Old Airport Road Food Centre: Hua Kee vs Cho Kee

When asked where we can find the best wonton mee in Singapore, Old Airport Road is usually always mentioned. Funny thing is I never actually got down to checking out how good it was, but when I finally did last night, I was faced with another dilemma – which stall are these people talking about?!

The two stalls are separated by a single drinks stall – which is better?

Facing the road at the back of Old Airport Road Food Centre, you will find Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wonton Mee and Cho Kee Noodles separated by a single drinks stall. Both of them have their glass shop fronts plastered with awards, and both stalls had a steady flow of customers. With them selling the exact same thing, how would you know which stall is the real McCoy? Of course, the glutton in me decided to do a side-by-side comparison by ordering the wonton mee from both stalls!

Cho Kee Noodle

Wonton mee($3.00) from Cho Kee Noodles

Cho Kee, the one with the blue signboard, sports an electronic queue number display so that customers can collect their food when it’s ready instead of standing in line, which is pretty clever since it makes everything easier if it gets crowded. The spoons provided are the old-school metal kinds which are typically used for eating soya beancurd. Cute!

The sauce from Cho Kee leaned towards the salty side(not overly), and the noodles were a bit starchy, not springy or chewy as I would have loved for them to be. They were generous with the char siew(barbecued pork) which I thought was too dry and a tad tough.

At $3.00, they were also generous with the wontons! However, I felt it could have used more filling. I honestly wasn’t going crazy over them as they looked and tasted very ordinary.

Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wonton Mee

Wonton Mee($3.00) from Hua Kee Famous Hougang Wonton Mee

Okay, I’ll admit this wasn’t the prettiest bowl of noodles I’ve had, but let me just tell you that I absolutely loved their chilli! It was zesty, full of this delicious char siew flavor(seriously smelled SO good) and packed a spicy punch without numbing the palate and overwhelming the overall taste. The thinly-sliced char siew also had a good proportion of fat such that the meat was sufficiently moist.

I found that the noodles from Hua Kee used to be handmade, but the stall has since contracted the job to a small factory. Despite so, the noodles had a springy texture which was a pleasure in every bite.

Close-up of Hua Kee’s wonton

Each wonton was well-coated in the robust chilli oil, and the ratio of moist filling to the slippery, oily dumpling skin was just right. Yummy!

The verdict?

Cho Kee, to me, comes in a very strong second place. Fans of this stall may beg to differ, but while I thought it was above average, nothing was really outstanding.

Up till here, it is clear that the winning stall for me is Hua Kee! The deciding factor was really the unique char siew fragrance, which I honestly could smell even from a distance! If I had to describe it, I would say… it reminded me of Tiong Bahru Pau’s char siew pau – sweet, fragrant, barbecued goodness – just in my wonton mee. 🙂

Which of these stalls do you prefer? Try them out and let me know what you think!

Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wonton Mee

Blk 51 Old Airport Road
Singapore 390051

Opening hours:
12pm – 12am (Closed on Mon)

Cho Kee Noodle

Blk 51 Old Airport Road
Singapore 390051

Opening hours:
11:30am – 11:30pm (Closed on alternate Wednesdays)

3 responses to “Old Airport Road Food Centre: Hua Kee vs Cho Kee

  1. old airport hawker? highlights: beancurd, kway chap, char kway teow, lor mee, satay, rojak, western food and banana fritters. hua kee wanton mee’s decent, but not outstanding imo.

    my favourite wanton mee: 黄记云吞面 at depot lane industrial estate. OMG SO MUCH LOVE!

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