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Toa Payoh Food Hunt for Hokkien Mee

Monday, May 19, 2014

BATTLE OF HOKKIEN MEE

I was intrigued by iEatiShootiPost's Kim Keat hokkien mee post of an inspiring story. It made me go "YES! I WANNA TRY!" as this delicacy is one of my top most favourite dish I would order (especially if the chilli is so good that I can spam lots of it)


Thus the moment I saw that, I called C to set a date where we go give it a try. And we went there the following week! (that was about 2 weeks ago!) We travelling to Braddell MRT and started walking...


O T A H
(a peranakan snack of fish paste with herbs and spices blended together commonly found in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia)


We both are rather adventurous in trying out various food, and I would have random cravings. Saw a really rare (these days!) lady selling freshly bbq otah and selling them. I do see these around when I was younger.




I really have quite high expectations for these otah that we bought. 5 for $2. However I was rather let down.


It's good that these otah are home made as the amount inside are not standardised - Some are quite reasonable like the ones we get outside. Some are soooooo thin and flat. 


Also, the taste lack fragrance. It's rather flour-ish and mild spicy. You can't taste usual otah fragrance of fish, coconut or various spices. Just a weeny tiny disappointment as I was looking so forward to savouring the otahs.




P A U
(a chinese type of buns with fillings)


Initially I just thought of visiting Kim Keat for its Hokkien Mee. However, C has actually made research of good food around the area and thus we dropped by at Lor 1 Toa Payoh Hawker first. 


While waiting for our Hokkien Mee (will mention it later), we ordered these Paus to try it out. C heard that these Paus are not bad so we gave it a try. Moreover, we see people going there for takeaway boxes of them. 




Thankful that C is a food lover too, he ordered different kinds of them. Dont be deceived by the photo. They are very miniature in actual fact. Good for parties as finger food.




See the size. So small in C's hands. Tau Sar filling (also known as Red Bean) is one of my favourite ever since I wore braces years back. I used to love Char Siew but it keeps get stuck in my teeth and braces. The outer dough is not really fluffy and soft. The filling is quite normal. Nothing special except for the size.




Nian Yong filling (lotus paste). Also very average. But the filling is smoother than the red bean one. 




Char Siew filling (seasoned pork). It has some spring onions inside. The meat is rather dry, and being chopped up into very small fine pieces, which is probably to accommodate the size. 




Kong Bah filling (braised pork belly) is quite special. Though the meat is severed into small pieces, the taste is quite there, and it has almost no fats inside (which I totally prefer that way). The meat is not that tender though. But definitely better than the char siew.




K W A Y  C H A P
(a dish with braised parts of a pig both in and out, eggs, tofu, fish cake, etc coupled with kway-flat rice tissue-like in black herbal soup)


Common misconception: Doesn't mean if there's a queue = the food is delicious.


This happened to us. $4 for this. It was braised poorly and the ingredients don't taste fresh. The outer of the egg was a little too hard. It seemed as though it has been in the braised pot for too long, and was left out too long. The food wasn't hot nor warm, and the portions were so little for the price given. I can get better and cheaper ones elsewhere.



Chilli was just alright. Not spicy, and a little sour. I guess it goes better with chilli to cover up some smell from the pig innards. 




The Kway was poorly done. Soup base wasn't that good either. Maybe Amoy/Macpherson has spoilt me. The ingredients seemed left there for awhile and recooked, not the freshly cooked ones. 




Now the real stuff...

Tian Tian Lai
H O K K I E N  M E E
Blk 127 Toa Payoh Lor 1, #02-27
9.30am - 6 pm, closed on Mondays
(http://ieatishootipost.sg/2008/12/tian-tian-lai-hokkien-mee-i-would-if.html)


I'm so glad C has brought me here. He said the ratings given by iEatiShootiPost was quite high. This was the first thing C ordered when we came here. We ate the Paus, the Kway Chap, and this wasn't done yet.


In total we waited for about 45 mins (really took so long!!!!). One of the stall worker/owner came by our table twice to apologise, once to put the cutlery and condiment (chilli+lime) which I really appreciate because at least I'm informed and kept updated of our order. 

$4 for a regular size. While waiting, we met C's cousin who came by to have this mee, yet was informed that it was sold out? And that was like 20 mins after we ordered!!! You can really tell how popular this is.



Being so blown away by how fast this was sold out (C ordered at about 1.45pm and the food came around 2.30pm), we excitedly anticipated for the food to arrive. Finally it came! 


The plate came with just the noodles itself. Lime and chilli are separated on a saucer. To "beautify" the shot, I put the lime and chilli (took extras as I'm a chilli lover) there to brighten up the dish. I thought the presentation could be better by just leaving the lime and chilli on the plate instead. 


Good: The noodles used are skinny noodles, with little yellow noodles. I LOVE THEM! I do not really like too many yellow noodles as they are too starchy for my taste bud thus this plate of noodles captured my taste buds!! The broth they use to fry smells and tastes really good! 

Numerous small bits of pork lards are being fried together that every few mouthful I could taste the crunchy lards. I would say the cook is super generous with pork lard which probably one of the factor this dish taste so good. There are slices of pork bellies inside too! (though I prefer if the prawns could be better)

Love the chilli as it goes so well with the noodles. Sweet yet spicy, and fragrant!!!!!!!! 


Not so good: Prawns however, are the normal size small prawns we get from supermarket, which are quite disappointing - which there are only 3. Sotongs are sliced thinly - only a little. Aesthetic wise could be better. Prawns and sotongs are so small that they are hidden in the ocean of noodles. Thus it looked rather dull at first.


Overall, taste so yummyyy! #thumbsup The noodles are so delish! Long strands of unbroken noodles and is so delicious. Not the best I've tried before but is really good. I'm hoping to try the Geylang Lor 29 one which I heard is the best of the best!





Kim Keat
H O K K I E N  M E E
Blk 92 Toa Payoh Lor 4, #01-264
11.15am  to 10pm daily, Alternate Tuesdays
(http://ieatishootipost.sg/2014/05/kim-keat-hokkien-mee-turning-over-new.html)


This was the main sole purpose that push me to TPY for good food! 




It is located at a corner coffee shop just right at the end of this corridor. 




There is the uncle frying away his Hokkien Mee. I read that he turned over a new leaf and started selling Hokkien Mee as a living. 

Needless to say, try first, talk later.




Good: Presentation #thumbsup! Thicker slices of sotong and slightly fatter prawns here. Pork belly slices are also there. Bigger chunks but much lesser pork lards are being used to fry this plate of noodles. Love the thinner white noodles again! The noodles has the "wok-big-fire" taste that is very aromatic. Portion is quite reasonable. $4 also iirc.

I read that they used Sua Lor Prawns (you can read from ieatishootipost's detailed post on various types of prawns including Sua Lor) which is said to be the traditional type of prawns for Hokkien Mee. 


Not so good: The broth used to fry the noodles are not that good yet.It does not have much prawn fragrance to it. The chilli is not spicy, nor savoury. It's just a little spicy which I don't think it complements the dish well. Noodles are being chopped to rather small bits probably to constant frying. 


Overall, love the wok-big-fire taste which is seen lacking from the Lor 1's stall. However, the taste of the dish could be more fragrant and better- probably improve on the broth used to cook the noodles. (more prawn heads?) Chilli still needs more improvement. But appreciate and love the generous portions of ingredients inside though. Glad to try it! 




Sign off,
C&C's food hunt

(i ate a whole fried chicken cutlet from Shi Lin myself and shared a large Popeyes' whipped potato with C #amsodead afterwards)

Lets go healthier! :)









p.s. the reason we are further apart while taking selfie is cos Mr C cleverly put his backpack between us and did not move it away. hahaha. Maybe we are too tired too. 




Love, Charisse | 12:30 PM | 0 Comments | Direct Post Link




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