Tuck Kee in Ipoh is an institution and has been around for three generations since 1963. (We listed Tuck Kee as our “Must Eat in Ipoh.”) Now, the third generation, the son of current owner (hence the name of the shop, Ipoh Tuck Kee Son), has set up stall at the former space of Kok Kee Wanton Mee at Foch Road.
Not sure if it’s the feng shui, but, like Kok Kee, the queue was long af. On a rainy Saturday, we had to queue for an hour, and we waited another half an hour for the food. Total wait time: 1.5 hours. At one point, the queue was so long it snaked around the building. But let’s not complain, because the cooks worked non-stop. I felt bad for them.
I’ve seen a couple of Singaporean bloggers going to Ipoh to eat moonlight hor 月光河 at Tuck Kee. But in reality Tuck Kee is most famous for Wan Tan Hor, or what we call “hor fun” in Singapore. Unfortunately, at this stall, they are not selling it.
They also have plans to bring in their signature meatballs but at this moment, they are also not available.
Instead what Tuck Kee Son is selling are different types of noodles (bee hoon, yee mee, low shu fen, etc) in a black savoury sauce. (See menu at the end of this review.)
Their bestseller at the stall is Yu Kong Hor 月光河 ($5.50 small, $8.50 large). It’s thick rice noodles (not as thick as hor fun) in a black savoury sauce topped with a raw egg and pork lard.
When I took it from the vendor, it looked so little so I asked, “Is it large?” She replied affirmative. And I brought it to my table and my friends asked me the same question: “Is it large?” So don’t order it to share, just order large and eat it by yourself.
Tastewise, it’s excellent. It’s almost herbal with a slight hint of sweetness. It’s super savoury with an underlying wok hei boosting the dish. When the flavours get too intense to bear, the bitter chye sim undercuts them all.
But unfortunately, the ingredients are really little. The pork pieces are measly and the most important component, lard, is hardly there.
Both the Yu Kong Hor and the braised yee mee ($5 small, $8 large) are very, very salty—Malaysians like their food salty. The Yu Kong Hor has a raw egg to mitigate the saltiness and so it is still acceptable and delicious to me. However, yee mee is downright salty to liver failure, I cannot take it. Disclaimer: I don’t like yee mee in the first place—I think it has a ka-zhuor taste—so I might already be jaundiced before I started.
The baby octopus in soy sauce ($8) is also their specialty, which I had eaten in Ipoh. It tastes exactly the same. It has a nice, almost crunchy bite, in a light sauce to bring out the octopus’ flavour.
We paid $24.50 for the three dishes, but it was too little for four adult men. We ordered more food from other stalls at the kopitiam and then went on to eat cakes at City Square Mall. I recommend that each person order one large noodle dish for themselves, don’t share.
Ipoh Tuck Kee Son 怡保德记仔炒粉
27 Foch Road #01-02 Coffeeshop Stall No.1 Singapore 209264
Lunch (Tue, Wed, Fri-Sun): 11.30am – 2pm
Dinner (daily): 5.30pm – 9pm
You may be interested in…
–The Coffeeshop by Yaowarat, Kovan: Bringing Malaysian and Thai Food to Singapore
–Malaysian Hup Kee Fishball Noodle 合记鱼丸, AMK: I Hate Sick People’s Food But This Is Awesome
–195 Pearl Hill Cafe, Chinatown: The Haunting (Good Food) of (Pearl) Hill (Terrace) House
–Quan Ji 權記, Amoy Street Food Centre: Decent Cze Char Best Known for their “Yellow Cloth” Noodles
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.