51 Noodle House, Yishun: “Inspired fusion, indulgent bak chor mee, but inconsistent execution”

Not many brave souls dare venture out to Yishun, deemed the most dangerous of all ‘hoods. Alas, yours truly visits regularly since my grandparents are denizens of this dark land. While the area boasts of quite a few popular stalls, I’d like to introduce you to 51 Noodle House—the best stall in Yishun you’ve never heard of.

Sure, it’s no 925 Chicken Rice or Chong Pang Nasi Lemak, but this stall has its fans. It’s one of the rare establishments in this rather gentrified area that puts a bold spin on a local favourite.

51 Noodle House storefront

Located at Yishun Park Hawker Centre, 51 Noodle House serves up a modern interpretation of bak chor mee. At its heart, it’s still very much bak chor mee, but there are interesting fusion twists to keep it interesting.

This will be right up your alley if you’re a fan of mod-sin takes on local classics, popularised by places such as Willin Low’s Relish or A Noodle Story at Amoy, a Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient.

51 Noodle House Yishun close-up shot

‘Fusion’ is very much in the DNA of this stall—it’s actually a joint venture conceived by two hawkers who already had their own stalls in the compound. Funnily enough, neither of them sell bak chor mee. One operates Ipoh Curry Noodle and the other, Seafood Pirates.

And the Japanese fusion elements are apparent just in the design of the sign itself, though the rest of their space looked exactly like a xeroxed bak chor mee stall.

What I tried

If there’s one thing that you must try at 51 Noodle House, it’s their Signature Noodles (S$5.50). Like your standard bak chor mee orders, this comes with the conundrum of selecting your starch—mee pok, mee kia, guo tiao, or unique udon for a S$1.20 top-up.

Extras like signature boiled egg (S$1), noodles (S$0.50), and ingredients (S$1 – S$2) are also available if the base dish can’t satisfy you.

51 Noodle House's Signature Noodles

What’s the ruckus about 51 Noodle House’s special fusion bak chor mee—their Signature Noodles—then? For starters, it came adorned with a boiled egg sporting a runny golden yolk, as well as Japanese-style chashu.

The usual components like pork balls and liver were prepared rather proficiently, but the tender slices of chashu were what gave it that step up from your average bak chor mee. And the pork lard? A nice fragrant boost too.

However, the egg yolk was just the Midas touch needed to bolster it above your typical kopitiam versions. It’s a masterstroke from 51 Noodle House, since the coating of the egg added a slick, velvety mouthfeel to the noodles.

Lifting piece of chashu with chopsticks

I went with my regular noodle choice, mee kia, which sported a nice crunchy bite to it. Being as thin and rotund as they were, the additional egg silkiness helped to create a textural combo that was reminiscent of mazesoba. It’s not exactly mazesoba, but felt strikingly familiar—much like how mazesoba itself bears a slight resemblance to bak chor mee

That said, having patronised 51 Noodle House multiple times, there is inconsistency in their cooking. In particular, you can see how the egg looks a tad too overdone in my shots here. But I’ve also had moments of perfect #eggporn on previous visits. Guess it’s down to the roll of the dice here.

51 Noodle House's Minced Meat Noodle

At this point, purists might be thinking: “Ok so you have a discount mazesoba here, how does their actual bak chor mee fare though?” I was curious about that myself, so I ordered their Minced Meat Noodle (S$3.50) to see for myself. Honestly, I don’t have any strong opinions on 51 Noodle House’s bak chor mee

Unlike the Signature Noodles, the standard rendition of the local classic was soaked in a more traditional medley of chilli and vinegar. Pork lard, as always, made this a more flavoursome bowl of noodles but the sauce just didn’t really jump out at me. Maybe it’s also the wrong pairing of starch at play—I chose the guo tiao to see how it’d play out and, while silky smooth, the sauce just didn’t cling onto it well enough.

Scooping up soup

An honourable mention goes to the accompanying soup too, which was wildly different from your typical bak chor mee soup. I think it’s a recipe adapted from Seafood Pirates, a seafood soup stall that’s run by one of 51 Noodle House’s co-owners. 

Strong shoyu overtones amongst a burst of flavour—just take a gander at that cloudiness. Good on its own but adding some to the Signature Noodles can give it a stronger umami punch, as well as loosening the sauce for less heaviness.

Final thoughts

Is it the best stall in Yishun? No. Is it the best bak chor mee stall in Yishun? Possibly. But what makes 51 Noodle House worth trying is its fusion concept. As a huge fan of A Noodle Story, I was naturally drawn to them.

Overall, here’s what you can expect from this mod-sin hawker: inspired direction, indulgent flavours, but inconsistent execution.

Expected damage: S$3.50 – S$5.50 per pax

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Price: $

Our Rating: 3 / 5

51 Noodle House

51 Yishun Avenue 11, Yishun Park Hawker Centre, #01-27, Singapore 768867

Our Rating 3/5

51 Noodle House

51 Yishun Avenue 11, Yishun Park Hawker Centre, #01-27, Singapore 768867

Operating Hours: 7.30am - 8pm (Daily)

Operating Hours: 7.30am - 8pm (Daily)
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