Mui Kee Stall Opening Pop-Up At The Botanic Gardens
Hong Kong is one of Singaporeans’ favourite holiday destinations, mostly because of the good, cheap food that can be found there. Recognising this affection, more Hong Kong brand-name eateries are flocking to set up outlets in Singapore, as it’s a guaranteed market for their bites.
In recent years, Hong Kong’s famous Tai Cheong Egg Tarts, Honolulu Cafe, Kam’s Roast and Jenny Bakery have all opened their doors in Singapore to crazy queues.
Now, Mui Kee congee stall will be adding to the ranks of well-known HK delicacies in Singapore.
The renowned Congee specialist will be opening a pop-up at the unlikely location of the Botanic Gardens, starting June 30.
Hailing from the bustling district of Mongkok, Hong Kongers have patronised this congee joint for years — and why won’t they, just look at the mouthwatering congee.
Unlike the other HK eateries that have blossomed in Singapore, Mui Kee congee comes from a humbler location. It’s currently located at a stall in Mongkok’s Fa Yuen Street Market, and has been there for 26 years.
In fact, Mui Kee’s stall is already an improvement from its humble origins as a street stall when it first set up shop in 1979. It quickly worked its way up to become one of Hong Kong’s legendary gastronomic destinations.
The 3rd-generation owner, Mr Pierre Choi, spoke to The Straits Times earlier this week and revealed that his HK shop sold roughly 300 to 400 bowls of congee every day.
The shop also sells more than 30 kinds of congee, and Mr Choi said he was excited to let more people try his family’s congee.
Mr Choi will be bringing over 8 types of congee to their new Singapore store, with tasty ingredients like dace fish belly sauteed with rice wine and sliced beef.
So why is a market stall from Hong Kong opening a pop-up at Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, of all places?
The pop-up will actually be part of the Casa Verde restaurant, located near the visitor centre.
The 6-month stint at Casa Verde, which is opened by Singapore’s Les Amis Group, will preclude plans for Mui Kee to open up a stand-alone eatery in Singapore.
Isn’t it interesting that the stall from a crowded market in a working-class district in Hong Kong will be setting up shop at a swanky restaurant in the middle of the green expanse of the Botanic Gardens in Singapore?
With the very noticeable difference in surroundings of the Singapore outlet compared with the Hong Kong outlet, one would be forgiven for thinking that the prices of the Singapore outlet will be appropriately jacked up to match the improved environment.
Well, apparently not, as according to The Straits Times, the prices of the congee will be similar to the store in Hong Kong, where a bowl of congee can cost between HK$34 (S$6) and HK$65 (S$11.60).
However, Singapore diners will only be able to buy the porridge in sets of from $12.50 to $14.50, which include crispy youtiao and sliced century eggs. You also would have the option of choosing ala carte sides like drunken chicken ($10) and blanched kai lan ($7).
As the shop in Hong Kong has been immensely popular with Singaporeans, it’s highly likely that the queuing time for this congee stall might be longer than Kong Hee’s prison sentence.