Chye Kee Cooked Food at Cheng San Market is certainly no stranger to the residents at Ang Mo Kio. With a steady line of customers from 6am to 11.30am, the stall sells 400 to 450 bowls of their famous Mushroom and Shredded Chicken Noodles every morning before they close for the day.
We spoke to second generation owner Eric Tan to find out the secret behind the stall’s success.
Although it’s called ‘Mushroom and Shredded Chicken Noodles’, the dish is known more for its signature bite-sized wantons. So why the name? Eric’s late father first began selling Wanton Noodles at the back lane of MacPherson Road in the 1960s, but shifted his stall to Ang Mo Kio in 1979 when the National Environment Agency began prohibiting the sale of food on the streets.
A neighbouring stall at Ang Mo Kio then was already selling Wanton Noodles, so Eric’s father decided to sell mushroom and shredded chicken noodles, but served wantons too.
Secret recipe wantons
One bite into the wanton and I understood all the hype – the wantons from Chye Kee Cooked Food are the most flavourful wantons I’ve ever tasted in my life. The best way I can describe their taste? A resounding symphony of different umami flavours bursting in your mouth with every bite.
We tried guessing what goes into making the wanton filling, but Eric maintained that it was a closely guarded secret family recipe that cannot be divulged.
What he did reveal though, was that the filling is mixed by hand and left to season in the freezer overnight to seal in its natural flavours. Eric also operates on his father’s philosophy of serving handmade and healthy good food, which means there is a substantial amount of pork filling in each wanton in proportion to its skin.
The healthier choice
Chye Kee Cooked Food began advocating healthier food options long before the Health Promotion Board did. Abiding by his late father’s philosophy, Eric insists on not adding MSG to the wanton soup, and adds only a little salt to enhance the natural rich porky flavor of the stock.
Other than that, customers also have the option of adding less oil and more vegetables to the already healthy dish. In fact, the only decadent thing I could find about the dish was that its sambal (a Straits chilli paste) had a distinctive dried shrimp fragrance.
The noodles, Eric added, are also from a special supplier so that they do not get soggy even hours after they are prepared. We certainly can vouch for that because the noodles did not clump together while we took photos of the dish!
Have yourself a bite
You can find this iconic dish from Chye Kee Cooked Food at RWS Street Eats till 20 August 2017 (event details below). In the meantime, here’s a quick summary of what goes into make a bowl of Mushroom and Shredded Chicken Noodles.
Part 1 – Vietnamese Beef Pho HERE.
Part 2 – Penang Char Koay Teow HERE.
Part 3 – Thai Mango Sticky Rice HERE.
Part 4 – Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Popiah HERE.
Part 5 – Indonesian Ayam Penyet HERE.
RWS Street Eats event highlights HERE.
GET A SLICE OF THE ACTION
RWS Street Eats
Date: 12 – 20 August 2017 (note: on 18 August 2017, event ends earlier at 5pm due to a private event)
Time: Weekdays 11am – 9pm (Mon – Thu) | Weekends 11am – 10pm (Fri – Sun)
Venue: Malaysian Food Street, RWS Waterfront, Level 1
Price: Admission is free, and dishes are priced from S$4 onwards.
*HSBC Credit Cardholders may purchase an Event Special Bundle (with $32 worth of food vouchers and added freebies) on-site at S$24