Woks of Taste Review: $3.50 Char Kway Teow By 24-Year-Old Hawker | Eatbook.sg
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Woks of Taste Review: $3.50 Char Kway Teow By 24-Year-Old Hawker At Upper Boon Keng

12th May 2023
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Woks of Taste sells $3.50 char kway teow at Upper Boon Keng

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Usually, the assumption is that legit char kway teow, such as the one above, would have been prepared by an ageing hawker who’s long mastered all the secrets of the wok. Here, the reality is quite the opposite: this plate was prepared by Samuel Chiang, the 24-year-old behind Woks of Taste at Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre.

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There’s a lot of anxiety over the survival of the local hawker trade, but cooks such as Samuel are giving us all a glimmer of hope by picking up the mantle. He garnered quite the buzz online for opening Woks of Taste last year when he decided that frying up char kway teow was what he wanted to do for a living. And for that to happen, he had to give up pursuing an aerospace engineering degree.

woks-of-taste-storefront

Such a leap of faith is admirable, of course, but how good is the dish that Samuel has decided to focus all his energies on? While online reviews have generally been positive, the only way to know for sure is to go down and try the food ourselves.

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Food at Woks of Taste

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Despite being young in years, Samuel whips up his dish with great gusto. After making our order for the basic $3.50 char kway teow, we stood by and watched him skillfully stir-fry the mix of kway teow, yellow noodles, and various ingredients including eggs, cockles, and lap cheong.

By the way, you can request for more of those ingredients—at a slight cost increase, of course—or simply get a larger portion of noodles for $4.50.

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The plate that arrived had all the makings of fine CKT—darkly coloured, messy, and emanating that unmistakable wok hei aroma. And for $3.50, there wasn’t much to complain about the portion. Now all we had left to do was taste it.

woks-of-taste-noodles

The combination of silky kway teow and springy yellow noodles—both of which were sufficiently moist—yielded a pleasing texture. There was also a nice sweetness and savouriness courtesy of the dark soya sauce and, again, a good amount of wok hei. Each bite often came with beansprouts, eggs, and fishcake, which added their own dimensions to the dish as well.

woks-of-taste-ingredients

I want to focus more on the two ingredients that packed a flavourful punch: the lup cheong and cockles. The tiny slices of lap cheong did add sweetness to the dish, but overall it was one of the more lacklustre elements here. The cockles, however, were reasonably fresh and packed with briny flavour.

woks-of-taste-chilli

I’d like to give a special shout-out to the chilli as well, which was served to us in a plastic spoon instead of a saucer. It was tasty and piquant, with a spicy kick that set in somewhat slowly but was nonetheless enticing. You’ve got to mix it in with your CKT for the full experience.

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Ambience at Woks of Taste

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Woks of Taste is located in Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre, which is home to plenty of other delicious eats, including Da Shao Chong Qing Xiao Mian and Haji M. Abdul Rajak, one of the best soup kambing stalls in the country. It has an old-school charm and is relatively spacious, but it can get crowded during lunch hours.

Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre is a seven-minute walk from Kallang MRT Station.

The verdict

Woks of Taste definitely serves up a good plate of char kway teow. While I wouldn’t really place it among the elites of the dish, it’s far tastier than your run-off-the-mill CKT, and considering the owner’s age, I think it’s only going to get better.

For famous char kway teow that’s been around since 1961, have a look at our Hill Street Fried Kway Teow review.

Address: 17 Upper Boon Keng Road, #01-40, Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre, Singapore 380017
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 10am to 7pm, Sat 8am to 2:30pm
Tel: 9787 3335
Website
Woks of Taste is not a halal-certified eatery.

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Photos taken by Ke-ian J Leong.
This was an independent review by Eatbook.sg.

Woks of Taste Review: $3.50 Char Kway Teow By 24-Year-Old Hawker At Upper Boon Keng
  • 7.5/10
    Woks of Taste Review: $3.50 Char Kway Teow By 24-Year-Old Hawker At Upper Boon Keng - 7.5/10
7.5/10

Summary

Pros
– Delicious and wok hei-filled CKT
– Affordable prices

Cons
– Lap cheong was lacking

Opening hours: Tue-Fri 10am to 7pm, Sat 8am to 2:30pm

Address: 17 Upper Boon Keng Road, #01-40, Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre, Singapore 380017

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