Edmund Chen & Chen Xi “Big Fans” Of Under-The-Radar Seafood White Bee Hoon Stall In Golden Mile - 8days Skip to main content



Edmund Chen & Chen Xi “Big Fans” Of Under-The-Radar Seafood White Bee Hoon Stall In Golden Mile

“It has very good wok hei and is also very comforting,” says Chen Xi of the three-month-old stall helmed by a Japanese restaurant chef-turned-hawker.
Edmund Chen & Chen Xi “Big Fans” Of Under-The-Radar Seafood White Bee Hoon Stall In Golden Mile

After spending more than a decade in professional kitchens, 37-year-old Chee Chuen Yuen (right in pic above) quit his junior chef job at mod Japanese restaurant Sen of Japan at Marina Bay Sands in May this year to start his own hawker biz at Golden Mile Food Centre.

Instead of Japanese cuisine, the Ipoh-born Singaporean PR dishes out seafood white bee hoon, a dish popularised by You Huak restaurant in Sembawang in the mid-2010s. Chuen Yuen’s stall Ah B Seafood White Mee Hoon, named after his nickname, opened on June 22. He runs the biz with his brother-in-law, 39-year-old former equipment engineer Lim Teck Loon, also from Ipoh.

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Initially planned to sell Japanese bentos

Since relocating to Singapore almost two decades ago, Chuen Yuen has worked as a cook at a cai png stall, and also had roles as kitchen assistant, operations manager and chef at various Japanese restaurants. Like many former chefs who ditched their whites to run their own hawker stalls, he had a desire to establish his own fiefdom. 

“I wanted to strike out on my own, so I don’t have to be dependent on others. I can also manage my time better,” he tells 8days.sg. Teck Loon, who admits that he “doesn’t really know how to cook”, decided to join Chuen Yuen in the biz as he was jaded with corporate life. Together, they invested $20K to open Ah B Seafood White Mee Hoon. 

They had initially planned to sell Japanese bentos but changed their minds after successfully bidding for a stall at Golden Mile Food Centre.

“We felt that the price point for Japanese bentos, which is usually around $7 for a basic chicken teriyaki set, is too high for a hawker centre like Golden Mile, where you can find very affordable offerings from $3. So, we changed our signature dish to seafood white bee hoon,” explains Chuen Yuen.

“I personally like the dish and was inspired by my friend, who ran a successful seafood white bee hoon stall in Bukit Panjang (he declines to reveal which stall). But he has since shut his stall due to health reasons.”

Never cooked white bee hoon prior to opening stall

Prior to opening his biz, Chuen Yuen had never cooked seafood white bee hoon and learned the recipe from his friend, the former Bukit Panjang hawker. Says Chuen Yuen: “I have experience in [cooking] zi char, so it wasn’t difficult picking it up.”

His rendition of the dish is slightly different from the famous Sembawang white bee hoon, which boasts an eggy gravy. “We don’t add egg in our dish and our gravy is soupier ’cos we prefer this style,” he says.

He’s also had to tone down the smokiness of his noodles, which are first dry-fried to give it wok hei, after some customers complained that the gravy was too “black” and looked unappealing.

“Some customers said our white bee hoon looks ‘dirty’, so we don’t pre-fry the noodles as much. It compromises the [smoky]  taste, but if we don’t cater to them, they won’t even try our noodles. So, unless customers request for wok hei-laden noodles, we will serve the toned-down version,” shares Chuen Yuen.

Business has only been so-so 

Though the popular food centre attracts a good crowd, business has been “less than ideal” and rather erratic. On a good day, they can sell around 80 plates of bee hoon. An average day is half that.

There are too many famous stalls here. A lot of people come here for them and don’t patronise other stalls. In the first month, most of our sales were from friends and family who came down to support us. But at least we did not make a loss and were still able to pay ourselves a bit of salary,” reveals Teck Loon, adding that they’ve had to take “an 80 percent pay cut”.

They have celeb fans like Edmund Chen & Chen Xi

But the guys are looking on the bright side. They share that they have already garnered some regular customers including Edmund Chen and son, Chen Xi.

“Edmund is very friendly. He came up to us to offer his compliments after trying our food and we exchanged contact numbers and took a selfie together,” says Teck Loon excitedly.

“He said we must support young hawkers and returned a couple of times with his son to patronise us and also tapow noodles for his daughter.”

And as luck would have it, the father and son pair happened to be at the food centre for their kopi session during 8days.sg’s photoshoot. They stop by to say hi to the towkays – unintentionally causing quite a stir among curious onlookers – and tell 8days.sg they are “big fans” of their white bee hoon.

“It has an authentic taste. A lot of stalls add a lot of seasoning to their bee hoon, which I don’t like,” gushes Edmund, while Chen Xi chimes in: “It has very good wok hei and is also very comforting.”

Fans grab Edmund and Chen Xi for pics and chat when they drop by the stall

The menu

There are eight items on the menu: white bee hoon fried with different seafood like sliced fish, prawn, squid, crayfish and lala. Prices start from $6.50 for the sliced fish and lala white bee hoon to $20 for the whole works minus the squid.

Prawn & Lala White Mee Hoon, $6.50 (8 DAYS Pick!)

We request for the wok hei-heavy version of white bee hoon and it is tastier than the toned-down default version we had during our previous incognito visit. Made by simmering chicken bones and anchovies, the grey-hued gravy is flavourful and infused with smokiness. 

The smoky wok-charred bee hoon, which has soaked up the rich broth beautifully, is slurp-worthy, and the tiger prawns, first fried in hua diao rice wine, are sweet, crunchy and succulent. Rounding up the hearty dish are Chinese cabbage, a handful of lala, and generous toppings of crunchy pork crackling and garlic chips.

If you like your noodles with a fiery kick, be sure to try their house-made chilli sauce. Made with both regular chillies and chilli padi, garlic, onion and lime juice, it is tangy, punchy and super shiok.

Sliced Fish & Lala White Mee Hoon, $6.50 

Instead of prawn, you get five slices of fresh, meaty batang fish with your noodles. Chuen Yuen does not season the fish so you can taste its natural sweetness.

Prawn, Crayfish, Sliced Fish & Lala White Mee Hoon, $20 (for two pax)

We love shellfish so this platter, which brims with crayfish, prawn, fish and lala, was right up our alley. The fresh, springy crayfish give the gravy an added hint of brininess. Worth ordering if you're craving something more luxe.

Bottom line

While we’ve never tried the famous Sembawang white bee hoon, we really enjoyed Ah B’s take on the dish. The broth is flavourful, seafood fresh, and portions hearty — definitely request for the ‘wok hei-heavy’ version. It’s a pity that the underrated stall is overlooked by customers for its more popular neighbours. We hope business picks up for them soon. 

The details

Ah B Seafood White Mee Hoon is at #01-77 Golden Mile Food Centre, 505 Beach Rd, S199583. Open daily 10.30am-8pm. Closed on alternate Sat. More info via Instagram and Facebook.

Photos: Kelvin Chia

No part of this story or photos can be reproduced without permission from 8days.sg.



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