The Wobbly Egg Allure
I search for wobbly eggs everywhere I go.
Eggs are one of my favourite food and wobbly onsen eggs are my kryptonite.
I once read about a wobbly egg noodle in Bangkok and I wanted to hunt it down. But it was just so damned far away – I would have to commute for an hour.
So when I read about this onsen egg mee pok in Whampoa, there was no chance that I would leave it alone.
“Mata” is a term used fondly in Singapore and Malaysia to refer to the police.
“Mata refers to eye in Malay, but mata-mata generally means policeman (or watchman), where a patrolling policeman of the olden days was the “one on all eyes”. The local Chinese “borrowed” the word and instead used the shortened version to refer to police. “mata chu“, for example, refers to the police station. Like the word “kopitiam“, it is a unique mixture of Chinese dialects and Malay that is not found anywhere else except Singapore and Malaysia.
“Soh” on the other hand means “Aunty” in dialect.
This Stall is delightfully named “Matasoh” as the founder of the stall is one Madam Soh and her third generation family members now runs the stall.
Back in her days in olden Singapore, secret societies were a real problem and Hawkers face harassment and protection money demands from the secret societies.
A steely Aunty Soh rallied her fellow Hawkers to work with the police against such harassment. She also had to coral her fellow Hawkers to observe stricter hygiene standards and follow regulations in collaborating with the police, in return for such protection.
As a result, she was affectionately known as “Matasoh” and her stall delightfully retains its colourful name today.
I reported to the Mata
The stall is in the ever popular albeit old Whampoa Food Centre.
Many of us have grown up with some of the delights there like the much acclaimed Hoover Rojak and the wonderful chinese satay where they gave you pineapple sauce in their gravy.
Matasoh is located one row behind where Hoover Rojak (which is facing the front car park ) is. So it is in the middle aisle of the Food Center and located somewhere in the centre next to a chicken rice stall and directly opposite the Whampoa satay bee hoon stall.
The stall is rather small but looks nicely renovated with hip modern accents in their sign board with a black finish.
They had what I would call a “nice queue”. Not overly long to discourage people but it was continuous and always about 4-6 pax deep in the queue.
I ordered their Matasoh Special which comes with the whole works including a sous vide egg.
The sous vide egg
I was intrigued to see that they had invested in a proper sous vide appliance to make their eggs.
This just made me jiggly and happy.
So to up the Bhutan happiness index, I asked for 2 eggs instead of one.
To be perfectly honest, I think the eggs did not work as well here as in a thai noodle version.
Thai dry noodles are usually served quite dry and they leave you to add in their “five heavenly kings” – their fish sauce, chilli flakes, sugar, vinegar and cut chilli, and ground peanuts.
So the onsen egg there will coat the noodles better.
In this case, however, the robust chilli sauce completely overwhelms the onsen egg which you taste very little of.
Still, I love the idea of onsen eggs in noodles and the next time, I will either ask for little chilli or not mix up the sauce in the noodles first.
They use yellow fish and their fishballs taste homemade with a lovely texture and bounce.
The shapes of the fishball were irregular, consistent with handmade and not machine made ones.
Some people may like their fishballs a little firmer but I was happy with their soft wobbly texture.
How soft ? They were as bouncy and wobbly as the onsen egg.
I had mee pok and it was perfectly executed – the noodles were airy, al dente and still with a little bite in them.
The chilli and condiments
If I had to find something and be a cantankerous ass, I would say that perhaps the chilli could be a bit more fragrant and did not wow me.
But there was nothing wrong with it and don’t get me wrong, it was robust and spicy and packed a punch, so I wouldn’t ask for extra chilli which would be too overwhelming.
But the “Chinese croutons” (also known as pork lard) was a very nice touch and they were generous with them. That saved the day.
The whole ensemble was an above average bowl of noodle and this would be my go to for a good satisfying bowl of noodle any day.
The Hua Tiao Jiu(Chinese rice wine) pork liver mee sua
This is another of their offerings at this stall. Not many stalls offer this.
So in the name of science and for the sake of humanity, I abandoned half of my meepok and ordered a bowl of this.
The soup was lovely. Sweet and tasty from the yellow fish fishballs but tempered with the porkiness of the pork and liver.
But I now know for sure what I suspected has happened recently. When it comes to liver – I am permanently spoiled because of the fine offerings of another stall known as Mui Siong minced meat noodles at Veerasamy Road, which serves this gorgeous thick luscious liver with their noodles.
Every other stall now tastes pedestrian when it comes to Liver after Mui Siong. And I’m afraid I just can’t do any justice to the dish at Matasoh because it pales in comparison.
The onsen egg works very well in the tasty soup and the Mee Sua.
It is overall a tasty dish and I would suggest that you try it here as it is in fact pretty decent. BEFORE you try Mui Siong.
Matasoh Fishball Mincemeat Noodles
90 Whampoa Drive , #01-54, Whampoa Makan Place, Singapore 320090