I had a carefully curated list of Michelin 1 Star and Bib Gourmand places to visit in Singapore, with a focus on hawker food. I ended up eating as many as 4 meals in a two hour span for several days, which only sounds fun in concept. I have a huge appetite and a prodigious stomach capacity but I felt stuffed very often and couldn’t enjoy the food to its fullest potential. This was one of those occasions. I went to Bukit Merah to tackle 4 different dishes and Hoo Kee Bak Chang was my 3rd stop. However, I still very much enjoyed the bak zhang they served.
I believe this is the only bak zhang in the Michelin list. The stall is in the packed Amoy Street Food Center. It’s full of office workers during lunch, it’s hard to find a seat and the center is blisteringly hot and humid. I’m not the biggest fan of crowd and I don’t fare well in the heat, but if you can get past all that, you’ll be rewarded by a beautifully crafted bak zhang. The stall is manned by a husband and wife (?) team and the woman is quite attractive! I found her friendly and approachable too, which is always a plus point.
They only have four items on the menu: Chestnut/Original Dumpling (SGD 3), Salted Egg w/ Chestnut Dumpling (SGD 4), Mushroom w/ Chestnut Dumpling (SGD 4) and Deluxe All-in (SGD 5). I went for the last option since I could only eat one bak zhang. As the name suggests, it’s a combination of everything into one dumpling. They’ll cut it up for you and serve it on a disposable cardboard tray so you can eat it right there and then.
I loved the flavors in here. I have a soft spot for bak zhang and I have to freely admit that I like most bak zhang that has passed my lips. The one at Hoo Kee is packed with ingredients – there’s mushrooms, salted egg, chestnuts, marinated pork. It’s a beautiful medley of comforting flavors and textures and I thoroughly enjoyed it despite being full. Is it better than other bak zhangs? I don’t know, this was the only bak zhang I’ve eaten in Singapore ever! But it’s a really good bak zhang, and as I’m writing this I have the worst craving for them. I could totally smash 4-5 right about now. 🤤
But then I see my fat face in the photo above and I know I shouldn’t. Back to my diet, then.