Former Les Amis chef’s Toa Payoh Hokkien Mee stall already has insane 45-minute queues

Hokkien man cooks Hokkien mee.

Melanie Lim | August 24, 2019 @ 04:31 pm


Hokkien Mee has a long history in Singapore.

S’pore’s Hokkien Mee originated from Rochor Market. It was called ‘Rochor Mee’.

In fact, it’s not hard to find a stall selling Hokkien Mee at any coffeeshop, food court or hawker centre you visit.

Hokkien Man Hokkien Mee

Here’s yet another one, Hokkien Man Hokkien Mee. 

The stall was started by 43-year-old Xavier Neo, who has over a decade of experience in the hotel and fine dining industry.

The humble chef apparently did not go to culinary school, but instead worked his way up from an apprentice, eventually clinching a position as sous chef at two Michelin-starred French restaurant Les Amis.

Image via Hokkien Man Hokkien Mee on Facebook

According to 8 days, Neo has been working 14-hour days since the opening of his kopitiam stall, waking up at 5am everyday to prepare prawn stock that takes three hours to cook.

He is assisted by his 46-year-old wife, Alice Lai, who used to run a Nasi Lemak stall with her aunt at Holland Drive.

Image via Hokkien Man Hokkien Mee on Facebook

The dish

Neo claims to cook his Hokkien Mee with a mix of pork lard and vegetable oil so that it’s less oily.

His dish is fried with a combination of yellow noodles, white noodles, peeled prawns, pork belly, squid, beansprouts and chives in umami prawn stock.

Image from Hokkian man Hokkien Mee

Mothership talked to Lai about what makes their mee different from others, and one of the factors appears to be the broth.

“Our prawn broth is not the usual prawn stock. You can taste the sweetness and freshness of prawns . Our seafood are all fresh seafood. Our chilli is specially formulated to go with the noodles so that it is not too overpowering. We also cater to personal taste as you can order a drier version or a more wet version. You can also opt out of certain meat if you do not like, eg no squid, no pork,etc.”

Neo also uses the same technique he picked up in french restaurants, cooking the prawn broth in the same style as one cooks lobster bisque.

The chilli used is a slightly tweaked version from Lai’s old nasi lemak stall.

Pricing & ordering system

Currently Neo’s Hokkien Mee comes at three price points – S$4, S$5 and S$6.

During peak hours like lunchtime, there is apparently a 30 to 45 minute wait.

The stall is also known to close by 2:30pm when their stock runs out, so do visit them early.

Alternatively, you can place an order in advance by calling the stall and getting your food either for dine-in or takeaway.

Future plans

In the future, the couple intends to offer special bulk orders for office lunches, and allow people to customise their Hokkien Mee with other seafood ingredients.

They also hope to open more Hokkien Man Hokkien Mee outlets, including a halal version of their stall some day.

Where to go

Address: 1913 Coffeeshop, Blk 18 Toa Payoh Lor 7, Singapore 310018

Opening Hours: 10am – 2:30pm (or while stocks last), Tuesday – Sunday

Telephone: 8798 1525

Top image via archerx on Instagram

About Melanie Lim

Melanie likes taking and editing photos for Instagram.

Morning Commute

Interesting stories to discuss with your colleagues in office later