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The Other Hill Street Fried Kway Teow (in Chinatown Complex Food Centre) 禧街炒粿条

Hill_Street_Fried_Kway_Teow_Chinatown_Complex_禧街炒粿条

We were in Chinatown Complex Food Centre to try out a different stall when we walked past Hill Street Fried Kway Teow stall. Buddy Jen couldn't resist getting two plates, enticed by the sight of the long queue and heady smell of caramelised sauces billowing from the stall. The muffled but furious clanging from the busy wok was like a ringing ice cream bell to children - irresistible how to resist?

Stall name: Hill Street Fried Kway Teow 禧街炒粿条


Address: 335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex Food Centre, stall #02-32 (Yellow zone), Singapore 050335


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Chinatown station


Hours: 11:00am - 6:30pm (Mon, Weds, Fri, Sun off)



Truth be told, I wasn't too excited about Jen coming back with two plates of char kway teow after standing, waiting for 30 minutes. The diversion was derailing our plans for the evening 😑

I kept mumbling, "I take abit enuf.... " x 5 times. I had eaten Chinatown's Hill Street Fried Kway Teow a few times before and posted a blog about it in 2018 (three years ago). As a small eater (believe me 😜 ), I also needed to save calories and stomach space for other stalls.

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After the first two mouthfuls..., I went silent, stopped complaining and started enjoying 😂

I rediscovered an old flame, Hill Street Fried Kway Teow (which is better today than ever).

This stall is not strongest in the wok hei department but I like its savoury sweet lardy flavours which were at the right intensity for me (not mild and not too overwhelming). There's a certain kind of exquisite finesse in its balanced savoury lardy sweetness. (Yeah I know... we are talking about the humble char kway teow in a sweaty, gritty, noisy hawker centre.)

Today, the char kway teow was at the right level of moistness for me too. In the past, I recalled that it was wetter.

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Chinatown Hill Street Fried Kway Teow is one of the rare CKT stalls in Singapore that still serve their fried noodles with all the definitive ingredients of the dish - blood cockles, lup cheong (Cantonese wax sausage), lard and chives. Most stalls are missing one or the other, especially lup cheong and chives.

In the hands of a master, the nuances that these ingredients impart to the noodles is what makes this austere dish exquisite and fine, in my humble opinion lah.... .

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The blood cockles cooked to default doneness looked a bit rare for my comfort. But, they were perfectly cooked, tender crunchy, tasted great and didn't have any bleeding blood. (Of course, we can request uncle to cook it through and through but then you will be eating rubbery "eraser" - the kind used to rub off pencil marks on paper.)

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We tried another stall in Chinatown, then went to Geylang to try a restaurant. Turned out that this "accidental" char kway teow was the highlight of the evening 😄
                  


Written by Tony Boey on 9 Jan 2022


Hill-Street-Fried-Kway-Teow-Chinatown-禧街炒粿条

1 Mar 2018. Exploring the nooks and corners of the labyrinth of hawker stalls in the sprawling, time weathered Chinatown Complex food centre, I stumbled upon this queue and fried kway teow stall in the yellow zone. I instinctively whipped out my handphone and started taking pictures. A stranger, a gentleman in his 60s, gripped my forearm firmly and said, "This is the one. The best one. I have been eating this since they were in Hill Street. It's the same couple, cooking from young till now".

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The gentleman in his first words to me had in the same breath, taken a swipe at another fried kway teow stall.


Photo credit: National Archives of Singapore

You see, there were two fried kway teow stalls in the old Hill Street Food Centre (beside the Central Fire Station). When the popular food centre was demolished in 2000, one stall moved to Bedok and another to here in Chinatown. Both stalls adopted the same name, Hill Street Fried Kway Teow 禧街炒粿条.

Both stalls have their own die hard fans. The friendly rivalry between fans of the two Hill Street fried kway teow stalls almost parallels that between Man Utd. and Liverpool fans or Barcelona and Real Madrid fans 😄

Of the two stalls, the one in Bedok enjoyed most of the media limelight while the one in Chinatown has remained under the media radar.


Hill-Street-Char-Kway-Teow
Photo credit: National Archives Singapore
This stall was founded in the 1970s at Hock Lam Street and moved into Hill Street Food Centre in the 1980s.

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While the stall in Bedok is now run by the second generation, this stall in Chinatown is still run by the same couple from Hill Street Food Centre (hence, the gentleman's comment).

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I ordered a $3 serving. The $4 serving comes with prawns. (No change in price since I was first here in 2018.)

I like it that the fried kway teow is served in a plastic plate instead of Styrofoam plates which most Chinatown hawkers are using since a long time ago.

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I support hawkers who do not use disposable Styrofoam as it harms Mother Earth.

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This char kway teow is the "wet" type with the aroma and flavour which I grew up with. This "wet" style differs from the "dry" Penang style which has caught on in popularity across Singapore and Malaysia. 

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This char kway teow has chives, lup cheong slices (Cantonese wax sausage) and blood cockles, the three must have CKT ingredients for me.

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The fried noodles doesn't have signs of char or sear but it is still flavoursome because of the caramelised savoury-sweet sauce, lard and ingredients. Stir fried with sauces, lard and water till the noodles were quite soft, it would be easier to eat this with a spoon than chopsticks 😂

The tasty noodles had layers of savoury sweetness from the caramelised savoury-sweet soy sauce, lup cheong, blood cockles and eggs. The sweetness is quite pronounced, another obvious difference with Penang fried kway teow.

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I requested for more cockles but the lady boss said no 😂 But, they were quite generous with it - about 5 or 6 pieces. Very fresh, taste really good, the way fresh cockles taste.

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Quite a nice "wet" fried kway teow but I would really love it if the flavours were more intense, more punchy.

My post on the Hill Street Fried Kway Teow in Bedok 👈 click. Don't ask me which I prefer, as I have not tasted the one in Bedok since 2014 😂 But, I might try later 😄

For this "wet" style of fried see hum kway teow 鲜蛤炒粿条 my favourite is in Johor Bahru 👈 click. I like the JB one better because of its more robust flavours but the Chinatown stall actually has the edge for blood cockles.

Hill-Street-Fried-Kway-Teow-Chinatown-禧街炒粿条

Restaurant name: Hill Street Fried Kway Teow 禧街炒粿条
Address: Blk 335, Smith Street #02-32, Chinatown Food Complex, Singapore 050335 (Yellow zone) 
GPS: 1°16'57.7"N 103°50'34.4"E | 1.282705, 103.842889 
Waze: Chinatown Complex Food Centre 
Hours: 11:00am to 6:00pm (Sunday & Monday off)

Non Halal



Written by Tony Boey on 1 Mar 2018 🖋 Reviewed on 8 Jan 2022

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2 comments:

  1. I've tried both Hill St CKT stalls, and my vote goes to the Bedok one when the old uncle was frying it. Even with the son helming it, think the flavor is a shade more intense compared to the Chinatown one. The latter is still above average and enjoyable though.

    Joe

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