This is one cuisine the SF Bay Area is short on. I’ve known at least three excellent places over the years but they’ve all closed. This post seemed knowledgeable so I used it as a guide:
Went to Mammalee for a late lunch after 3:00 on Thursday, place was maybe half full. A sign warned that they were short-handed so service might be slow, but it was fine. I was disappointed that they didn’t have curry mee, char kway teow, or coconut rice.
Roti canai ($7) was solid. I’d have preferred them not to tear up the bread.
We ordered Hainanese chicken ($14 for large with rice and soup) since that seemed to be the specialty. For my taste the rice should have had a lot more chicken flavor and fat.
Spicy pan mee ($13) was tasty though not exciting. Wasn’t very spicy to my taste. No wok hay.
Oyster sauce bean sprouts ($9) were really good, not overpowered by oyster sauce the way Chinese places sometimes do, nice foil to all the starch.
Hawker’s Delight seemed like the most highly-recommended Singaporean place in town. It also showed up at the top of an industry insiders poll for cheap eats and was the cheapest place we ate on our trip.
We got there around 2:00 on Friday, it was more than half full, got busier while we were eating. Again I was disappointed that they didn’t have curry mee, char kway teow, or coconut rice.
These vegetable rolls were on display at the order window so I got them (2 for $1.75).
Char kway teow ($7-8?) had no wok hay. It was OK but I wouldn’t order it again, let alone go out of my way for it.
My companion ordered some gado-gado, it was served hot and the sauce had an unexpected note of clove or star anise or something. To my taste it should have had a lot more shrimp paste (I’m not sure it had any).
Good for the price, I’d go again if I were in the area and wanted a cheap lunch.
Sadly, neither cuisine is strong in Vancouver. There were a couple of decent spots but they both closed. Mamalee is super bland, and I’ve never had a dish that really stood out at Hawkers’.