Diners here can soon savour traditional Cantonese style porridge for lunch or breakfast at the Mui Kee pop-up starting from June 30. Hong Kong’s Mui Kee is launching a six-month long pop-up at Casa Verde (Singapore Botanic Gardens), as part of a collaboration with the Les Amis Group.

This third-generation family-run business is managed by Pierre Choi (affectionately known as Ah Tung). The 34-year-old has no formal culinary training, but started working at Mui Kee at the age of 22. His knowledge on traditional congee has been passed down to him from his father and late grandmother, Mak Mui.

In 1979, Mak Mui opened the first Mui Kee in Mongkok, Hong Kong. She learnt how to cook congee and how to operate a small business from her previous employer. After she opened her first store, she began experimenting with various ingredients and cooking methods to enhance the taste of her congee. Today, Mui Kee is well-loved by both locals and tourists.

Why it’s so unique

It takes five hours to slowly stir the porridge base until its silky smooth and creamy. Rice grains are broken down along with beancurd skin, century egg and fish stock. What’s great about the congee is that the natural flavours of the fresh ingredients are expertly coaxed out, and MSG or artificial flavouring are not added. For depth of flavour, dace fish is used for the fish porridge. The porridge is simmered in handmade copper pots, which ensures even heat distribution – and hence porridge that’s evenly cooked. The copper pots will be brought over for the pop-up.

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.

What to order

For the pop-up, diners can select from eight different types of congee, each served with a side of fried dough fritters and century egg. Recommended items include Mui Kee’s signature fish belly congee ($14.50) – dace fish sourced from Shunde Province is sautéed with rice wine until it’s aromatic. This also happens to be one of Ah Tung’s favourites. The menu includes classic congee options such as sliced fish, homemade pork meatball congee, pork with century egg and sliced beef – priced at $12.50. Additional side dishes to enjoy with the porridge include succulent drunken chicken, and kai lan.

The Mui Kee pop-up menu will be available at Casa Verde from 7.30am– 3pm, Tuesday – Sunday (starting from June 30, 2017).