On the 30th June, Cantonese porridge concept, Mui Kee, will be making its first venture into the Singapore food market with a 6-month long pop-up at Casa Verde, as part of a collaboration with the Les Amis Group. A third generation congee concept from Hong Kong owned by 34-year-old Mr Pierre Choi (affectionately known as Ah Tung), Mui Kee is best known for its delicious, heart-warming bowls of Cantonese congee that are made using traditional recipes and cooking methods with a touch of old school ingenuity.
BACKGROUND OF MUI KEE
In 1979, Ah Tung’s late grandmother, Mak Mui, opened the very first Mui Kee in Mongkok, Hong Kong. Without any formal culinary training, she relied on her past experience working in a congee shop and took the plunge to set out on her own. After a few months of experimenting with various ingredients and cooking methods, Mui Kee’s signature recipes were born. Over the years, Mui Kee steadily built its reputation, and has since developed a strong following in Hong Kong from both locals and tourists alike.
Today, Mui Kee is led by third-generation chef-owner, Ah Tung, who took over the reins from his father at a tender age of 22. Spurred on by his late grandmother’s wish that he take over the business, he spent 2 years training under both his grandmother and father before he was finally allowed in the kitchen. Armed with a wealth of knowledge about Cantonese heritage, a skilful mastery of traditional congee preparation, and his down-to-earth, amiable personality, it is no wonder that Mui Kee has gained much attention in recent years.
To ensure consistency with its Hong Kong outlet, Mui Kee’s kitchen in Singapore will be helmed by Sous Chef Er Suen Liang from the Les Amis Group, who has personally trained with Ah Tung for a year.
THE COOKING PROCESS
What makes the taste of Mui Kee’s congee so unique is that only fresh ingredients are used, with no artificial flavouring or monosodium glutamate (MSG) added. The silky-smooth texture of the congee can be attributed to an arduous 5-hour long preparation process, which starts by using preserved century eggs to break down the raw rice grains. The rice is then cooked with beancurd skin, before being slow-boiled with pork bones and fish, and stirred every 5-10 minutes, for 5 hours. The resultant congee base boasts a delicious, creamy quality and aromatic flavour.
Depending on the order, a selection of fresh ingredients are then added to the base, and cooked in handmade copper pots which ensures even heat distribution. The congee is topped with scallion and ginger before serving.
For the pop-up, diners can select from 8 different types of congee, each served with a side of fried dough fritters and century egg. Highly recommended would be Mui Kee’s signature fish belly congee ($14.50 nett), featuring dace fish sourced from Shunde Province sautéed with rice wine, and is cooked in a special method separate from the other congees that gives it an accompanying fragrant wok hei taste. Those who prefer meat can opt for the homemade meatball congee ($12.50 nett) or the pig’s innards congee ($12.50 nett). Other options such as sliced beef, scallop or pork & century egg are also available at either $12.50/$14.50. Additional side dishes such as the drunken chicken ($10 nett), and kai lan ($7 nett) are also available for those who would like some extra dishes to complete their meal.
The Mui Kee pop-up menu will be available at Casa Verde from 30th June onwards, from 7.30am– 3pm, every Tuesday – Sunday. Perfect for breakfast or lunch, Mui Kee is a great choice for those looking for something light, but yet satisfyingly flavourful.
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