Meow Mee: Kuching hawkers whip up traditional Sarawak kolo mee & laksa at Geylang

·5-min read

Despite only opening in June 2022, Meow Mee has garnered quite a sizable fanbase in Singapore thanks to its authentic Sarawak dishes. Not only are all its recipes from Kuching (aka the capital of Sarawak), behind its helm are two Kuching-born hawkers. Talk about being authentic to its very core!

Meow Mee - storefront
Meow Mee - storefront

Meow Mee is located in a Kim San Leng coffee shop along Geylang. It’s a short 7-minute walk from Aljunied MRT, and you can spot the coffee shop from its bright orange awning.

If you’re walking along the main road, you can also spot Meow Mee’s adorable signage, which sports a cute cat slurping up a bowl of noodles. 

The fur-bulously lovable mascot, as well as the name of the stall, is a nod to Kuching’s nickname as the “City of Cats”.

Meow Mee - storefront
Meow Mee - storefront

Upon entering the coffee shop, I instantly recognised Meow Mee from its brightly-lit signage, which had a Chinese phrase written beside it: “猫城古早味”, which can be literally translated as “A traditional/old-school taste of the City of Cats”.

What I tried at Meow Mee

Meow Mee only sells two items, KOLO Mee and Sarawak Laksa, which are available in different variations. In a bid to try Meow Mee’s most authentic Sarawak offerings, I decided to go with the OG dishes on its menu.

Meow Mee - kolo mee
Meow Mee - kolo mee

For starters, I got the classic KOLO Mee – Original in Small (S$5.50). Bigger eaters can go for the Big (S$6.50) portion for just a dollar more.

If you’d like to jazz your KOLO Mee up with more ingredients, you can also get the Special (S$6 for small, S$8 for big) or QQ Fishball (S$4.50 for small, S$5.50 for big).

Meow Mee - kolo mee
Meow Mee - kolo mee

Based on first impressions, I thought the noodles looked a little dry. However, I gave it a good toss and was pleasantly surprised to find that they came laden with a good amount of sauce and oil, which made it easy to mix.

Though Meow Mee’s KOLO Mee looked relatively straightforward, it came chock full of ingredients such as springy egg noodles, minced pork and char siew, and was topped off with a generous sprinkling of fried shallots and spring onions.

Meow Mee - kolo mee
Meow Mee - kolo mee

Oh, this was superbly tasty. 

My first mouthful of noodles was packed with savoury and fragrant flavours, and I was immediately impressed by how delicious it was. The noodles were cooked just right and retained a QQ bounciness, and they had been coated in a blend of shallot oil, rendered lard, soy sauce and white vinegar, which gave it an incredibly aromatic touch.

Meow Mee’s KOLO Mee is proof that even the most straightforward and fuss-free of dishes can be equally, if not more, delicious than the rest.

Meow Mee - kolo mee
Meow Mee - kolo mee

As if the noodles themselves weren’t already super tasty, the addition of minced pork and char siew was the icing on the cake. 

The minced pork had been marinated prior to being cooked, and I could taste smoky notes from the soybean paste and soy sauce. It paired well with the thick slices of char siew and added a satisfying, meaty bite to Meow Mee’s KOLO Mee.

Meow Mee - kolo mee
Meow Mee - kolo mee

This is a dish that I would highly recommend. You’ve got that natural, alkaline-like sweetness from the springy egg noodles, the sweet marinated roasted notes from the minced meat, the aromatic fragrance from the shallot oil, and a well-needed crunch from the crispy lard bits. It might look simple, but the flavours from Meow Mee’s KOLO Mee were absolutely spot-on.

Meow Mee - sarawak laksa
Meow Mee - sarawak laksa
Meow Mee - lime and sambal belacan
Meow Mee - lime and sambal belacan

I moved on to Meow Mee’s Sarawak Laksa (S$7 for bee hoon, S$8 for kolo mee). I decided to go for bee hoon, and loved how it came with plenty of ingredients such as shredded chicken, prawns, quail eggs, omelette strips and beansprouts.

It came with a whole lime and house-made sambal belacan, which you can add into the soup for an added kick of flavour.

Meow Mee - sarawak laksa
Meow Mee - sarawak laksa

As compared to the laksa that Singaporeans know and love, Sarawak laksa is more full-bodied and packed with savoury flavours from the rempah, which usually comprises ingredients such as coriander seeds, tamarind, candlenut, dried chilli and prawn heads. It’s also not as tangy as assam laksa, nor is it as lemak as other types of laksa.

Meow Mee’s rendition of the traditional Sarawak laksa was smoky and actually really spicy! Each sip was robust and full-bodied, and I appreciated how there was a rich depth of flavour that instantly differentiated it from the creamy laksa that we’re more familiar with. After a few sips, the pepperiness from the heat eventually caught up with me, and left me sweating and coughing.

Be sure to add in the house-made sambal belacan and lime, which lifted the entire broth with a well-needed zingy brightness.

Meow Mee - sarawak laksa
Meow Mee - sarawak laksa

I noticed that Meow Mee had used a different type of bee hoon for their Sarawak Laksa. The noodles were fatter than the typical thin bee hoon, and because of its size, it retained a nice bite while not being too thick.

My only gripe would be that there was too much noodles and it had soaked up the flavour-packed broth too fast.

Meow Mee - prawns and chicken
Meow Mee - prawns and chicken

I appreciated how generous Meow Mee was with the ingredients, and spotted plenty of large prawns and shredded chicken in my S$7 bowl of Sarawak Laksa. While the prawns weren’t exactly the crunchiest I’ve had, they were still pretty sizeable and pleasantly meaty.

Final thoughts

Meow Mee - kolo mee and sarawak laksa
Meow Mee - kolo mee and sarawak laksa

Admittedly, I wasn’t the biggest fan of its Sarawak Laksa as it was more savoury and robust than what I’m used to, but if you’re in the mood for a springy bowl of kolo mee, I’d highly recommend that you drop by and give Meow Mee’s KOLO Mee a try. The springy noodles were light and fragrant, while the addictive bits of minced pork and char siew provide a meaty bite, making this a bowl of kolo mee that I’d travel down to Geylang for.

Expected damage: S$5.50 – S$8 per pax

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