Local Delight: 5 Wanton Mee you should give it a try!
SINGAPORE: [Updated] Eng’s Wanton Mee & Claypot Rice is rebranded to Deng Wen Ji Char Siew Wanton Mee.
There are many ways to spell the name of the dish. It can be "Wonton", "Wanton", "Wantan", or even "Wan Tan", spelt in two words. The discrepancy is due to the attempt to spell the word phonetically directly from different Chinese dialects. Therefore, if you see "Wonton Noodles", "Wanton Noodles", or "Wanton Mee", they are the same thing as "Mee", a local word for noodles.
Strictly speaking, wanton mee should only be dumpling with noodles and, in most cases, some greens at the side. This is what you will normally get in North Asia, such as Hong Kong or Guangzhou. However, in Singapore and other parts of South East Asia, the dish is complemented with Char Siew (Barbequed Pork). For some stalls, it is even the lead actor of the dish. You should not be surprised if your Char Siew Noodles (Mee) comes with Wonton, which technically makes it a Wonton Mee too. Are you confused yet?...LOL
Nevertheless, it doesn't matter if it is Wonton, wanton, or char siew with noodles or mee. They are all the same to me. A good bowl of wanton mee is just comforting any time of the day.
Eng’s Wanton Mee & Claypot Rice
Eng’s Wanton Mee & Claypot Rice is rebranded to Deng Wen Ji Char Siew Wanton Mee.
I know my first and second choice can be controversial and might ruffle some feathers with fans of Eng's. But hey, if it is good, it's good—Eng's Wanton Mee at East Village, a franchise of the white Eng's. Don't get confused with the 2 competing Eng's. At Eng’s Wanton Mee & Claypot Rice, you get the same noodles, tossed in lard and the same signature VERY SPICY chilli sauce. However, the key ingredient is their in-house made char siew. The nicely charred char siew brings the wanton mee to the next level. You cannot get this from either Eng's or Eng's (White or Green)
In addition to the wanton mee, you can also get their claypot rice which I will not talk about today as the focus is Wanton Mee! Food coma time...
Address: 430 Upper Changi Rd, #01-09 East Village, Singapore 487048
Dunman Road Char Siew Wan Ton Mee
For those who are familiar with the matter, Eng's is the soap opera of the Wanton Mee world. Dunman Road Char Siew Wan Ton Mee is the ex-partner of Eng's Wanton Mee, and that explains why you find this similar. You get the same homemade egg noodles, similar dumpling and the same heat from the chilli. Frankly speaking, it just comes down to personal preference. But for S$3.50, I find this gives me a better value, yet getting the same taste without all the drama, if you know what I mean. Plus, I love head down to level one for my Tau Kwa Pau after satisfying my wanton mee craving.
Address: 271 Onan Rd, #02-19, Singapore 424768
Chef Kang's Noodle House
If Toyota is the every day wanton mee and Royce Rolls is the super high-end. This might be a BMW of Wanton mee. This is sold by a Michelin starred chef, and it is also on Michelin Bib Gourmand. They have some prominent accolades under their belt. Even so, the down-to-earth me, I still expect this to be special if I have to pay S$6 for it.
At first glance, you straight away know what makes this wanton mee special! Just look at the amount of crispy lard. I am in the opinion that everything is good with lard. The next thing you will notice is the char siew (yes, again. It is all about char siew. This Char Siew is like Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Everyone thought they are there to watch Batman and Superman but walked out, totally blown away by Wonder Woman) . The fat to meat ratio is just right. If you want more char siew, you can order a plate of it separately.
Address: 11 Lor 3 Toa Payoh, Block C Jackson Square, Singapore 319579
Xing Ji Wanton Mee (星记云吞面)
The next 2 recommendations are good wanton mee. However, they are not really my top go-to places simply because it is hard to get to them. They either have very long queue or have very specific opening hours or days. Xing Ji Wanton Mee only opens 4 days a week, starts at 6 am to about lunchtime. They are closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
Xing Ji Wanton Mee is classified as "traditional" because they don't have the fancy char siew or overloaded lard. They are serving tasty unassuming wonton and cardboard looking char siew with the delicious springy egg noodles. This is a simple wanton mee that will bring back some nostalgic childhood memories.
Looking at the queue each day and the hours and days they operate, one must admit they are comfortable with today's huge number of fans. I will only queue if I am lucky enough to spot a window of no queue.
Address: 137 Tampines St. 11, #01-35, Singapore 521137
Koung's Wan Tan Noodles
My last visit here was 60+ mins wait and maybe 5 mins of happiness. In fact, this is the only reason why I will not rank this high. Personally, I love the wanton mee. But, I really don't know whether I can justify the need to wait up to an hour, considering this is a relatively simple dish to make. Most of the ingredients can be prepared beforehand.
This is yet another wanton mee that focuses on Char Siew which they take up to 6 hours to make their charcoal roasted char siew. Of course, not to underestimate their handmade wanton (I would think most wanton mee stalls make their own wanton), the difference is the stuffing and the wanton skin. The trick is to get the delicious stuffing wrapped in the wanton skin, when cooked, it doesn't break up, yet it is firm and soft. Koung's managed to do this precisely.
Address: 205 Sims Ave, Singapore 387506
I definitely have more than 5 wanton mee that I like. Below are 2 which work well for me too.
Hwa Kee Barbaque Pork Noodle (华记云吞面)
Located in East Coast Lagoon Food Village, this is the only iconic wanton mee stall in the hawker centre. It has been there for ages and anyone who frequent this hawker centre will know about them. However, there are lovers as well as haters. Their wanton mee is topped with their amazing homemade char siew and you can have it with either boiled or deep fried wanton. For some, the sweet sauce used to toss the noodle in might not work for them. It is on the sweeter side. For others, this is perfect, especially for those who don't take chilli and are ok to have some sweetness in their noodles.
Soi 19 Thai Wanton Mee
For those who love to go to Bangkok's Chinatown, you know there is a very good wanton mee there. The Thai Wanton Mee is a lot more simple than most in Singapore. Lightly tossed in pork lard with some light soya sauce and fish sauce, dust it with some chilli powder for the heat. Besides the usual topping of wanton and char siew, they also have deep-fried Thai fish sausage. This transports me back to Bangkok instantly.
Soi 19 Thai Wanton Mee has a few locations. I went to the one in Kovan and I thought it was awesome. However, I don't get the same excitement when I had it again in Tampines. If they can get some consistency in their preparation, this will surely make it to my top 5 list. Just because I love Bangkok :)