For those of us who are Hong Kong drama addicts, you would have seen the ever so famous popular small neighbourhood noodle stalls. Most of the time, these small stalls are located inside alleys or at the bottom of the stairs. As Hong Kong develops, less and less of such stalls are available in central Hong Kong and Sing Heung Yuen remains one of the few of such da pai dong stalls which has been in the scene since 1957.
Da Pai Dong literally means make shift stalls where there is no proper shop space but a make shift stall set up by portable tables and chairs, shelter by huge parasols and canopies made by vinyl materials.
The main kitchen is located within the little shelter made from zinc panels and the drinks fridge and counter is basically all located outside under the parasols.
It is not that easy to spot the place as it is not an actual shop but instead it is located in between 2 buildings. But the sure way of finding the stall is to look out for the ever long queues. The average wait was around 15 to 20 mins since it is a no frills stall where customers get their food, slurp it up and get going.
When you are at the front of the queue, the aunties will ask you for the number of people in your group. Most of these auntie speaks Cantonese and some Chinese. If you speak neither, do not worry as one of the younger aunties do speak some basic English.
Do expect to share tables with strangers and get stuffed into narrow seats and tables since the area is extremely small. A normal 4 seater table typically fits 8 people here so be prepared to come here light without big bags. The menu is on a no frills A4 paper in Chinese and English.
Basic condiments like salt, sugar, pepper and chilli is provided at the tables for sharing.
One of the more popular drink here is this salted lemon with sprite which is a very thirst quenching drink for the hot day. The saltiness of the salted lemon balances out the sweetness of the sprite and cost about HKD 14
The other favourite is their piglet buns which is soft bread buns toasted till crispy and golden brown and spread with condensed milk and butter. The results is a crispy and soft bun which is delicious with every bite of sweetness from the sticky condensed milk.
For those who prefer less sweet buns can try the butter and honey with lemon on the same crispy toasted bun. Without the condensed milk, this version has a nice sweet and tangy flavour from the lemon and honey. At only HKD 12 each, these 2 kinds of buns are the best sellers in the toasted bread category of the menu as advised by the auntie who took our orders.
Finally for the one thing which Sing Heung Yuen is famous for; their tomato soup instant noodles. There are at least 40 kinds of toppings available for their noodles from the more common luncheon meat to the less common like chicken wings and pork chops. Customer can also choose between plain soup to tomato soup base. Their noodles range from HKD 16 to 31 depending on the toppings.
A fan of tomato soup and five spiced pork, I ordered the five spiced pork tomato based noodles which was extremely rich in flavours. The soup came with huge chunks of tomatoes which has been cooked till soft and mashed up. The soup was thick with tomato fragrance as well as that familiar sauce from the five spiced canned pork added to an additional layer of taste to the soup. The noodles were cooked well till springy and was delicious with the soup.
We also ordered the pork chop version which has a very tender and huge slice of pork chop placed on top of the noodles. The chop was well marinated and tenderised with nice juices. The soup was the same tomato based soup which I find slightly flatter as this time round, it was missing the 2nd layer of meat flavours from the five spice pork cubes in the other bowl. However, for those who are not fans of five spice pork preferred this version as they found the soup having a light and clean flavours of tomato goodness. I guess, this is really based on personal preference.
Overall, I think it is an experience in its own to dine at the bottom of the stairs with make shift tables and chairs having very affordable items for lunch. ( They close around 4 pm) I would return for the buns which were absolutely great and I do not mind having the noodles if I am around the area and the queue is short. I guess that is because with Haidilao tomato soup pack readily available for sale now, it is not difficult to get a good tomato soup base at home. One reminder; do bring cash as they only accept cash and there is no machine to withdraw cash nearby.
Address: 2 Mee Lun Street, Central, Hong Kong
Operating hours: 8 am to 5 pm
Nearest station: Sheung Wan Exit A2