Hwa Jin Vegetarian Family Restaurant is a mid size restaurant located near Bukit Gombak in the Western part of Singapore. However it does not operate like a conventional vegetarian restaurant. The restaurant offers 2 or 3 daily dishes as well as economical rice and mee hoon in the morning and afternoon. Due to the popularity of its dishes, the restaurant usually runs out of them by 12.30pm. The only choice left will be the economical rice with 3 or 4 ingredients. First timers who visited the restaurant will be initially baffled by the limited choices during lunch time. The restaurant closes at about 2pm and re-opens at 6pm. In the evening, Hwa Jin operates like a traditional Chinese restaurant with Ala Cart menu. Today, we will focus on the lunch time dishes.
Before we introduce some of our favourite dishes from Hwa Jin, we will like to list down what you can expect from the restaurant during lunch.
Daily: Dry Noodles (干捞面), Economic Rice, Economic Mee Hoon
Lunar 1st/15th: Chicken Rice, Roasted rice, Lor Mee, Curry Mee
Mon: Lontong, Sliced Fish Mee Hoon （鱼片米粉）
Tue: Satay Mee Hoon
Wed: Yong Tau Foo
Thu: Laksa, Fish Porridge or Fish Soup with rice
Fri: Mee Rebus，糙米粥
Sat/Sun: Long Bean Rice （长豆饭）
Dry Noodles (干捞面)
The dry noodles (干捞面) available daily from Hwa Jin has generous portion of vegetables, mock crispy duck (斋鹅) and mushroom. The sauce is a mixture of sesame and soy sauce and does not have much taste unfortunately. Nevertheless, the dry noodles is definitely better than what you can find elsewhere.
The Lontong available every Monday is simply the best we have eaten in Singapore. The gravy is spicy and delicious. The texture of the vegetables and ricecake are soft and tender. We usually finish the Lontong to the last drop. It is that good!
Satay Mee Hoon
The Satay Mee Hoon available every Tuesday from Hwa Jin is also the best we have eaten so far in Singapore. The essence of any Satay Mee Hoon is its thick and spicy peanut gravy which Hwa Jin has perfected. Not even the peanut gravy from Victor Vegetarian at Circuit Road can rival that of Hwa Jin. The mee hoon and other ingredients like the Kang Kong and mock squid are all well cooked. Hwa Jin should really consider selling Satays as its peanut gravy is so good.
Sliced Fish Mee Hoon （鱼片米粉)
The soup of the sliced fish mee hoon can be quite salty especially with the fried mock fish and salted vegetable. Nevertheless, we still find the soup tasty. The addition of yam and beancurd is a great touch.
Yong Tau Foo
You cannot choose your ingredients for the Yong Tau Foo available on selected Wednesday. You will usually get ladyfinger, beancurd and fried wanton for your order. Nevertheless, the Yong Tau Foo tastes great with the sweet brown sauce, sesame oil and spicy chilli sauce. My only complaint is that some ingredients such as the mock fishball is cooked beforehand and therefore served cold.
The Laksa available every Thursday from Hwa Jin is not that spicy. However, we find the gravy slightly salty probably due to the abundance of fried beancurd (豆包) in the gravy. Otherwise the beancurd and noodles are adequately cooked, resulting in an above average Laksa.
Fish Porridge or Fish Soup with rice
You can either order fish soup with rice or fish porridge every Thursday too. The mock fish interestingly comes in 3 varieties: sliced white fish (雪鱼), fried sliced (and quite salty) white fish and sliced fish cake. As with the sliced fish mee hoon, the soup seem to be based on seaweed but it is not as salty.
The Mee Rebus available every Friday from Hwa Jin is simply the one of the best we have eaten in Singapore. Even my non-vegetarian friends sing praises of it. The dish is sprinkled generously with fried beancurd and green chilli. The tastiness of Mee Rebus from Hwa Jin lies in the thick spicy peanut gravy which is even better with the lime.
Chicken/Char Siew Rice
Customers will get a treat every lunar 1st or 15th in the form of mock chicken and char siew rice. Of the two, we recommend the char siew rice as the braised char siew has authentic texture and taste. The mock chicken is the usual vegetarian chicken skewered with ice cream stick, is deep fried and sliced into pieces. The chilli sauce is top notch and made from grinded chilli. The braised gravy also goes well with the ginger rice.
Price: $3 (for chicken or char siew rice)/$4.50 (for combo chicken/char siew rice)
We wholeheartedly recommend Hwa Jin Vegetarian Family restaurant to you. If you insist that we recommend the signature lunchtime dish for you, it will have to be the Satay Mee Hoon (available every Tuesday) and Mee Rebus (available every Friday). Just remember to come slightly earlier than 12pm for lunch ;)
You can easily walk to Hwa Jin from Bukit Batok MRT.