When a cabby starts rattling off places to eat, smart passengers take notes. Cabbies are among the most dedicated foodies in Singapore after all.
My friend does that while in a taxi on her way to meet me for a late dinner and it pays off handsomely. Now, we know about Wong Kee Noodle.
The stall is tucked away in a canteen in an industrial estate in Depot Lane and four people can have a very satisfying meal for less than $20. I know this sounds implausible in an expensive city like Singapore, but it is true.
The stall serves wonton, braised beef brisket and shredded chicken noodles at fair prices. Each serving comes with a pile of kailan, blanched perfectly so it is crisp-tender.
My favourite thing to eat here is the Beef Brisket Noodle ($4.50 for mee kia, $5.20 for spinach mee pok). Orange peel and spices such as cinnamon are thoroughly infused in the chunks of meat, cooked long and slow so they offer very little resistance when I take a bite.
Char Siew Dumpling with red, tomato-flavoured mee pok ($4.50) is also excellent. The char siew is a little on the lean side, but the dumplings are plump and luscious. Instead of the usual soya sauce, the noodles are tossed in a tomato gravy scented with ginger, and with chunks of tomatoes.
The noodles in both dishes are cooked just right and remain springy until I inhale the last strand.
The first time I go, the noodles come with wontons and, on my second visit, it is shrimp dumplings. I prefer the latter and recommend ordering a bowl ($3.80 for seven) to share.
It is difficult, however, to pass on the wontons because they are such good value at $3.30 for 11. These are not skimpy dumplings. The filling is generous and well made.
Good food that is also cheap is so hard to find these days. I am glad my friend was in the right cab that Friday night.