Kok Kee Wanton Noodle 国记云吞面 (RELOCATED)
While the announcement to shut Lavender Food Square by end of the year for redevelopment may not be too much of a surprise, what with its prime location, it’s sad news for foodies – this is one of the more popular food centres in the city that houses quite a few good food stalls, e.g. the famous Baba beef rendang, pan fried dumplings, prawn noodles and wanton noodles etc.
Nothing we can do to change the situation, except perhaps to make a trip there before it becomes part of history. For the Glutton family, we have an obligation to capture a final memory of the place; not just of the food but also the memory of one of our iconic food scenes.
As we haven’t had the chance to try the Kok Kee Wanton Noodle during our last few trips because of their operating hours – the stall usually opens quite late in the noon, sometime as late as 1.30pm – we made it a point to give this place a try. The stall has been raved about, with a long queue validating its popularity.
We ordered the popular Wanton noodle and a serving of fried dumplings.
Kok Kee Wanton Noodle ($5)
If you have ever tried the Granny wanton mee next to the old national library in the old days or its new shop along China Street, you will probably find some similarity in both the texture and taste here. To achieve a nice noodle texture, dipping the noodle in hot and cold water is a key step and Kok Kee has mastered this. The seasoning sauce blended well with the noodle and it’s a tasty noodle overall though the char siew (roasted meat) and wanton (dumpling) were just ordinary and nothing wowed us about it.
Fried Wanton ($6.5)
Each plate of Wanton noodle costs $5 – already on the high side – so can you imagine paying $6.50 for the miserable 10 tiny pieces of fried wanton? We have some difficulty in trying to accept such exorbitant prices with nothing special about the fried wanton at all. It is no different than extortion and we are pretty sure we won’t be ordering friend wantons from Kok Kee in the future.
Our verdict, the wanton noodle was tasty but the price is too steep for such a small portion. What’s more difficult to swallow is the price of the fried wanton – completely not worth its price tag and lacking in substance.
No matter how you feel about the food here, it is worth paying the food centre a visit to have a last glimpse of the place before it vanishes and becomes part of history. Some stalls may continue their business elsewhere, but some could end up with the same fate as a fish noodle stall, as I found out in a conversation with its owner…
“Uncle, where will you be moving to?”
“Not anywhere, rental so expensive and going to wind down and retire.”
It is sorrowful but a reality in our food heritage.
Kok Kee Wanton Noodle 国记云吞面
Address 1 :
#01-06, Lavender Food Square, 380 Jalan Besar (RELOCATED)
Address 2 :
27 Foch Road Lavender Food Hub (Zhuge Liang) Hoa Nam Building Singapore 209264 Operating Hours: Daily: from 1pm till sold out. Not fixed