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Cheap & Good

Fantastic fishball mee at Eng Huat Fishball Mee at Havelock Road

When I told a friend of mine over lunch last week that I was planning to write about the fishball noodles from Eng Huat Fishball Mee at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre, he tried hard to persuade me not to.

And I don't blame him.

He, like many other foodies, would rather have their favourite stalls remain under the radar, with a manageable queue.

But he understood when I explained that, for the sake of preserving Singapore's street food culture, food lovers should honour those who continue to take pains to keep the craft alive.

Eng Huat's supple and sweet fishcake and soft yet bouncy fishballs are made with fresh sai toh fish, or wolf herring, by hand from scratch every morning.

  • ENG HUAT FISHBALL MEE

    Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre, 22B Havelock Road, Stall 26, open: 6.30 to 9am, 11am to about 1pm, or when sold out, weekday only (closed on weekend). The stall is open in the evening, but run by another family member.

    Rating: 4 stars

Each fishcake is then deep-fried until golden brown.

As for the fishballs, there are no two that look exactly alike. They are neither completely spherical nor overly bouncy. Lightly salted, they are perfect to me in every way, from texture to flavour.

For me, the fishcake and fishballs are the highlight here.

The stall opens in the day and at night. There is a morning and early lunch shift run by an older couple and a night shift run by another family member.

I vouch only for the noodles, fishcake and fishballs available in the morning and up to lunchtime. I haven't tried the evening version which, I am told, is very different.

A bowl of noodles starts at $3. Have it dry or in soup.

I opt for a $4 bowl of dry mee pok with chilli, with an extra piece of fishcake (add $1). The noodles come with crispy bits of lard, an important flavour component. You can add ketchup and extra vinegar if you like.

The clear, satisfying soup gets a boost of flavour from charred bits of garlic. I slurp up every spoonful.

My hope is that artisan stalls such as these, which take pride in making their offerings from scratch, continue to thrive for years to come.

•Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan on Twitter @STrebeccatan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 29, 2016, with the headline 'Fantastic fishball mee'. Print Edition | Subscribe