March 28, 2023

Not the 50 Best tour day 4: breakfast noodles and old friends

Pin It

Two days ago PR8 blasted out a message to a whole group of people, inviting everyone to have breakfast at Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle (大華豬肉粿條麵). This is, of course, the famous hawker stall that got themselves a little macaron, and I have heard stories of people lining up on weekends for more than an hour for a bowl of their noodles. Well, I have no interest in lining up for an hour for just about anything, so I hadn't planned on coming here. But the promise was that we would 'skip the line' by special arrangement, and suddenly my curiosity got the best of me.

Word was that this outing was "limited to 15 people", but I know how PR8 works, and sure enough, I counted more than 30 people spread out over at least 4 tables. Even Wakuda Tetsuya (和久田哲也) showed up...

Of course, my day in Singapore can't begin without kopi C... Others, though, took advantage of the offer of beer at 10 a.m.

As promised, we didn't have to line up like everyone else. To be fair, on this Tuesday morning the line didn't seem to be too bad, although the line was certainly shorter at the neighboring stall run by the owner's niece. But the latter stall doesn't have the Michelin distinction, so... people who want to check off a list won't be lining up there.

The owner was on hand to liaise with our organizer, and as the noodles were cooked they were then sent to the different tables in sequential order, sort of. When a bowl of dry bak chor me (乾肉脞麵) was put on the table in front of me, I was a little disappointed that the bowl contained mee kia (麵仔) instead of mee pok (麵薄). No matter.

I have very little experience with bak chor me, but it was immediately clear that this bowl was superior to the one I had tasted 3 days earlier. The sliced pork was better; the meatballs had good flavor; the pieces of deep-fried sole were better than the ikan bilis in the other bowl; the spicy kick was nice; and the acidity balance from the vinegar was pretty good. Certainly an enjoyable bowl of noodles. But... no, I still wouldn't line up for more than 15 minutes for this.

The bowl of soup on the side came with some laver, sediment of ground pork, and pickled leafy mustard (酸菜).

I was pretty happy with my breakfast, and grateful to the organizers for making this happen. I have now checked off bak chor me and won't need to spend more time or calories on it in the future.

I met up with my old friend Chris for lunch at Tambuah Mas. She knew I wanted to have local food and didn't mind how casual it was. Scary to think that we first met and used to party together 25 years ago!

Sayur lodeh - after the last few days, I realized that I haven't been getting enough veg in my diet during my travels. This worked well.

Ikan pepes - as advertised, this was indeed not a typical otah.

Instead of being a paste, the banana leaf was wrapped around actual minced fish fillet. A nice surprise, although the seasoning was both a little too salty and sweet.

Rendang lembu - no surprise that this rendang wasn't nearly as tender as the one I had at Candlenut yesterday. OK la...

Es cincau atap - it's been a while since I last ordered the grass jelly drink in a restaurant, and this came with attap seeds.

Es cendol - I can never have enough chendol, and I was reasonably happy with this traditional version.

While many of my friends were busy attending the awards ceremony for Asia's 50 Best Restaurants tonight, I went to visit some family friends who we have known for 50 years and had watched me grow up as a child. The parents are now in their 90s, and I'm very glad I took the time to pay them a visit on the Parental Units' behalf. They were so thoughtful and figured that I would miss certain local foods, so they had one of their helpers go out and buy a few items - such as satay, rendang, and chendol. While the rendang was - again unsurprisingly - very tough to chew on, then chendol had lots of gula melaka and was easily my favorite so far this trip.

Courtesy of the Great One
I went back to the hotel after dinner to follow the announcement of the awards on livestream. While attending one of the afterparties, the Great One realized that she hadn't seen me around and asked where I was. When I told her that I was left off the invitation list this year, she asked me to join her at the afterparty because, as she claimed, there was "gold leaf clay pot rice with caviar". She then proceeded to send me the menu for the party, while inadvertantly leaving out the actual picture she took of the dish. I thought she was being cheeky and ignored her. I didn't see the actual picture until the next day...

DAMN! I really did miss out!

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map