You know how every nation has a chicken wing represent? Like how America has buffalo and Louisiana-style wings, whereas the Koreans have their fried chik-kin. I think that the wings that truly represent Singapore is the Har Cheong Gai.
I love har cheong gai. It’s always something that I must have when eating Zi Char with my family, but I’ve yet to find an exceptional har cheong gai that radiates the pungent fragrance of the har cheong paste (prawn paste) throughout the meat.
Ah Tan Wings in Yishun Park Hawker Centre specialises in har cheong gai. Although the owner, Mr Tan Wee Yang, has no prior experience in the culinary arts, he makes quite a superb har cheong gai.
The 25-year-old shared that har cheong gai has been his favourite variety of fried wings since he was a child, and the self-professed home cook, turned hawker, has been recreating it ever since.
Prior to his first brick and mortar stall, he has been dabbling in pop up events such as the Singapore Night Festival and Tiger Beer Street Food Fest, offering his delicious wings to the masses. Response was great and he finally decided to settle down at Yishun Park Hawker Centre.
On why he chose to open a hawker stall as compared to opening a café or restaurant, he shared that it is because of his fondness of the hawker culture in Singapore – it’s vibrant and full of different personalities, and the risk of starting up a hawker business is lower as compared to starting up a café or restaurant.
There isn’t much to choose from at Ah Tan Wings. The two main items are the Atas Wing Meal ($4.90) that has 4 pieces of har cheong gai(two drumlets and two wings) and the Atas Cutlet Meal ($5.90) that comes with a har cheong cutlet. Both meals are served with aromatic rice and a sunny side up. If you’re going for the wings alone, they can be purchased at $1.60 per wing, with a minimum purchase of 2 wings per order.
When we got there at around 1pm on a Wednesday, the cutlet meal was already sold out. We got the atas wing meal, and boy, were we satisfied with what we had.
The wings were fragrant and juicy, but what stood out was how the chicken flesh also had the salty-sourness of the prawn paste. Wee Yang shared that he marinates his chicken wings for at least 2 days to ensure that the flavours are fully absorbed and we are glad that he sticks to this principle.
Similar to Korean fried chicken, the wings are double fried using two different batters. The first batter crisps up the skin and the second gives the wings a ‘netty’ exterior and extra crispiness. The wings remained crispy even after sitting out for a while.
Portion wise, the plate of atas wing meal really did satisfy our lunchtime hunger. Even though it’s a staple in many zi char stalls, it really isn’t easy to find har cheong gai that is thoroughly flavoured. Although Wee Yang has no prior experience in the food and beverage industry, he’s able to create really great tasting wings. We are excited to try the new items that he will be coming up with soon!
Ah Tan Wings
Address: #01-40 Yishun Park Hawker Centre, Blk 51 Yishun Avenue 11, Singapore 768867
Opening Hours: 12pm to 2pm, 6pm to 8.30pm daily. Closed on Mondays.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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