Koung's Wan Tan Mee

Geylang is perhaps regarded by most locals as the epicentre of Singapore's flesh trade - dirty spas, seedy brothels, less than legal prostitution rackets and whatnot abound. Then again initiated gluttons will have you duly educated about a supper scene thriving amidst one festering mix of sex, drugs and sleaze. On any given late evening boisterous patrons throng popular eateries and cookhouses across sin city till wee hours; ostensibly with great food and even better company folks never go gentle into that good night.

Might legitimate hawker legends hail from the red light district? We went prowling for answers, hoping to be pleasantly impressed. Presented herein are our thoughts surrounding Lorong 21A's Koung's Wan Tan Mee (龔氏雲吞面) visited this time round.

Koung's Wan Tan Mee began in 1964 with founder Koung Boon Kong once peddling 20-cent dumpling noodles from an itinerant pushcart along streets; eventually he scrimped enough to lease a stall within the now defunct Sen Loan Eating House at Geylang Lorong 12, having relocated twice since - Choo N Low Coffee Shop (Lorong 13) in 2000, thereafter KS21 Coffee Shop (Lorong 21A) in 2013 up until the present day.

Widely known for doling out supple mee kia, self-constituted pork wantons and delish traditional charcoal-grilled char siew to sellout crowds, Koung's operates daily from 8am-8pm. Separately its first mall outlet at JEM (managed by Boon Kong's son Bernard) opened on 25 August last year.

Wanton Noodles ($4.50)

Sampling and thoughts:

Waited three lifetimes or almost 75 minutes before our queue number finally got buzzed. That apart, the noodles themselves were superlatively slurpilicious, while the beautifully burnished char siew - all shimmery and ruby red flaunted sublimely nectarous, richly textured. Regrettably though the wantons recalled infantile encasements of rigor mortis dunked in pallid as hell soup.

So, does the good (seemingly) exceeding the bad equal still darn good? We remain somewhat irresolute.

Note: Prices subject to change without prior notice. Kindly clarify with eatery before visiting or ordering.


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Score: 7.8/10

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Editor's Note: Koung's Wan Tan Mee shuttered its outlet at JEM in 2023. The original stall subsequently relocated to Geylang East Central whilst another opened in 2024; their addresses are included below for convenient reference.

Locations

KS21 Coffee Shop JEM Sin Hin Food Centre Yi Ho Eating House
205 Sims Ave, 50 Jurong Gateway Road, 121 Geylang East Central, 515 Bedok North Ave 2,
Geylang Lorong 21A #B1-K14 #01-90 #01-181
Singapore 387506 Singapore 608549 Singapore 380121 Singapore 460515

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