Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Hua Kee 和记 at Pasir Panjang. A Seafood Plus Stall

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Last evening, I had dinner with buddy Ong at Hua Kee 和记 at Pasir Panjang hawker centre in Singapore.

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Pasir Panjang hawker centre is a popular hangout with locals. The hawker centre is conveniently located right at the doorstep of Pasir Panjang MRT station on the Circle Line.

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There are seven seafood stalls here - Hua Kee is one of them (sort of).


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Hua Kee feels a little different from typical seafood stalls ubiquitous in Singapore - it has a heavy stamp of Chef Uncle Khu's persona.

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You know, that quiet pride of fastidious, veteran Teochew chefs. In his 70s now, Uncle Khu followed his dad at the stall when he was a child. Uncle Khu's son David too followed in his footsteps since he was 8 years old - so Hua Kee is firmly in the third generation now. 

From the dishes, we can get a glimpse of Uncle Khu's 40 year culinary career - his life's delicious work.

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Hua Kee has a huge menu but this was all the two of us could manage 😂 (Means that we must come back for more lah 😄 )

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The first thing that struck me about Hua Kee's chili crab was the sauce - uniquely, it has no tomatoes. It resembles a peanut sauce - the type we eat with satay.

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You see, Hua Kee started life decades ago serving Penang rojak and Teochew style cuttlefish kangkong 鱿鱼蕹菜. Hua Kee's peanuty chili crab sauce is derived from Hua Kee's cuttlefish kangkong roots. 

The sauce thickened by crushed nuts is savoury, spicy and peanuty - you can taste and feel the soft crunchy bits. Crab gut which we call "crab paste" 蟹膏 added crustacean savouriness to the pastey sauce.

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The crab meat encased in hard shell was tender and moist with natural sweet juices. The crab's natural flavour was complemented by the peanuty savoury spicy sauce.

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The Philippines and Sri Lankan crabs were kept alive under a heavy wet gunny sack.


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Hua Kee have several more crab dishes and one of their signatures is their Teochew style cold crab. (They have moulting crabs but it is best to call ahead to confirm availability 📞 6474 9142.)

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Not very photogenic Slipper Lobster 虾婆 in black pepper sauce.

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The black pepper sauce was quite robustly peppery spicy savoury. We can still taste a bit of rather delicate sweetness in the Slipper Lobster's soft flesh, provided we do not eat it with too much peppery sauce in the same mouthful 😄

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The Slipper Lobster though not live were kept well chilled.

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Ikan Bakar or BBQ Sambal Stingray is one of my favourite dishes at street side or hawker centre seafood hangouts. It comes laid on a banana leaf and smothered with a thick blanket of intimidating fiery looking sambal chili. But, it was just nice for my hot spice tolerance.

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Woh.... the soft and wet white flesh is sooo.... good - just slightly sweet.

I didn't eat the stingray's flesh with the sambal - the flesh's flavour is too delicate for that. I ate the delicious sambal chili with plain white rice. Yum yum. Perfect.

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If you must have sourish spicy savoury sweet chinchalok with your Ikan Bakar, you gotta try this. I haven't had such a good chinchalok for a very long time.

If I have any complaint hor..., it's the use of Styrofoam utensils and plastic cutlery - but, I am nitpicking. Labour saving solutions are a fact of life in labour starved Singapore hawker centres.

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Grilled cuttlefish - one of the dishes carried over from Hua Kee's early cuttlefish kangkong years, decades ago.

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A large cuttlefish marinated in a savoury sweet sauce, grilled to a slight char at the edges. The flesh is tender and spongy. The slight char added a bit of toasty taste to the savoury sweet sauce and the underlying natural cuttlefish sweetness.

Comes with a dish of fiery looking chili sauce but I won't eat such nicely balanced and natural flavours with strong tasting sauce one 😛

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I also tried Hua Kee's rojak.

The savoury sweet prawn paste sauce was soo.... good! I also like the thin strips of crispy fried fish topping. There's cut cucumber, pineapple etc hidden under that heap. But, I didn't really like the spongy soft you char kway as I prefer them to be toasted to a crisp.

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Sambal Kangkong.

Humble greens masterly executed with skills from Uncle Khu's 40 year love affair with the wok.

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👉 I am grateful to buddy Ong for introducing me to such an interesting seafood stall in Singapore. Hua Kee's seafood is delicious and Uncle Khu's infectious enthusiasm for his craft after 40 years is so humbling and inspiring at the same time. I would definitely be back with more kakis to enjoy Uncle Khu's numerous other dishes like La La clams, Gong Gong shellfish, Siput shellfish (zoot zoot) etc.

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Oh.... of course, that huge Teochew cold moulting crab... 😋 which ought to be made illegal.. 😂

Thank you Uncle Khu for your hospitality.

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Restaurant name: Hua Kee 和记 
Address: Pasir Panjang Food Centre, 121 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore (right beside Pasir Panjang MRT station)
GPS: 1°16'34.0"N 103°47'29.8"E | 1.276120, 103.791623
Tel6474 9142
Hours: 5:00pm to 10:00pm (Tues off)

No pork, no lard, no Halal cert

Date: 14 Aug 2017

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7 comments:

  1. They have a struck up attitude, a few time when I am ordering the staff give me attitude. And to think I patronise them since they have just one stall about 20 years ago to the current 3 stall.

    There are other seafood stalls there that serve nice and fresh seafood too. One of my fav now is just a few stall down with a Red signboard.

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  2. That's for just the 2 of you....You are blessed. Anyway thank you for blog...really interesting and informative.

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    1. Thank you. I am grateful for the opportunities.

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  3. Yes, they are stuck up, rude in fact... So I avoid them & eat at d other stalls...

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  4. My family and I have been eating here for more than 20 years. I must say it's still one of the best seafood place in Singapore. If you wanna go during the weekend, do go early or be prepare for a longer wait as there will be a lot of people during the weekends. My favourites are the zuzu, lala, tua tao, chili crab, rojak & butter clayfish. Be prepare to keep your stomach empty as well for a wonderful good time with your friends & family.. cheers.. ; g

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  5. Have visited this place for more then 10 years. This a must go place for seafood in Singapore.

    They have one of the best salted egg crabs that I have tasted so far. And the rojak is perfectly done. The staff are friendly and they provide good recommendation.

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  6. I have patronized Hua Kee for around 12-14 years now. The staff have been very friendly to me and their food has maintained great standards. There is very little fault to find in any of their dishes. My personal favorites are their Rojak, Butter Prawns, Pepper Crab and Salted Egg Crab.

    Both Uncle Khu and his son David Khu have done a splendid job in the kitchen! I have countless overseas guests to try the food and all have nothing but heaps of praise for all the dishes they have tried. definitely recommending this stall to many more visitors and friends.

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I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints as it makes this blog better :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is unethical in the same way as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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