The Place Fried Hokkien Mee is a dish you can find in many local Hawker centres, and Swee Guan Hokkien Mee in Lor 29 Geylang should be in your list if you are a Hokkien Mee lover. Located in coffeeshop called Xin Lian Eating House, I joined the long queue in the small coffeeshop space one Friday evening. The signboard of Swee Guan says it has been around since 1968, just a few years shy of Singapore’s history. I call this a heritage stall, and Hokkien Mee is definitely a heritage dish in Singapore.
The Food The first thing I noticed while queuing was the huge wok over the blazing charcoal fire. In fact, the charcoal smell was evident even as I stood with more than ten people ahead of my queue. The Hokkien Mee ($6/$8/$10) here is fried in big batches, as I saw the sheer amount of noodles being thrown into the wok for one round of frying. If you are lucky, it should reach your turn in less than 25 minutes.
As it was my first time, I ordered a mix of the S$6 and S$8 as was unsure of the portions. S$6 sounds pretty huge by normal hawker standards, and the version here is tiny. Do not go for S$6 if you have a huge appetite, or risk being unsatisfied.
The S$8 plate looks more like a normal serving I am used to. I love the charcoal aroma from the ‘wok-hei’, and what’s on the table is a moist fried noodle texture which I like. Squeeze some lime over the noodles, mix it with the sweet chilli, and you are good to go!
It is not merely the charcoal aroma here, as every strand of noodle is also imparted with the charcoal flavour. You get a few medium-size prawns and fresh squid, which probably justifies the S$8, maybe? Some of us on the same table were pleased with the prawns, while The Rantee find that it was overcooked. Personally, I am more particular about the taste of the noodles in every Hokkien Mee dish than the accompanying prawns or squids.
Rants Steep prices for Hokkien Mee? Definitely higher than the usual hawker centres, and quite obviously the price does not put off diners judging by the long queue. The coffeeshop is not big, and finding a table in a social distancing setting can be tough.
Will I Return Again? Another stall which adds to my Geylang list, the other favourite being Koung’s Wan Tan Mee. Swee Guan Hokkien Mee impresses me with its strong charcoal flavour and delicious noodles, and that itself is worth returning.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Swee Guan Hokkien Mee
5 Lorong 29 Geylang
Tel: +65 9817 5652
Monday to Sunday: 5pm to 10pm
Closed on Wednesday
Ranted by The Ranter