There is a dizzying array of Bak Chor Mee out there.
First let me identify two categories.
The “Tai Hwa Bak Chor Mee” Type
The first is the sort I call the “Tai Hwa Bak Chor Mee” type.
Yes the most famous Bak Chor Mee in Singapore at Crawford Lane with the Michelin One Star leads the pack with its trademark style – usually a dry version with a concoction of chilli and black vinegar, usually comes with braised mushrooms, sliced pork, minced pork, pork ball, Ti Po (crispy dried sole), sometimes liver.
In this category I see stalls such as Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles (Crawford), Tai Wah Pork Noodles (Hong Lim), Seng Kee Bak Chor Mee(Serangoon Garden Way), Lai Heng Mushroom Minced Meat noodles (Lor 4 Toa Payoh) and many more.
The “Bedok Minced Meat Noodle” Type
The 2nd category which is a completely different version, I call the “Bedok Minced Meat Noodles” type.
Usually comes in a soup version, it is served with a lot of minced pork meat, crispy garlic, “keow”(handmade dumplings), sometimes factory made pork balls.
I have tried most of the stalls out there in this category and I have made brief remarks against each of them:
1. The two stalls at Block 85 Fengshan Centre, Blk 85 Bedok North Street 4, Singapore 461085 which only opens at night – namely Xing Ji Ruo Cui Mian #01-07 (soup only) and Seng Hiang Food stall #01-08 (soup and dry)
– my favourite stalls 20 years. I tried Xing Ji recently and standard has dropped considerably. Soup was weak and everything else was sub par. Heard that Seng Hiang has also dropped in standard although I’ve not verified.
2. 58 Minced Meat Mee (Block 58 New Upper Changi Rd, #01-151, New Upper Changi Road Hawker Centre, Singapore 461058)
– in contrast with the two “night” 85 stalls, this is often called the reverse 58 “day” stall as it only opens during the day.
It is a perennial favourite with a monster queue but I don’t understand the hype. At a recent visit, I found everything average but the dumplings hard and below par.
3. 58 Prawn Noodle and Minced Meat Noodle (704 Bedok Reservoir Road, Singapore 470704)
– the owner of this stall Mr Goh used to work for 58 Minced Meat many years ago. Hence when he opened up his own stall in Bedok Reservoir more than ten years ago, he retained the no “58” in the name of his stall.
I think his minced meat noodles is average but found his prawn mee to be much better. His stall has a never ending stream of customers.
He only prepares a limited portion of the minced meat noodles every day and it runs out by late morning.
4. Famous Eunos Bak Chor Mee at 7 Eunos Crescent and with a branch at a stall in the Chinatown Food Street at 41 Smith street.
– the founder of this stall is said to be the founding father of Bak Chor Mee as he started the trade peddling his noodles around the Kampong Chai Chee region in the 1920s.
Hence this stall has a 100 year old lineage and the 58 stall and another stall commonly referred to as the “511 stall” are said to be distant relatives.
Today the 5th generation great great grandson of the Founder runs the operations at their stall in Eunos.
I find this stall to be better than most. Their soup is intense and the dumplings better than average. They also sell fishball noodles at the stall and adds fishball to their signature bowl of Bak Chor Mee which, to me, tasted a little strange and doesn’t work for me. I would advise – stick to their Bak Chor Mee without the fishballs we
. Their branch at the Chinatown Food Street offers pork bowls but not at Eunos.
5. Tian Nan Xiang Minced Pork Noodle at 511 Food Center (Block 511 Bedok North Street 3 #01-10
– commonly referred to as the “511 Bak Chor Mee”, this is another very popular stall. I have not tried this stall for the last 10 years so can’t recall what it taste like. Time for another visit soon.
6. Authentic Chai Chee Bak Chor Mee at Blk 83 MacPherson Lane #01-263 Singapore 360083
– I have not tried this stall as it was just opened in October 2020.
Mr Tan Poh Chye is the grandson of the Founding father of the Famous Eunos Bak Chor Mee. He opened up the popular 511 Bak Chor Mee stall but retired several years ago and now his wife and children runs 511.
It was only in 2020 that he decided to work again and opened up this stall.
6. My Father’s Minced Meat Noodles at 477 Tampines Street 43 Singapore 520477
– I chanced upon this stall recently.
This stall used to be called Chai Chee Minced Meat Noodle. It is now run by a father and son team at this bustling Coffeeshop in Tampines.
I found the taste very clean tasting and was overall quite good. Some people who find the umami taste of the minced pork and the aromatic waft of the fried garlic to be too strong in this style of Bak Chor Mee will like this stall because everything is a lot more subtle and the taste not as intense.
Old Chai Chee Minced Meat Noodle
I have noticed this stall some time ago when I visited Simpang Bedok Market Place but never tried it.
I was at Amoy Street Food Centre and noticed that they had a branch on the first level of Amoy Street, right next to my favourite nasi lemak stall.
I decided to try it and ordered a bowl.
I chatted with the young man cooking the noodles and he told me he was the owner of the two stalls.
I was intrigued as he was a relatively young man. He told me that his name is Richard.
I asked Richard if he was a relative of any of the Bak Chor Mee stalls and he confirmed he was not in any way connected with them.
His stall was started by him and not by his parents or any relatives.
He started his stall at Simpang Bedok and called it Old Chai Chee Minced Meat Noodle as he grew up all his life in the Chai Chee area.
This Amoy street stall is his second stall opened about a year ago.
My bowl of mee pok arrived. I examined the visuals which was pleasing and dived right in.
The soup was tasty and intense. The umami flavour of the pork shone through and was lifted by the fragrant fried garlic.
The dumplings were done well, succulent with just the right bite and consistency.
Noodles were cooked well and were al dente.
I dare say I put this bowl right up there with Famous Eunos.
What a find.
Old Chai Chee Minced Meat Noodle
Simpang Bedok Market Place 384 Bedok Road 2nd Level Singapore 469560
Amoy Street Food Centre #02-82, 7 Maxwell Road Singapore 069111