Chiew Kee vs Hai Kee Soy Sauce Chicken Noodles

Aug 15, 2019

Just a quick throwback to the time I tried the soy sauce chicken noodles at Chiew Kee and Hai Kee, both located around China Town in Singapore, with Chiew Kee along upper cross street, and Hai Kee housed inside Chinatown Point across the street.

Both brands originated from the same coffeeshop on Upper Cross Street back in the 1950s, with Hai Kee selling Soy Sauce Chicken Rice, while Chiew Kee sold Soy Sauce Chicken Noodles.

It’s also interesting to note that Chiew Kee had split into Chiew Kee and Chew Kee, both at their own shops on Upper Cross Street, merely a few minutes walk from each other. That said, I have yet to try the chicken at Chew Kee.

Me at Chiew Kee
Soy sauce chicken at Chiew Kee.

The plate of half a soy sauce chicken at Chiew Kee was intimidating and included chicken liver and some slices of cucumber. The soy braising sauce was pleasantly balanced – neither overly sweet nor salty, and had a very complex spice fragrance.

It’s worth noting that the braising soy sauce’s flavor had permeated into practically every muscle fibre of the meat, making every bite immensely satisfying.

The meat was also delicate and very, very tender. However, if you like your chicken to have more texture and bite, you may not like this.

Plain noodles at Chiew Kee

The noodles on their own were superb.
Hardly plain in any way. They did not clump together, and every strand had a nice bite, packed with umami from the chicken braising soy sauce.

Dumpling soup at Chiew Kee.

The side order of cantonese style dumpling (水饺) soup was also very competent, as good as any decent noodle shop in Hong Kong.
Every dumpling was plump and filled with seasoned mince pork and shrimp.

Hai Kee brothers are next.

Combo noodles at Hai Kee Brothers.

Hai Kee brothers at Chinatown Point are a more modern concept targeting younger diners with some interesting adaptations of traditional dishes.

The Combo Noodle I tried belonged to their traditional repertoire. It featured their signature soy sauce chicken, char siew, siew yoke, braised egg and braised tofu.

The noodles were well cooked and had a nice texture. The soy sauce chicken was tender and well seasoned in its braising liquid.
Compared with the one at Chiew Kee, it’s missing some sort of wow factor.

The roast pork and char siew were decent in their own right with the roast pork having a nice crispy crackling although the char siew was more forgettable.

Lor Mee at Hai Kee Brothers

My friend had the Lor Mee. I had a taste of it, and the sauce was quite accurate, even though the toppings were entirely different from your traditional Lor Mee. This one featured artificial fried fish filets and roast pork. Truth be told, it would be something that I would only order if I was very bored of the usual offerings.

Mala Hotplate Yong Taufu

This sizzling hot plate came with some stuffed bean curd and okra. Very mildly ma, mildly la and quite salty. You can pass on this.

Bonus Contender: Liao Fan Hawker Chan

Liao Fan Hawker Chan’s Soy Sauce Chicken Noodle

I also recently tried Liao Fan Hawker Chan’s soy sauce chicken noodle (with char siew). The char siew is terrible, don’t order it.

In case you don’t already know, Liao Fan Hawker Chan is in recent years, the most famous soy sauce chicken seller in Singapore because of their 1 Michelin Star in 2016. They have since, been acquired by a restaurant group and capitalized upon, with several individual outlets across Singapore.

The signature soy sauce chicken was passable. The chicken was plump and tender, however, the soy braising sauce felt a bit generic, and didn’t taste unique, unlike that of Chiew Kee’s. The soy flavours were only apparent on the skin and had not been absorbed into the chicken flesh.

I would probably never eat at Liao Fan Hawker Chan, ever, again.

Chiew Kee is the winner in my books, for a memorable and unique taste of soy sauce chicken.

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