Last Updated: February 4, 2021
Ask me what my favourite hawker dish is and bak chor mee would be an instant reply. Unlike most Singaporeans who swear by their plate of chicken rice or Hokkien mee, the Teochew girl in me would often automatically head to a bak chor mee stall almost every time I dine at a hawker centre.
After exhausting all my bak chor mee options from our 12 must-try bak chor mee stalls in Singapore, I decided to seek out something out of the norm, something different. And of course, the new kid on the block—Gimee Face Noodle House—caught my attention. With 297 SethLui.com Facebook shares and 31,554 page views garnered when I first reported about it on our New-in-town section, this place warrants a visit.
Nestled in the neighbourhood of Hougang within Yi Huat Cafe & Eating House, Gimee Face Noodle House stood out among its fellow hawker counterparts with its brightly illuminated stall front. Decked in shades of jade green, enhanced with yellows and reds, the store exuded a luxe modern vibe; a prelude of a sort as an introduction to their kaleidoscope of modernised bak chor mee.
Abalone Pork Noodle (S$6.80) served on a colourful, vibrant bowl (think extravagant chinese antique) kick-started my mee adventure at Gimee Face Noodle House. Brimming with a bountiful mix of ingredients such as a chinese abalone, pork slices, pork livers, meatball, and fishball together with a mixture of braised shiitake and button mushroom, this bowl of noodles immediately put a smile on my face.
“Finally, a bowl of premium bak chor mee that is deserving of that S$6.80 I’ve just paid,” I thought to myself.
Enrobed in hae bee sambal and a tinge of black vinegar, the strands of flat eggy mee pok was made all the more luscious with the addition of pork oil and thumb-sized nuggets of crunchy pork lard. The addition of these porky yummy bits might not be the healthiest option, but let me assure you that it hits the boisterous spot, making every bite an unforgettable one.
Whilst the Abalone Pork Noodle impressed with its extravagance, it was the Longevity Mee Sua Dry (S$4.80) that tickled my fancy. At its price point, I wasn’t particularly bothered that I was served slices of mock abalones instead of the whole piece. Afterall, the other ingredients remained the same and that alone was a plus point for me.
Here, each strand of mee sua was delightfully smooth, soaking up the sauces beautifully whilst still being firm to the bite. This Longevity Mee Sua Dry might not be the kind of bak chor mee that I normally go for, but I enjoyed it for the fact that the noodles were not ridiculously heavy. As compared to the mee pok, it didn’t have any of the eggy taste which I thought was fabulous as it showcased and complemented the natural taste of the other ingredients in the bowl.
I could savour the sweetness from the minced and sliced pork, the deep flavours of the braised mushrooms and the slight gamey, earthy flavours from the pork liver and I’m definitely not complaining.
Available only at the Gimee Face Noodle House Hougang branch, the Spicy Volcano Mee Kia Soup (S$6.80) comes highly recommended by the aunty who was taking my orders. “This one must try!”, she insisted.
Indeed, aunty knows her stall best as this bowl of Spicy Volcano Mee Kia Soup did not disappoint. Inspired by Japanese ramen, the mee kia soup was gloriously fiery yet not too overwhelming. Packing plenty of umami punch was the dollop of house-made volcano sauce which, albeit spicy, was balanced with the milky richness from the addition of evaporated milk.
Though slightly watered down and not as rich as the real deal, the soup still encapsulated the unique essence of a typical tonkotsu broth. And although the spoonful of pork floss might come unnoticed to some, I appreciated its presence as it added a layer of sweetness that elevated the flavour profile.
Last but certainly not the least was Gimee Face Noodle House’s Mala Spicy Pork Noodle ($4.80)—a bowl that was bold, potent and not so typical.
Strong invigorating whiffs of spices jolted me to my senses the moment my dining partner gave the noodles a good mix. Coating the surface of the mee kia was the wicked mala sauce which exuded a symphony of aromatic flavours accompanied by a wash of numbness.
In my opinion, this dish toes the precarious line between boldly seasoned to over-seasoned. I might be a fan of Sichuan peppercorns and the torture that mala brings, but the spice in this devilish combination overpowered the other components in the bowl and as such, felt a little crestfallen.
Gimee Face Noodle House cooks a playful collection of modernised bak chor mee without losing sight of the basics and essentials. As an avid bak chor mee lover, although my heart still lies with my typical bowl of tangy, vinegar and chilli laden bak chor mee, I’m often still intrigued by these modernised versions.
Yes, traditional taste and flavours should still be kept and respected, but we have to also admit that times are changing and in order to cater to the younger generation, flavours have to evolve. It is a pleasant sight to witness hawkers like Gimee Face Noodle House venturing into this realm and I can’t wait for them to expand and introduce their take on modernised bak chor mee to the rest of the world.
Expected Damage: S$4.80 – S$6.80 per dish
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Gimee Face Noodle House
681 Hougang Avenue 8, Singapore 530681
681 Hougang Avenue 8, Singapore 530681