#2092 | How good does Crab Congee sound?! // Chee Kei, Hong Kong

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Photos taken on the Nikon Z6 and edited in VSCO

Hey guys,

So how good does crab congee sound, anyway? Crab is such a luxury, yet such an obsession with us Singaporeans, which is to be expected since our national dish is the debatably the chilli crab. All that is a roundabout way of saying, I suppose, that when we heard of a place in Hong Kong serving up golden crab congee, we kind of were all over it. Obviously.

Chee Kei is a local place with several branches, the one we visited this time was near our hotel in Causeway Bay. There was a short queue which moved quite fast, so we were seated in about ten minutes and ready for some yum yum in our tum tum business. You can order ala carte or in sets, and it’s quite good value for money at approximately 70 to 100HKD per set depending on what you get. Chee Kei is primarily known as a wonton shop, but dont be fooled – the permanent queues outside the outlets are there for the crab congee. For wontons abound in hongkong but crab congee is one in a million.

And of the fabled congee? It comes in a little bamboo pot, with a crab sitting atop a steaming bowl of pasty golden porridge. Golden, because the porridge is blended with crab roe, which makes it absolutely magical.

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Golden golden goodness

Dont get me wrong, everything else was good too. But that crab congee: it was something else. Chee Kei recently opened in Singapore but the crab congee seems to be firmly a hongkong exclusive. All the more reason to go back to hongkong, i suppose.

銅鑼灣店
Causeway Bay Shop
香港銅鑼灣波斯富街84號
84 Percival St., Causeway Bay
Phone: +852 2890 8616

x
Jem

#2089 | Singapore Snack Series – Jalan Tua Kong Lau Lim Mee Pok aka The Art of Mee Pok

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All pictures taken on the Nikon Z6, with a 35 f 1.8 lens

Hey guys,

Something I wanted to start doing last year but put off because Reasons (aka work) was to start talking more about the great spots we have back home. I travel so much that I’m always populating my feeds with recommendations for destinations far and wide.. when in reality, Singaporean food is like, the best. Obviously.

Singaporean food is a bit of a culinary convergence of the Straits, with influence from cultures all around the region. We have fantastic dining options from most asian cultures — Chinese, Malay, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, etc etc etc, which makes eating your way through the Lion City basically the overarching goal around which tourists plan their itinerary. We also have dining situations that cater to vasty varying budgets, from the mega high end to our beloved heartland hawkers. Actually, I’ll do up the breakdown of what kind of dining options we have in a different post as that’s a whole other story, but today, fresh off brunch at one of my favorite meepok stalls, I’m here with the first of my Singapore Snacccccc Series recommendations: Jalan Tua Kong Lau Lim Mee Pok, Aka The Art of Mee Pok.

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I’m not bullshitting, it’s in the name

This family run meepok stall sits right outside the Simpang Bedok food area, and is something of a mainstay for Eastsiders. I’m from Anglican High School which is about five minutes walk from here, so Simpang and Bedok 85 Food Market are familiar haunts for me, but even outside the immediate radius of Tanah Merah heartlanders and Anglican Alumni, the entire area is a hit for morning Kopis and late night suppers. It’s also the site of the informal War of the Mee Poks, with three famous meepok stalls triangulating the area – Jalan Tua Kong Lau Lim, Ming Fa Fishball and Jalan Tua Kong Ah Lim.

Who knows why you pick one over the other? To be honest, us Azns remain loyal to the stalls our parents grew up loving, and most of us have fond memories of breakfast at Lau Lim with our parents post wet-market shopping. The fab thing about this place is, they don’t just serve (admittedly excellent) meepok. They also serve a bevy of other breakfasty options, which makes it a great place to bring out-of-towners so they can try a whole bunch of traditional Singaporean dishes.

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French toast with Kaya

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Dripping Peanut butter bread

Unsung hero of the hour – the peanut butter bread. The bread they serve here isn’t what they’re known for but it should be. It’s soft and fluffy with the right amount of ‘outside crisp’. The fact that the peanut butter is served warm and dripping just makes it all kinds of amazing.

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Ngoh Hiang – five spice

Ngoh Hiang is new to me, I never had it growing up so I had to google this. It’s a unique Hokkien and Teochew dish originating in China but widely adopted in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. It’s a spiced (not spicy) pork roll wrapped in tofu skin, and it gets its name from the Chinese five spice powder that gives it a unique flavor. You eat it with sweet sauce or chilli. It’s very much a sharing dish, delicious but not really something you can have too much of at one go.

White Carrot Cake

This is new too – they never used to serve carrot cake! This white carrot cake served with their famous spicy chilli is really good, it’s crisp and not too oily. If you have it on its own like i do, it feels less guilty than having regular carrot cake. I can’t take spicy food because I am Weak Asian ™, but everyone else swears it complements the chilli sauce perfectly.

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Mee Pok!!!

And the star of the hour!!! Mee Pok!!!!

The Mee Pok here is served al dente, and you have it with either chilli or ketchup. A small bowl has fish balls, fishcake, lean pork, and minced pork, and the larger bowls have prawns as well. The real star of this bowl is the fish ball – in chinese slang we refer to this as qq, which approximately means squishy or bouncy. Man, singlish is weird. But yeah. It’s immensely satisfying to bite into, and I think this is because the fish balls are handmade, not machine made. Anyone raised on Singaporean food will tell you there’s a marked difference, which is why people devote themselves so religiously to family stalls instead of food court chains. The noodles are super springy too, and the noodle-to-gravy ratio is somehow always perfect, whether you order a big bowl or one with less noodles.

Happy Food Faces:

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This place is literally always crowded, so go early, or expect to queue!

Jalan Tua Kong Lau Lim
306 Bedok Rd, Singapore 469466
Open till 5pm but usually sells out about 4. Go for breakfast.

x
Jem