Monday, 19 November 2018

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

I had long wanted to try the popular fish soup stalls Han Kee and Piao Ji at Amoy Hawker Centre. Didn't get to taste them until today because the queues were always sooo.... looong. Finally got the chance today because I was in the area early to visit the historic Thian Hock Keng temple (Telok Ayer Street).

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

I went straight for Han Kee because the queue is normally the longest. (I wanted to try Piao Ji on another day.)

The order taker (auntie) came to take our orders and collected payment while we were back in the queue. I ordered fish soup and rice, and she said $5.50. As we got to the front of the stall, I saw that there were also $7 and $10 options. I requested to upsize to $7 (since already queued for so long right..?) but auntie snapped "不可以换" i.e. cannot change 😂

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

So here it is - the $5.50 serving of Han Kee fish soup. I thought it was quite a generous serving.

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

The clear watery light bodied soup was mildly savoury with a bit of fish sweetness and dotted with bits of savoury fried garlic.

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

The white slices of Batang fish (Spanish mackerel) were fresh, tender and naturally sweet. I liked it.

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

After I am done with the Han Kee fish soup, I was only ¾ full.

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

Just nice lah. I popped over to Piao Ji to top up to full tank 😄 The queue wasn't as long as at Han Kee but today, it seemed to take longer to clear (about 30 minutes).

Like at Han Kee, the much friendlier auntie at Piao Ji came up to the queue to take orders and collect payment. Prices started at $7 for fish soup at Piao Ji, so I ordered that.

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

The $7 fish soup from Piao Ji (I skipped the rice as this was my second round).

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

By the time I got my Piao Ji fish soup, it was already 12 noon. Walking around the full packed hawker centre with my tray of food, I couldn't find any available table.

Several tables were occupied by tissue paper. I had no choice but to sit at one of the "choped" tables and tried to finish my food quickly before the "owner" comes back.

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

Piao Ji's fish soup was watery light and tasted mildly savoury. There were additional layers of savouriness from fried shallot and also fried pork lard crackling. It was a bit 浊 "chok" compared to the more 清 clean tasting soup at Han Kee.

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

$7 at Piao Ji gets about the same amount of Batang fish at Han Kee for $5. Piao Ji's fish was sufficiently fresh but tasted slightly more savoury due to the soup.

Oh... I managed to finish my meal and cleared the table before the tissue paper owner returned to his/her "choped" table.

(Though I have never done this before in my 50+ years, if you like to do what Singaporeans do, put a dispensable personal item such as a pack of tissue paper, a business card etc on an available table before going to get your food. That means that you have "choped" the table and have reserved it for yourself. Table sharing requests are often rejected in Singapore hawker centres, usually with passive aggression and sometimes verbally outright. Other times it is tolerated, and even welcomed 👏👏👏 Shoving is very rare, so it is matter of luck. Not sure when "choping" got entrenched in Singapore's hawker centre culture. It was not like this during my growing up years, so that is not our heritage 😄 )

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

👉 Wasn't my intention to do a comparison but since I ate at both Amoy food centre fish soup stalls back to back, why not right...? Truth be told, I feel both are just "ok only". But, since I prefer my fish soup to be cheng cheng (clear and clean tasting), I would opt for Han Kee the next time. This time I shall go for the $7 serving.

Which fish soup stall would you go for? What other stalls would you recommend at Amoy Street Food Centre?

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

Address: Amoy Street Food Centre @ intersection of Amoy Street and Telok Ayer Street, Singapore
GPS1°16'46.9"N 103°50'49.1"E 🌐 1.279684, 103.846961

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

Restaurant name: Han Kee 汉记鱼汤 (stall #02-129)
Hours: 11:00am - 2:00pm (Sun off)

Tale of Two Fish Soup Stalls @ Amoy Hawker Centre. Han Kee & Piao Ji

Restaurant name: Piao Ji Fish Porridge 標记 (stall #02-100)
Hours: 11:00am - 2:00pm (Thurs off)

Non Halal




Date visited: 19 Nov 2018

P.S. I went to Thian Hock Keng temple today to do research for my blog.

Join me to watch Tours of Discovery on Singapore Mediacorp Channel 8 at 8:30pm Tuesday, 20 Nov 2018. The second episode features Thian Hock Keng temple and other interesting heritage stories about Singapore.


Return to Johor Kaki homepage.

3 comments:

  1. There are plenty of food Nazi types around.

    I too hate the people who reserve tables with tissue paper. I tell them to eat in the toilet when they come back. None have challenged me. Handphone video taking and a police report can settle any dispute. I am not a Singaporean by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tony, did you notice the Piao Ji uncle put msg in the soup in plain sight?

    ReplyDelete

I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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