Fishball noodles @ Song kee fishball noodle
UPDATE: Sadly this shop has relocated to 100 Yio Chu Kang Rd 😭
Song kee’s fishball noodles caused my first wow moment in Singapore. After that first bite into a fishball, I had to stop masticating, pause, and reflect on how insanely good this tasted.
Let me explain.
In Australia, fishballs are commonly found in asian supermarkets, but outside of supermarkets not so much, in fact I had never encountered them in a restaurant. When I had encountered fishballs, e.g. at hotpot dinner parties, I was not particularly enamoured with either the taste or the texture — I readily admit to an aversion to processed foods (don’t get me started on spam fries). However, this indifference to fishballs was instantly changed upon tasting my first handmade one. The texture was springy, but surprisingly soft once the fishball was pierced with a bite. The proteins could be made out as you chewed, bursting with flavour at each bite. These fishballs were a million miles away from their smooth and spongy factory cousins I had first encountered in a hotpot. The fishy taste was even minimised in these handmade fishballs — I would be interested to know if this is due to the type of fish used, but the species name is not made available.
Each bowl comes with a combination of fishballs, tofu stuffed with fish paste, fish dumplings and fish rolls — how many is dependent on the price of the bowl. The fish dumplings seem to be the highlight of the bowl here, I have noticed several customers asking for extra ones when ordering. You can choose from a soup or dry noodle, a variety of noodles, and three sizes of dishes. So far I have only tried the dry noodles, with either mee pok (flat egg noodle) or mee kia (skinny egg noodle). The noodles are not going to set records, but they were never supposed to be the star of the dish.
It can be hard to differentiate between fishball noodles sellers, therefore the quality of the chilli sauce becomes critical in determine your favourite bowls. The noodles must be tossed in a good amount of chilli, deep fried pork fat, and some lard. A good bowl of fishball noodles is not necessarily a health conscious choice, but hey the is no substitute for flavour. At Song kee, the chilli has a decent kick, and the pork fat serving is generous. The random crunches into pork fat when eating fishball noodles, the explosion of salty porky goodness, is always the highlight of the dish. I suggest you add a good dash of the black vinegar (they even offer balsamic if that is more to your taste) to the bowl for the perfect mouth watering experience.
If you have not yet tried Song kee fishball noodle, then drop everything and do it today. So far from what I have tasted in the east, they are the kings. The only negative is they do not serve 🍺.
Price: $4.00 (I suggest ordering the $6 for more variety of ingredients)
Coffee shop: Song kee eating house
Address: 128 Tembeling Rd, Joo Chiat
Hours: 11:30am - 9:30pm (closed wednesdays)