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Home / Chinese Cuisine / The Opeh Leaf Hor Fun Challenge – Part 3: Chu Yi Kitchen At Ang Mo Kio
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The Opeh Leaf Hor Fun Challenge – Part 3: Chu Yi Kitchen At Ang Mo Kio
By Alfred November 22, 2009
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The Opeh Leaf Hor Fun Challenge – Part 3: Chu Yi Kitchen At Ang Mo Kio
Fast Facts
The Opeh Leaf Hor Fun Challenge
Hor Fun (河粉)
Chinese Cuisine
Price Range:
S$6 - S$10
Rating Range:
8 to 8.9
Ang Mo Kio (宏茂桥)
Food Centre:
Recommended For:
Breakfast Dinner Lunch
Reviewed by:
[This is a multi-part series looking for the best Opeh Leaf Hor Fun around the island]

See other parts:
Part 1: Fei Siong Seafood At Lorong Kilat
Part 2: Ah Wok Restaurant At Ion Orchard
Part 3: Chu Yi Kitchen At Ang Mo Kio
Part 4: Hong Kong Street Chun Kee At Bukit Merah
Part 5: Fatty Weng At Guillemard Road
Part 6: Hong Sheng Restaurant At Toa Payoh
Part 7: Top Seafood At Toa Payoh
Part 8: Fei Lao Seafood At Bedok
The Opeh Leaf Hor Fun Challenge: Wrap-Up

There is one question that is always on my mind: Why can’t the normal $3 horfun which you can find in any kopitiams have a good wok hei on them? Why must wok hei and opeh leaf go hand in hand?

For those who don’t know, in the good ole days, hor fun with the wok hei was as common as prawns in your prawn noodles soup today. Back then, if you were having hor fun for dinner, the smell could travel all the way to your neighbor’s house.

Those were the days when plastic bags haven’t existed and everything you buy from the market are just covered with a piece of leaf(those rojak leaf or banana leaf) and carried with a piece of string which is made from the fibre of the banana stem.

Without a doubt, it is not easy to ‘hei’ the hor fun in the wok. Credit to those chefs whom still bother to ‘char the hor fun properly’ for it is far too easy to succumb to the temptation of using the dark soya sauce to manipulate the wok hei color. I guess other than willing to ‘hei’ the hor fun, the sheer skill of doing it is a tad too elusive for some, if not most. The reality is telling us that unless you bother to pay something in the region of $10, it wouldn’t be worth the trouble to ‘fire’ your hor fun black as evident in most restaurants’ hor funs($10 and above) which usually have a good wok hei. But then again, it’s just the odd egg that most restaurant’s chefs like to throw into the wok that makes the hor fun so ‘not opeh’s version’. Of course that is famously known as the “wat dan hor”(sic) and for those who haven’t realised, the gravy of the opeh leaf hor fun should not have have any eggs used.

Chu Yi Kitchen @ Ang Mo Kio

But, you know what? At Chu Yi Kitchen, eggs are used in a plate of hor fun but yet alludes to an opeh leaf version. Is this a “wat dan hor” in disguise of an “opeh leaf hor”? So lets find out, how ‘opeh’ is this opeh leaf hor fun.

Chu Yi Kitchen @ Ang Mo Kio

Chu Yi Kitchen is a new cze char place on the block. The setup is something that seems to look like a cafe cum restaurant cum coffeeshop kind of outlet with a very interesting ambience. Here the opeh leaf hor fun is termed as Big Prawn Hor Fun.

Chu Yi Kitchen Opeh Leaf Hor Fun $10

For $10, the quantity is seriously gigantic. When I was making the order, the lady already warned me that “it is quite a big plate”. But I did not expect it to be THAT BIG. This will even be good enough for 2-3 hungry men. If you look at the picture above, the length of the plate is almost double the length of the chopsticks and you can just see how the cut chilli by the side looks like a masak(toy) version. I believe for $10, you can’t possibly get a bigger plate from anywhere, not from a kopitiam and definitely not from a restaurant.

Chu Yi Kitchen Opeh Leaf Hor Fun $10

The most attractive point for me here are the prawns. These are good quality king prawns(possibly sea prawns) with plenty of roes and deep fried to a very unique texture. It tasted very much like those buttered fried prawns on the outside but yet the succulency inside was retained. If you can imagine it right, it is butterly crispy and tasty on the shell which are very much chewable, probably ’swallowable’ and absolutely tender and juicy in the meat. I think there are a few steps in cooking this and to credit it properly, it is almost as delicious as any crayfish or lobster I’ve eaten, ALMOST.

The gravy was pleasant but lacked a bit of oomph. It has the usual nice chinese wine aroma but I thought the seafood flavour was pretty mild compared to Fei Lao, Ah Wok and Fei Siong. The taste is a little bit off the mark. However it is still quite satisfactory and definitely better than most of those $3 pack hor fun.

The wok hei is the defining moment. Simply put, what is an opeh leaf hor fun without a good wok hei on the hor fun right? Thankfully, the wok hei is good here. I won’t call this the best wok hei but the quality is truly good and it managed to lingers in my mouth long after the meal, that’s for sure. If anything, I thought the wok hei was done quite well because most of the hor fun in the plate was just a little brown and not black like what you can get at Fei Lao which sometimes can produce that overabundance ‘chao tah’ smell. In short, it is quite skillfully fried and produced a very well composed flavour.

The generous amount of Kai Lan was the icing on the cake while other vegetables like sliced button mushrooms and carrots didn’t do any harm.

No sea cucumbers, no fish, pork or liver but this plate of ‘opeh leaf hor’ still manage to keep up with the game. It would be really really interesting if the gravy can be as good as Fei Siong’s with other seafood ingredients(sea cucumber, scallops etc) thrown in. Still, I have no doubt that this is one of the best thing you can buy for $10 and with just a bit of tweaking, it might even put Fei Lao’s plate to rest.

Chu Yi Kitchen Opeh Leaf Hor Fun $10

Price: $10

Conclusion: Extremely good value. Prawns were marvellous and this is probably one of the best $10 I’ve ever spent for a cze char meal. Gravy needs some work but otherwise, everything is just classic at its purest.

Likes: Prawns are very delicious. Hor fun nicely charred. Very big portion.

Dislikes: Gravy not power enough. A bit of other seafood ingredients probably can do the gravy some good.

Address Overall Rating

Chu Yi Kitchen
Blk 151 #01-3046
Ang Mo Kio Ave 5
9am – 9pm(daily)

8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Wok Hei:
9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 

9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 

9.5/10 ★★★★★★★★★½ 

8.5/10 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 


Readers' Comment(s) : 6
Jasmine Tan says:

This stall looks like can give Fei Lao a run for their money ! They even set up a 大虾河粉 $10 signboard! AMK rather near where me and Susie stayed. We can organise a gathering there and give Fei Lao a run for their money !

Posted November 24, 2009
Terry says:

The prawn looks quite delicious. How many prwans are there?

Posted November 25, 2009
Tim says:

We went to try on Saturday. Wrong place!! Ate at the coffeeshop instead. Should have known something was not right when the lady taking order asked us to eat fish hor fun instead of big prawn hor fun. No opeh leaf, hor fun was cold and no wok hei. Realised the restaurant is at the other end of the block. Will go again to try next week.

Posted November 29, 2009
Alfred says:

Surely it can.

Posted December 2, 2009
Alfred says:

3 prawns from memory.

Posted December 2, 2009
Alfred says:

The one at coffeeshop is a branch of the chun kee at bukit merah. They also have it on opeh leaf but after finding out that its from chun kee, I didnt bother eating.

Posted December 2, 2009
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