FU YUAN MINCED PORK NOODLE – Tai Hwa Worthy ?

Hill Street Tai Hwa Minced Pork Noodle

Most of us will know of the famous one Michelin Star Hill Street Tai Hwa Minced Pork Noodles at Crawford Lane.

Seth Lui.com

Tai Hwa Pork Noodle was founded by Tang Joon Teo. He started his stall in Hill Street in 1932.

The late Mr Tang died in 1995 at the age of 89, and left the business to his three sons.

Second son Chay Seng, 72, was the first to work full-time at the stall after dropping out of secondary school when he was 14.

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Today, he is the owner of the Michelin starred Tai Hwa at Crawford Street.

After Hill Street, the stall relocated to Marina Square before moving to its current location at Crawford Street.

Since maintaining its Michelin star each year from 2016, the queue at Tai Hwa has been more horrendous over the years.

The average waiting time now is about 90 minutes.

High Street Tai Wah Bak Chor Mee

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Note that this stall is named “High Street” instead of “Hill Street” and “Tai Wah“instead of “Tai Hwa”

This stall belongs to Tang Chai Chye 66, the youngest son of the patriarch ie Chay Seng’s (owner of Hill Street Tai Hwa) youngest brother.

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Tai Wah used to operate out of Bestway Building in Prince Edward Road which has since closed.

Chai Chye’s son Gerald Tang, is now helming the family’s stall at the second floor of Hong Lim Food Centre, Chinatown.

In 2018, this stall was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand.

Fu Yuan Minced Pork Noodle

I came to attention when I heard of an obscure minced pork noodle in Tampines which has a connection to Tai Hwa.

And what’s the connection?

The owner of Fu Yuan apparently was a helper at Tai Hwa when he was a young man 30 years ago.

Fu Yuan is located in Tampines Street 21 in a large Coffeeshop at Block 201C.

The Coffeeshop has about 12 stalls and Fu Yuan is right in the centre. In fact, it occupies only half a lot and shares the lot with a Wu Xiang stall. So it is tiny.

But good things come in small packages.

When I arrived, I was glad to see that it was amongst the few stalls which had a queue but a short one. Indeed, Fu Yuan has what I call a nice queue – it is a steady stream but each time, the queue is only about 5-6 men deep.

So very manageable and I got my food happily within 10-15 mins.

The noodles were a little narrower than the ones served at Tai Hwa and Tai Wah but I quite liked this version. It was cooked al dente en pointe.

The chilli was fragrant and packed quite a punch so I wouldn’t ask for extra chilli like I did today. The vinegar was mild to a fault so I would ask for extra vinegar the next time I am here.

The liver was soft and powdery and was delicious.

The strips of flat fish and pork lard bits were crispy and lifted my happiness index considerably

Overall it was a delicious bowl of Bak Chor Mee. I see myself being back soon.

I ordered an accompanying bowl of pork dumplings.

The dumplings had a nice crunch and the flatfish they had inside the dumpling was flavourful.

The soup was clear and not of the porky goodness you would find at Tai Hwa but it was tasty nevertheless.

Verdict

It wasn’t as decadent and robust like Tai Hwa. Flavours were not as intense.

But guess what – their basic bowl is priced at $3.50 unlike Tai Hwa which is $6/8/10.

And I just won’t queue for anything for 90 mins. I would queue a little for Fu Yuan’s quality so the relatively short queue was a big plus point.

I actually would put Fu Yuan above Tai Wah at Hong Lim whose standards I feel are dropping in recent times.

Tai Wah’s liver can’t touch Fu Yuan’s and Tai Wah’s noodles are soggier. Fu Yuan’s noodles were al dente and springy.

So if you want authentic Tai Hwa-like Bak Chor Mee, make a trip to Fu Yuan and taste for yourself.

I should add that a few stalls away, you will see Ah Soon Geylang Lorong 29 Fried Hokkien Mee. I tried it on a previous trip and it is good as well. The Wu Xiang stall next to Fu Yuan is also worth trying.

Fu Yuan Teochew Bak Chor Mee

Address: Blk 201C Tampines Street 21
Opening hours: 6am-230pm, 5pm -8pm, closed every 2 weeks on the Wednesday

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle

Block 466 Crawford Lane, Tai Hwa Eating House, #01-12, Singapore 190465 | Opening Hours: 9.30am – 9pm daily, Closed on Mondays | Tel: 6292 7477

High Street Tai Wah Pork Noodle
Hong Lim Food Centre #02-16, 531A Upper Cross Street, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 7:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon

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