingly dry but is actually scrumptious due to the addition of fried lard and a drop of lard oil.
The Chicken Sticky Rice ($5.50) will definitely please Singaporeans. Lo Mai Kai-like sticky rice forms the base of the dish, with a huge chicken drumstick on top. The chicken drumstick is well-marinated and is extremely tender and delicious. We like the addition of shallots, which are made from scratch by Mei Er too! The fragrance of the fried onions brings the dish to a different level, especially when the shallot is mixed together with a mouthful of sticky rice. A side of refreshing achar (South Asian pickles) which provides a refreshing tangy crunch, tops the dish.
The Chicken Sticky Rice also comes with a side of soup, which comprises two fat dumplings. We love that the fillings are almost bursting out of the delicate skin. Do note that the sizes of the dumplings can be inconsistent, as they are made by hand.
A healthy low-carb option, or a dish to share, would be the Mixed Soup ($4.50) which comes with tau kwa, crab stick, cuttlefish, a prawn, and more of the handmade dumplings that we love. Of course, vegetables are also included! The broth is made using 7 secret ingredients that include vegetables and pork bones. It takes a total of 5 hours to prepare the soup!
Surprisingly, our favourite dish was not the wanton mee, but the Chicken Sticky Rice. We loved the unique combination of lo mai kai rice and the tender, well-marinated chicken drumstick. We came for the wanton mee, but would return for the delicious Chicken Sticky Rice. That being said, the juicy dumplings warrant a return visit as well.
Mei Er is truly dedicated to her craft and always has a smile for her customers. She starts preparation at 7am, even though they only open for business at 10am. Do pay her a visit if you’re near Golden Mile Food Centre.
Kaiyi's Wanton Noodle
Address: 505 Beach Road #01-109 Golden Mile Food Centre Singapore 199583
Opening Hours: 10am to 8pm, Closed on Tuesdays.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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