I travelled down to Old Airport Road Food Centre with the intention of reviewing a particular wanton mee spot. Sadly, it was shut that day for unknown reasons. Just as I was about to head off, another stall located at the back of the hawker centre called Sky JB Mian Fen Kueh caught my eye.
I have to admit, I’m a sucker for anything Malaysian… and the word “JB” enticed me to take a closer look at the menu.
The 12-year-old stall is owned by Louisa and her husband, who hail from Johor Bahru. They serve normal, pumpkin and spinach mee hoon kueh (all are handmade).
Besides the usual soup version, Sky JB Mian Fen Kueh also offers the option of tom yum and curry broth.
What I tried at Sky JB Mian Fen Kueh
To start things off, I ordered the Spinach Mian Fen Kueh (S$4.50). It was served in a clear broth that was filled with spinach mee hoon kueh, fishballs, minced meat clusters, ikan bilis, and ma ni cai (something rarely seen in Singapore).
The spinach mee hoon kueh did not really taste much like Popeye’s favourite food, but it had a great texture. I particularly loved the broth which was clean-tasting and naturally sweet.
According to my dining partner (my dad), ma ni cai was rather common back in the kampong days. The paper-thin vegetable had a slightly rough texture and reminded me of sweet potato leaves.
The addition of fishballs to mee hoon kueh was something out of the ordinary, and I was on board with the peculiar combination. It somehow worked wonderfully.
I took a break from noodles and tried the Yuanbao Dumplings (S$5 for 10 pcs). They were placed on a simple disposable plate with a side of ginger strips soaked in black vinegar.
Although the skin of the dumplings weren’t the thinnest around, the filling was a delightful trio of minced pork, chives and sliced cabbage.
I sent the dumplings for a quick dip into the black vinegar and ginger, and was rewarded with a tangy spiced-up mouthful of goodness.
I moved on to my final dish, the Spicy Pumpkin Mian Fen Kueh (S$5) with an additional Egg (+S$0.60). It was a lovely mess which consisted of pumpkin mee hoon kueh, minced pork clusters, ikan bilis, fishballs, pork lard bits, and ma ni cai (something rarely seen in Singapore).
I mixed everything up, and the bowl of ingredients glistened from the hidden gravy lying at the bottom. By then, my tummy had already begun to rumble and I couldn’t wait to take the first bite.
Similar to the spinach version, I couldn’t detect any significant pumpkin taste from the mee hoon kueh. The lovely golden pieces of dough possessed a good texture without being overly floury. The seasoning of the gravy was also perfectly calibrated— I had no complaints.
The dynamic duo of pork lard bits and crispy ikan bilis uplifted the dish with different spectrums of umami-ness.
The spice level was enough to make beads of sweat appear on my forehead, but it did not leave me scrambling for a glass of water.
The dry options at Sky JB Mian Fen Kueh are served with separate bowls of soup, which contain more ma ni cai.
The Egg inside was perfectly poached, and the gooey yolk was released upon prodding it with my utensils— this made the soup more creamy and thick. Score!
I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason (that day was a perfect example). I wouldn’t have known about the existence of Sky Jb Mian Fen Kueh if not for the closure of the hawker stall I’d initially intended to visit.
When I return, I plan to go for their dry mee hoon kueh again and try out the other offerings as well.
Expected damage: S$4 – S$7 per pax
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