In Singapore, food courts are fast replacing many hawker centres, making it increasingly difficult to find those traditional stalls that have been around for decades and are run by Mom and Pop. Those feeling the nostalgia, read on as Dr Leslie Tay finds a stall that has been around for more than 40 years and is still going strong.
Mention Mei Ling Food Centre and the one stall that comes to mind is the hor fun. You probably would not know the name of the hor fun stall as most people simply refer to it as “that hor fun from Mei Ling St Food Centre!” To me, the interesting thing about this stall is the fact that it is run by a husband and wife team for the past 40 years! In modern Singapore where Hawker Centres are fast being replaced by Food Courts, this is undoubtedly becoming a rarity.
One of my makan kaki had been telling me about the hor fun stall for a while but we just did not find the time to go and try it. True to his claims, the Hor Fun was excellent and made unique by the taste of the gravy. Another very telling thing about the hor fun was the fact that it was evidently made with a lot of passion – from the preparation to the cooking of the gravy. I also suspect that the sauce does not get prepared from scratch every day. Instead there are leftovers to which they add new ingredients to make the gravy for the next day. That means that theoretically there might be molecules of stuff in there since 1969! Well, so far the stall has not made headline news for serving unhygienic food and no one has had major food poisoning so it should be safe.
It was evident from speaking to the owners of the stall that they were proud of their many years of existence and history. Unfortunately the mom suffered a stroke and has not been unable to cook recently. However, she is still at the stall supporting her husband and daughter. The daughter has returned from Hong Kong to help take over the running of the stall! So that means we are at least going to enjoy their recipe for at least another generation! Phew!
If you are a fan of Hor Fun, this is one place you must make a point of visiting. I highly recommend the pork ribs, mushroom and chicken feet hor fun.
Shi Hui Yuan Hor Fun Specialty
Blk 159 Mei Chin Road, #02-33, Mei Ling Food Centre
Opening hours: Daily 7.30am to 2pm; Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays