Famed congee stall Mui Kee in Mong Kok, Hong Kong opens its first overseas outlet here in Singapore.
This is one bowl of porridge you’ll want to queue hours for. Mui Kee, a household name in Hong Kong, makes its Singapore debut at Casa Verde, in the verdant heart of the Botanic Gardens. Brought in by the Les Amis Group, this six-month pop-up runs from 30 June to 31 December.
Heading the kitchen is sous chef Er Suen Liang (aka Ah Liang). Prior to the start of the pop-up, Ah Liang trained with Pierre Choi (aka Ah Tung), the third-generation chef-owner of Mui Kee. This training lasted a year, and included a month-long stint in Hong Kong. Stressing high standards, quality ingredients and meticulous care in his cooking, Ah Tung has been personally involved in the process of replicating the soul-warming congee in Singapore and will continue to make monthly visits to ensure the quality and consistency of the food.
One taste of Mui Kee’s congee and it’s clear how much care and attention is put into its creation. A must-order is their sliced fish congee ($12.50), featuring thin and tender strips of fish. Unlike the Hong Kong stall, which traditionally uses mud carp (sometimes called dace) from Shunde in Guangdong, the Singapore pop-up uses threadfin (aka ngor her). Not a fan of fish porridge? We recommend the scallop ($14.50) or century egg ($12.50) versions for an equally delicious alternative. Don’t forget to pile on the delicious side dishes too, such as drunken chicken ($10) and crisp kai lan ($7).
An institution that doesn’t believe in shortcuts, Mui Kee still follows the cooking process originally developed by Ah Tung’s grandmother, who set up the Hong Kong stall in 1979. The kitchen in Singapore is no exception. Beginning at 4am every day, rice is mixed with mashed century eggs, cooked with beancurd skin, then simmered with fish and pork bones for five hours.
Like the stall back in Hong Kong, the pop-up is only open for breakfast and lunch (Tue to Sun, 7.30am-3pm). Be forewarned though: the food sold out in roughly two hours on the first morning, and we had to return the next day for our share of the congee!
1 Cluny Road. Tel: 6467 7326. muikee.com.sg