Newly opened in the heart of Bedok Town Centre is Chef Wei HK Cheong Fun, a stall that serves freshly made Hong Kong-style cheong fun (rice noodle roll) at affordable prices. Patrons can choose from four types of cheong fun, with the must-try being the Mushroom Cheong Fun. Every element of this humble dish, from the soft, velvety rice noodle sheets to the sauce and the fillings, is prepared daily on-site using old-school traditional methods.
At the helm is Chef-Owner Thoo Chang Wei, who has had an illustrious 20-year career at renowned dim sum restaurants like Min Kok Restaurant in Seremban and Peach Garden Chinese Restaurant. Hailing from Seremban, Chef Thoo started his career at the age of 18 years old when he joined Min Kok Restaurant, a reputable Cantonese eatery in the city. As a kitchen assistant, he was guided by an old dim sum shifu (master) and rose quickly to be the sole chef at the cheong fun station. He was there solo for four years as no one else could stand the conditions. It was not easy, but Chef Thoo was willing to learn, even practicing at home using cloth diapers, which are similar in texture to cheong fun cloth to hone his technique.
In 2010, Chef Thoo made the move to Singapore where he spent the next 10 years at Peach Garden Chinese Restaurant, further perfecting his cheong fun creations and recipes. Taking a leap of faith, Chef Thoo decided to step out on his own to start his own business amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cheong fun may seem simple and effortless, but it requires a lot of love and expertise to create. Waking up before dawn, Chef Thoo and his team prepares the cheong fun batter, sauces, and fillings. To make the rice noodle sheets, the batter is prepared fresh on the spot. Chef Thoo’s recipe calls for four types of flour – potato, chestnut, tapioca, and wheat starch –which are mixed proportionately before cold water is added to the mixture. The sheets are then boiled at 100 degrees C to prevent the skin from sticking to the cloth. Fillings are then added to the batter before the rolls are served. Just before the rolls are served, they are doused in a fragrant secret-recipe sauce.
“Cheong fun is my favourite dim sum dish since childhood and is very close to my heart. It has been my life’s work to perfect my cheong fun recipe. While the ingredients of cheong fun are simple, the techniques and effort are what makes good cheong fun really stand out. I hope Singaporeans will try taste my simple, yet honest and authentic cheong fun.”– Chef Thoo
The signature item at Chef Wei HK Cheong Fun is the Mushroom Cheong Fun ($4). This tasty dish was one of the first recipes Chef Thoo’s old shifu taught him. Shiitake and shimeji mushrooms are stir-fried in butter and oyster sauce, accentuating the earthiness of the ingredients. The delicious filling is then wrapped in freshly-made cheong fun skin and served with home-made Hong Kong-style sauce. Patrons also have the option to have the cheong fun without any filling with the Plain Cheong Fun ($3). Meat lovers should try the Char Siew Cheong Fun ($4). Seafood lovers can enjoy the Prawn Cheong Fun ($5) that is made with the freshest prawns available.
Cheong fun may seem like a basic dish, but it truly encapsulates Chef Thoo’s philosophy. Anything that is basic and simple can be delicious and comforting if anyone takes the time, love, passion, and effort to make it. This is why Chef Thoo would like to share his Cheong Fun creations with everyone.
Chef Wei HK Cheong Fun
Where: Block 209 Upper Changi Road, #01-633, Singapore 460209
When: Monday to Sunday, 7.00am to 9.00pm
Payment is by cash only