Tony Johor Kaki Travels for Food · Heritage · Culture · Diplomacy

Cross Culture · Food · Research 🇸🇬 Tony Boey johorkaki@gmail

Chai Kee Fish Soup @ Hong Lim Hawker Centre · Unheralded Old School Gem 財记


My buddies know I am a regular in Hong Lim food centre but how did I miss this unheralded gem all these years? 😮 

Today, I tried out a media famous stall at Hong Lim but it didn't inspire me to write anything. Wandering around looking for something else to salvage my wasted calories, I stumbled upon Chai Kee, noticing its long queue.

Stall name: Chai Kee 財记

Address: 538 Upper Cross Street, stall #01-69 in Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, Singapore 050538

Nearest MRT: Chinatown station

Hours: 10:00am - till sold out (usually before 1pm)


There was a queue of about 6 - 8 deep the whole time we were there. The stall closed about 12:30pm after all the ingredients were sold out. Ah... that's why I missed it - its operating hours are short!

Bumped in Johor Kaki readers while in the queue 😄 

"You mean you haven't tried this?" 

Me: No leh 😳  😬

"OK! we wait for your review."

Me: 👌 😄


The gas stove was roaring the whole time I was there queuing and eating.


This was my $8 serving of bee hoon with mixed ikan batang fish slices and fried fish. Didn't look extraordinary.


When I bit into this piece of ikan batang, it was tender-firm (not flaky soft), fresh and clean tasting sweet. Hey... hey, hey, no more mucking around. Suddenly, my senses came alive again, I sat up straight, pulled out my camera.

The ikan batang came with skin which I like because of the additional texture and flavour. I know some folks prefer the skin trimmed off.


There were several pieces of fried fish also. There was a slight crispness outside despite soaking in the soup. The inside was moist tender and savoury sweet.

I didn't count but estimate that there were 6 - 8 large pieces of fried and boiled fish pieces in the bowl, which I felt is generous.


The cloudy soup (not milky) was packed with layers of savoury flavours and aromatics at the right intensity for me.


Then, I found the "culprit" for it - a large piece of ti poh (dried sole fish). The weapon of mass umami of Teochew and Cantonese cuisine. Liddat.... win already lor.... .


If that is not enough for you, there's free flow of freshly fried garlic oil for more aromatics.


Sold out for the day. Next time, I shall go for the fish soup without any carbs inside 😄 Do check out Chai Kee fish soup, if you are in Hong Lim.


Adding Chai Kee to my list of favourite fish soup stalls in Singapore 👈 click


And, list of my favourite stalls in Hong Lim Food Centre 👈 click


Written by Tony Boey on 22 Jun 2022


  1. Marcus Yap said on Facebook:

    "Tony Boey, indeed. One would have assumed that since they have been there for decades with hordes of office workers having lunch there, at least some mention in the media. I think it has to do with their customer base. Your next visit, if u are there between 10am-noon, u will notice most of his customers are residents and the older demographics. And coupled with the fact that this is just fish soup, i am assuming the lack of interest and hence the non-existence limelight. But hey, i am not complaining though. Just dont go after 11am, queue is daunting from there on."

    1. Sharon Ing:

      "Marcus Yap Amoy Fish Soup cannot eat ( both stall). Tried once n thirsty whole day.
      This stall at Hong Lim got invisible regular Q 😁. Way up there for them."


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. All comments with genuine identities are published.