Mui Kee Congee, Singapore

After a pop-up stint at Casa Verde in Singapore Botanic Gardens, Mui Kee Congee has finally settled into a permanent space in a more accessible location in Shaw Centre. As per most of the newly opened outposts, this one hailing from Hong Kong attracted strong interest from Singaporean –  as we are definitely fans of imported products.

Reports of long queue, with waiting time of up to 1.5 hours during peak period, definitely put me off in visiting them during the initial opening hype period. It was probably around 2 weeks later when I thought of them due to an urge to slurp a bowl of warm porridge, on a rainy Sunday evening.

My strategy worked as I only queued for about 15 mins before we got our seats inside the packed eatery. *I visited again in May with a longer queuing time of 30 mins on a weekday night. 

I hadn’t visited their original shop in Hong Kong, so I couldn’t make comparison and didn’t know what to expect. Other than a variety of congee, they also offered claypots dishes (to go with plain congee) and even noodles for mains. Side dishes such as cheong fun (during the day), fried dace fish cake, sliced raw hokkaido scallops etc were also available. Interestingly they shaved ice desserts as well. Personally I couldn’t stomach eating hot congee and rounding up with iced desserts…

From the list of side dishes, we tried the Soft centred century egg with pickled ginger and Fried bean curd skin.  Century egg is something unique to Asia and is a comfort food that goes well with the plain and simple congee. I had the best century egg at Hong Kong‘s Yung Kee. The ones served here indeed has a soft centre, still lost out to the version served at the once-famous roast meat institution. Coincidentally Mui Kee Singapore is located just opposite Kam’s Roast Singapore (another outpost from Hong Kong that was an offshoot of Yung Kee).  

The fried bean curd skin is somewhat like a ‘bean curd skin omelette roll’. The bean curd skin was folded into multiple layers and then pan-fried, I must say the one I had has a visibly less crispy skin than the ones I typically saw off famous blogs….Why?! What happened to the supposed cripsy skin? It was the same on my 2nd visit, although as a fan of bean curd skin I still ordered this side. 

Now for the highlight of the meal – the Congee. We ordered the Braised Baby Abalone Premium Congee and the Sliced Parrot Fish (add-on Dace fish balls) Congee.

The congee had silky smooth consistency where the rice grains have all been cooked till it “disintegrated” – the typical Cantonese style. You just need to select what ingredients you like to have inside your congee. The Dace fish balls were bouncy and chewy, one of the Chef’s recommendation. I found the normal sliced parrot fish pretty ordinary and not substantial in portion.

So on my 2nd visit (in May), I went for the Threadfin Belly which is supposedly one with “Wok Hei” as the fish and congee are cooked twice in copper pots. This version is a lot more aromatic and has a distinct smokey flavour with a hint of shaoxing wine? (my own taste bud tells me so). Between paying $18 for threadfin belly versus $20 for braised baby abalone, I would choose the former as it is more unique.

We also tried the Claypot Pork Liver with Ginger & Spring Onion. Many foodies may also know that KEK Seafood (aka Keng Eng Kee) serves a mean version of this dish as well, but I prefer the version here. The gravy is slightly less dark and less thick, and almost all the sliced liver were of similar thickness. This also resulted in better consistency in terms of controlling the doneness of the slices to ensure that every piece has similar  chewiness. If you like sweeter and richer version, than the KEK one would suit your taste bud more (somehow I didn’t blog about my visits to KEK).

There are so many side dishes to try that we couldn’t try everything that caught our attention in one visit. So here’s the Mushrooms with Oyster Sauce that I tried on my 2nd visit. The mushrooms were well-braised to a nice texture but it can be pretty filling, so be sure to have more people to share this side.

I must say I’m pretty addicted to the Mui Kee congee as their quality is much better than the congees available in Hong Kong style restaurants like Crystal Jade and Imperial Treasure. I’m more than willing to queue at least 30 mins for a taste of the satisfying and heart warming comfort congee. P.S if you choose the premium congee and dishes, be reminded to keep track of the prices if you are budget-conscious… we spent $80 for our congee meal here. Of cos you can also enjoy a satisfying quality congee by choosing the less pricey ingredient option. 

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