Mee rebus is a dish that embodies the complexities of the region, and here is where to find the best examples in Singapore.
Literally translated as ‘boiled noodles,’ mee rebus is a gravy-based dish consisting of yellow noodles served in a sauce of fermented soybean and prawn, then thickened with sweet potato. According to Malay food historian Khir Johari, what we recognise today as mee rebus was invented in the historic Malay district of Kampong Gelam, but variations were also served in Johor and Java.
Some of the best renditions of mee rebus can be found in Singapore’s hawker centres, especially in the east. At Haig Road Market & Food Centre, diners flock to Afandi Hawa & Family Mee Rebus and HJ Waliti HJ Mazuki, two stalls that have been making the dish respectively for over 50 years. Inspirasi at Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre can trace its history back to 1970, and Suhaime’s continues the heritage of the famous Geylang Lorong 1 Mee Rebus brand.
In Ang Mo Kio, two stalls are putting a modern spin on mee rebus. Rahim Muslim Food serves an extra special version with chicken drumstick, as Yunos N Family tops theirs with a variety of meats. Further south, Queenstown Lontong highlights a different dish in its name, but its mee rebus is just as fantastic.
(Hero and feature images credits: Suhaime’s / Facebook; @happyern / Instagram)
Find the best mee rebus in Singapore below:
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This stall was founded by Afandi Ahmad, who first opened at Paya Lebar Airport in 1967. Now part of Haig Road Market & Food Centre, his son Ahmad Tarmidzi continues his father’s legacy by making the gravy from dried shrimp, mutton scraps, and flower crab, resulting in a rich, sweet-savoury broth that coats the noodles in a thick, smooth glaze. The bowl also features prawn, egg, and begedil, together with crunchy fresh green chilli and fried shallot.
(Image credit: @erin_travelsuk / Instagram)
If the line at Afandi is excruciatingly long, HJ Waliti HJ Mazuki is an alternative for quality mee rebus. Operating for over 50 years at Haig Road Market & Food Centre, their gravy is deeply concentrated with spicy, sour, and sweet layers, balanced by chewy noodles and crunchy beansprout. Don’t skip out on the sambal, which adds a pungent, fiery dimension to the dish.
(Image credit: @hjwalitihjmazuki / Instagram)
Inspirasi has been exciting diners with their rendition of mee rebus since 1970. The family-run business at Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre makes the base from a combination of ikan bilis, chicken stock, sweet potato, and fermented bean paste, producing a rich, starchy broth that defiantly clings onto everything. The stall is also famous for its mee soto, and both dishes should be enjoyed with their sharp chilli sauce.
(Image credit: @theinscrutablewanderlust / Instagram)
Queenstown Lontong is run by Yatie, a third-generation owner whose grandmother started the business in the 1960s. While the stall at Margaret Drive Hawker Centre specialises in lontong, their mee rebus is just as well done, which has a gravy made only from sweet potato, dried shrimp, and onion, and leans towards the sweeter end. While the homemade begedil and sambal are add-ons, consider them essential.
(Image credit: @hobbes.y / Instagram)
Rahim Muslim Food goes big on its versions of mee rebus. Opened since 1957, the third-generation owner at Chong Boon Market & Food Centre creates his gravy from a blend of sweet potato, ikan bilis, dried shrimp, chicken stock, and fish curry paste, to which he adds a dollop of satay sauce. The regular comes with an egg, while Power adds on chicken slices. Those feeling extra special should opt for the, um, Extra Special, which has a large chicken drumstick.
(Image credit: @happyern / Instagram)
Housed inside Geylang Bahru Market & Food Centre, Suhaime’s carries the torch for the popular Geylang Lorong 1 Mee Rebus. The sauce is slightly lighter compared to others on this list, but still completely embraces the springy noodles, tau pok, and egg with a sweet and spicy flavour. The fragrant nasi lemak is also worth a try.
(Image credit: @iamalfemanoj / Instagram)
Yunos N Family’s Instagram account has merch for sale amid a street art aesthetic, but the stall has been around for longer than it seems. Started by street hawker Haji Yunos Ahmad in 1965, it is now run by his son and relatives at Ang Mo Kio Central Market & Food Centre, who modernised the look. The mee rebus variations are extensive here, with toppings such as ribs, tripe (babak), and oxtail (ekor) all drenched in the rich savoury sauce.
(Image credit: @yunosnfamily / Instagram)