Ever gotten a late-night supper craving for a comforting bowl of bak chor mee? This noodle stall at 302 Foodhouse at Choa Chu Kang has got your back.
Open 24 hours a day, this is one food stall that you can visit whenever the craving strikes.
I decided to visit the stall for lunch, simply because waiting times are much longer during dinnertime. I got caught in a really heavy downpour on the way over (do note that there’s no sheltered pathway from the Choa Chu Kang interchange to the coffeeshop), so the piping-hot bowl of bak chor mee was definitely welcome.
What exactly makes a good bowl of bak chor mee? For me, it’s the complex mix of flavours in such a deceptively simple dish. There’s the heavier, meaty flavours of the minced meat, liver and meatballs; the springy texture of the noodles; and it’s all mixed in and tied together with the sweet and light mushrooms and tangy vinegar.
For $3.50, you get this amazingly fragrant bowl of comfort food, together with a bowl of soup on the side.
As with most noodle stalls, you get to choose the noodle type. I went with the flat and yellow mee pok noodles, which is my usual go-to. You can also choose to have mee kia, which is the thin, rounded noodles.
Springy and chewy, these noodles were not too starchy, although they stuck together a little at first.
The way I usually mix my bowl of bak chor mee is to sprinkle just the slightest bit of soup into the bowl to loosen the noodles up. Then, mix the noodles well!
Make sure the vinegar and chilli sauce are evenly distributed, because you wouldn’t want to have a mouthful of sauce-less noodles.
One of my favourite things about bak chor mee is how much meaty flavour there is. You get minced meat AND liver AND meatballs, all in one single bowl.
Oh, and there are the pork lard bits too. Fatty and crunchy, it’s best not to indulge in these little pieces of lard heaven too often.
The bowl comes with two moderately-sized meatballs. I really enjoyed the texture of the meatballs – smooth but chewy, and I could taste the bits of meat in them.
Like the meatballs, the minced meat was also slightly sweet and quite juicy. I liked how even though it came in clumps, the bits broke apart in my mouth. Mixing it well into the bowl of noodles is a must, because it provides a break from the monotonous and slippery noodle texture.
My personal favourite is the liver. Gamey and slightly fatty, the heavy taste lingered on the palate. The strong flavour of liver is certainly not for everyone, though; I’ve had friends comment that it basically tastes like cooked blood.
I also mentioned earlier that the mushrooms and sauce are really what ties a bowl of bak chor mee together. With a delicate, sweet taste, the sliced mushrooms undercut the overall meaty, umami flavour of the bowl.
Lastly, remember to finish up the soup! Slightly sweet and not too salty, this broth was best gulped down while warm. The subtle meaty flavour helped to cleanse my palate, and was probably what prevented me from feeling bloated after the meal.
If you’re looking for comfort food, and you happen to be in the Choa Chu Kang area, hit up this stall for a guaranteed good time. Rain or shine, day or night, bak chor mee will be here for you.
Expected damage: $3.50 per pax