Bak Chor Mee (minced meat noodle) is one of the most quintessential Singaporean dishes. Almost every kopitiam and hawker centre will have at least one stall selling bak chor mee. Of the many in Singapore, here are the three that I really love (almost) in no order of preference:
Ah Hoe Mee Pok
I only discovered this recently. But I’ve already had it a number of times. Just as well that it’s near where I stay. As mentioned in the news, it’s run by a Japanese, Naori Kuribara, and his family.
In addition to the bak chor (minced meat), you also get a few slices of abalone or prawns, depending on what you order. The soup is very sweet. I think they added clams to make the stock, thus giving it a very light and sweet flavour. And because they add a little bit of the soup to the sauce with the noodles, you can savour that light and sweet flavour with the noodles even if you order the dry version. The texture of the noodles is perfectly springy and “q”. I think it’s because they actually have a timer to get the time they cook the noodles precisely. That’s the Japanese for you. Systematic perfection. Oh… If you love the soup and can’t get enough of it, you can also go back for refills. Though I am not sure whether you can get unlimited refills. I’m not that thick-skinned to get more than one refill.
Ah Hoe Mee Pok has two stalls very close to each other. They are at Blk 710 and Blk 726 Clementi West Street 2. Apparently they sell out quite fast. I tried to have it for dinner once but they were sold out by about 5pm.
Ah Poh Minced Meat Noodle
If it’s a cold rainy day, one of the most comforting thing you can have is a bowl of bak chor mee (or kway teow) in soup. And that is what S and I did on one rainy day. We went to Blk 85 Bedok North Street 4 for Ah Poh Minced Meat Noodle.
Ah Poh only serves bak chor mee in soup. They don’t do the dry version. They have two prices, $2.50 and $3.00. You can choose to have only bak chor (where they will really heap on the bak chor) or have meatballs (then they give you many meat balls, didn’t count, but was really a lot) but cut back on the bak chor.
The meat balls are quite springy. The bak chor is just divine. With the right about of fattiness, it has that a wonderful texture where you it sort of melts and releases the meaty flavour once you chew it a little. And the soup… if you like soups made from stock that is packed full of meaty flavour, then you will love the soup of Ah Poh’s bak chor mee. Throw in the sliced chilli to give it a different texture and a slight kick to enhance the whole experience. If you want more kick, ask for the small chilli padi.
Tai Hwa Pork Noodles
The above two sell bak chor mee. I love them both. I don’t prefer one over the other. But this last one. It’s absolutely my favourite. But be warned. You need to be prepared to queue. Every time I’ve been there, there’s a long queue.
I remember the first time I went there. I was very skeptical. I remembered asking myself, “got so good meh?”And Tai Hwa’s prices are the most expensive of kopitiam/hawker centre bak chor mee.
I mean… $5 for bak chor mee?! That’s unheard of! At least until the first time I went to Tai Hwa. But when I tasted it… Wow. I was hooked. The flavour was… the Japanese word umami comes to mind. I think it comes from the fact that they use ti poh (sun dried flat fish) to make the stock along with god knows what secret ingredients they put in. And because they mix a little of the soup with vinegar, oil from frying pork lard, chilli and don’t know what other sauces to make the sauce for the noodles, the whole bowl of noodles is just absolutely yummy. Slightly sweet, pleasantly savoury, with an edge of sourness from the vinegar. Absolutely yummy. Oh. Have I already said that? Yes. It’s absolutely yummy.
The liver is cooked just right, just so ever slightly undercooked. The slices of meat are also very tender. The bak chor has a good balance of fatty (though Ah Poh’s bak chor is nicer, I think). And they give you a few slices of ti poh too. And for the $6 and above versions, you get some wantons too.
So. Long queues, higher than normal prices. But absolutely worth every bit of the wait and every single cent. Hands down, this is my favourite bak chor mee. Tai Hwa Pork Noodles is at 466 Crawford Ln #01-12, 190465.
What other great bak chor mee stalls are there? Let me know and I’ll go try them!