Meng Kee Fried Kway Teow @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

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Update: Meng Kee Fried Kway Teow has relocated. The new address has been updated at the bottom of this post.

Right next to the entrance of the open air car park to Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre is a nondescript HDB coffee shop.

Every time I walked past it to get to the food centre, I see only a handful of customers around. Due to the lack of crowd here, I did not think much of the coffee shop and what it may have to offer.

Well, until one day when I saw someone having a mean-looking plate of char kway teow there. 

That prompted me to take a look inside the premises where Meng Kee Fried Kway Teow is located.

Soon Heng Hong Kong Style Charcoal Roast @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

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Soon Heng Hong Kong Style Charcoal Roast at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre serves the usual roasts like char siew, roasted pork (siew yok/sio bak), roasted duck and roasted chicken.

As I was craving for roasted pork, I ordered the char siew and roasted pork combo with rice ($4). While the auntie was preparing my order, my gaze fell upon the rolls of pig's skin in the window. How could I resist the temptation not to get some?

The overall cost came up to $5 so that makes the pig's skin only a dollar.

Zheng Nasi Lemak @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

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That piece of luncheon meat is a dead giveaway but if you can't already tell, Zheng Nasi Lemak at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre is wholly Chinese owned therefore tak Halal.

I have walked past this stall numerous times during my last few visits and I finally decided to try them out this round. They have six different sets for easy ordering. I chose set number one ($4) which comes with a drumstick, luncheon meat and fried egg on top of rice, sambal chili and cucumber.

The rice is nicely perfumed with the coconut milk aroma but the texture is a tad dry and not fluffy enough. I do like it though for its saltish undertones.

Eng Huat Fishball Mee @ Havelock Road Cook Food Centre

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This visit to Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre is to try the fishball noodles at Eng Huat Fishball Mee.

When I arrived at the food centre, there are only four persons in front of the stall. I joined the queue totally unprepared for the long wait.

I turned to look inside the stall and I saw the uncle taking order, cooking, collecting payment, slicing fish cakes, washing, chopping spring onions all at the same time with no helper. 

It is a one-man show. That explains the slow moving queue!

IAAI Malay Food - Mee Siam @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

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I have a funny encounter with the nenek of IAAI Malay Food at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre.

It all started when I ordered a bowl of mee siam with her at the stall. I spoke to her in English but she replied to me in Malay which I did not understand.

I simply smile and nodded at her words. After I received my bowl, I chose a table in front of the stall and started snapping away with my camera.

Then, I heard nenek giggling. I turned to look at her and she gave me two thumbs-up with a big grin on her face. I gave her two thumbs-up in return.

She came to my table with a packet of assam in her hands and began telling me what I believed to be how she used it in the mee siam I was having. I wished I understood what she said so I could put in the extra info here.

After finishing my food, I walked up to nenek to tell her that her mee siam is "sedap" and ordered another round of mee siam and mee rebus to take away for the folks at home. Then, I finally understood why she keep talking to me in Malay - she thought that I am a Indonesian tourist because I was taking photos.

But why Indonesian of all places? Well, technically she isn't wrong as I do have some Indonesian blood in me though I cannot speak a word of it to save my life.

I bade farewell to nenek and she was still grinning from ear to ear.

Guang Fa Laksa @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

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The uncle behind Guang Fa Laksa at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre is real friendly but oddly quiet who uses the thumbs-up sign to acknowledge you.

You have to specify if you want cockles because if you don't, you will not be given any and there will be a difference in pricing. The price for laksa without cockles is $2.50 and $3 while with cockles is $3 and $4 respectively.

What is laksa without cockles? Without a doubt, I had to order a bowl with the shellfish.

Ivan's Porridge @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

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During my second visit to Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre, Ivan's Porridge was on the agenda.

I am there to try the boneless fish belly porridge which is highly recommended online but after scrutinizing the menu, I realize that it was no longer available. Perhaps it is an off-the-menu item but I did not ask so I decided to settle for the sliced fish porridge instead.

I placed my order with the auntie who had a punk hairstyle. To my surprise, she is actually quite polite and soft-spoken despite her "havoc" appearance. I was told to take a seat while my order will be delivered to me shortly.

Covent Garden Prawn Noodle @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

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When I was researching about Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre, the prawn noodles of Covent Garden Prawn Noodle caught my attention.

Their noodles in the photos seemed so old school and alluring. I guess it's rightly so as the proprietor is a pair of elderly couple.

I have the tendency to patronize elderly hawkers because I choose to believe that they still make food out of passion like the good old days with a well-guarded recipe without cutting corners.

I hope to have a chance to taste such traditional flavors while I still can before their craft disappears with their demise. Also, consider it my way of supporting them to make a living.

The stall is closed for three days a week so I suppose they are not running the business out of necessity but rather, to keep themselves occupied. Of course, this is only speculation on my part.

I made it a point to arrive at the food centre before noon and there were only three customers in front of me. However, the waiting time still took a while despite everyone ordering single bowls.

The wait is due to the senior proprietor preparing orders in their own unhurried way so, do have a little patience to wait in line.