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Hainan vs YouFu. Tale of 2 Famous Hokkien Mee @ Golden Mile Food Centre

Hokkien_Mee_Singapore

There are two popular Hokkien mee stalls now in Golden Mile Food Centre - Hainan Hokkien Prawn Mee which have been around for some 30 years and YouFu Hokkien Prawn Mee which started less than 6 months ago here.

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Hainan is at the basement stall #B1-34 and YouFu is on level 1 stall #01-57. Both sport a long queue every time I am at Golden Mile Food Centre.

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Both Hainan and YouFu Hokkien mee have the same ingredients - bee hoon (rice vermicelli) & yellow noodles, egg, shelled prawn, small strips of pork belly, lean meat slices, and squid stir fried with pork & seafood stock. Both stalls use fresh ingredients.

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Both YouFu and Hainan provide sambal chili with their Hokkien mee. Neither of their savoury salty spicy sambal chili left any deep impression. I didn't use it much as it would throw the flavour profile of the Hokkien mee off.

Hainan has the edge here by providing cut raw chili. I can get a sharp spicy sting on the tongue that enhances the taste of the Hokkien mee without the sambal chili messing up the taste profile.

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YouFu have the edge here with crackly crisp fried pork lard.

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Both YouFu and Hainan stir fry their Hokkien mee to about the same moistness or dryness, with YouFu's rendition slightly wetter.

The umami savoury sweet taste of the pork & seafood stock of both Hainan and Youfu are not that far off different from each other.

So, both Youfu and Hainan Hokkien mee have similar umami savoury sweet taste profile but YouFu have wok hei which Hainan lacks.

At YouFu, the bee hoon & mee are stir fried till the sauce and noodles are slightly caramelised so there is an additional layer of subtle toasty roasty taste and aroma which substantially enhanced the dish. This wok hei accounted for YouFu's quick rise to fame.

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However, neither YouFu nor Hainan cover their wok to briefly stew and simmer the ingredients and stock to more deeply infuse their umami sweet flavours into the noodles. That heavy wooden wok cover is one of the trademarks of Singapore Hokkien mee (no other hawker dish uses that). YouFu and Hainan's renditions are often referred to as "dry Hokkien mee" as a different variant of the dish.

Skipping the stewing step, both YouFu and Hainan's Hokkien are missing a third layer of flavour which you can get at Yi Sheng, Swee Guan and Tian Tian Lai Come Daily.

I've heard some people say Hainan and YouFu's Hokkien mee lack "oomph" or are missing something. Not sure if this is what they meant.

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Restaurant name: 

🦑 Hainan Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee (stall #B1-34) 
🦐 YouFu Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee (stall #01-57)

Address: 505 Beach Road, Singapore 199583 (Golden Mile Food Centre)

Hours:

🦑 Hainan 10:00am - 5:00pm (Weds off)
🦐 YouFu 10:00am - 8:00pm (Mon off)



Date visited: 28 & 30 Sep 2020

2 comments:

  1. Me and my husband have tried both. We tried Youfu to support the young chef. Me and my husband started to be the die hard fans of "Hainan" recently. I always preferred dried version Hokkien mee as it will get to test ones skill, to remove the strong "kee" taste from the mee. Hainan not only without the taste but the mee is full of flavour which you couldnt get it from wetter noodle. I recommend it to my husband now he always craving for it. For Hainan always have to wait very long because there are people who always buy many packets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your experience and preference :-D

      Delete

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