One of my favourite comfort food is Bak Chor Mee, which translates to minced meat noodles. Whilst searching for new places to try Bak Chor Mee, I chanced upon this hawker Facebook group and saw a handful of people recommending Mou Tak Teng Bak Chor Mee. It is an obscure hawker stall located within Chinatown Complex Food Centre.
The combination of pork lard, minced meat, liver, bouncy mee kia, black mushrooms and chilli is simply divine. It’s that kind of dish that you would always crave for whenever you come back from a long vacation.
Though I’m not fluent in Cantonese, I’ve heard of the word ‘Mou Tak Teng’ before and it means ‘the best’. I was surprised that there hasn’t been much social media coverage of this stall. Its owner took part in Mediacorp’s Hawker Academy 2021 program and was crowned the winner for the bak chor mee episode. I found out that Mou Tak Teng Bak Chor Mee is about nine months old, and is operated by 40-year-old Mr Dai Wei Wen. Needless to say, I was excited to try their mee.
What I tried at Mou Tak Teng Bak Chor Mee
The first on my list; their Signature Minced Meat Noodle (S$4.80). I’ve always preferred the dry rather than the soup version of such noodles. I was secretly beaming with joy when I saw the ingredients that were piling on top of the noodles— two golden fried meatballs, one crispy wanton, a substantial amount of minced meat and pork slices, a few pieces of liver, a generous amount of black mushrooms, and green lettuce.
I started tossing the entire bowl of goodness, coating my mee kia with the hidden chilli below and revealing my favourite, fried pork lard! Though unhealthy, I’ve always felt that bak chor mee is incomplete without this star ingredient. The noodles were executed perfectly with just the right amount of ‘QQ‘ texture, coupled with the slight crispiness of the pork lard, and they tasted so good together.
The minced pork and pork slices were tender and had no strong gamey aftertaste at all. The liver however was slightly tough— they could have cooked it a little less. The braised black mushrooms were extremely fragrant and had a robust taste from the braised sauce that they were cooked in— surprisingly yummy.
I decided to take a break from noodles and moved on to their Handmade Meatballs (S$4). Presented to me were eight pieces of golden brown fried meatballs, served together with a dollop of mayonnaise and a garnish of green lettuce. I proceeded to take a bite and I kid you now, my tiny eyes opened wide almost immediately! The meatballs were out of this world and had a great texture and bite to them. Dipping them lightly into the creamy mayonnaise only increased the ‘sedap’ factor.
Trust me when I say I have eaten my fair share of meatballs at other places, and Mou Tak Teng Bak Chor Mee’s version is so good. Definitely the highlight of my meal so far. Besides the fried version, they had a soup option as well. I was extremely curious about how the Handmade Meatballs would taste like in a non-fried version. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to wait till my next visit.
The next item I tried was their Combo Set Noodle (S$6), the most expensive item on the menu. It came with a piece of braised pork rib, two pieces of braised chicken mid-wings, one whole braised egg, green lettuce and two pieces of the awesome meatballs that I had eaten earlier.
The noodles had the exact same taste as the Signature Minced Meat Noodle, great texture and delicious with the pork lard bits. Without the distraction of the other ingredients like my former dish, I had a clearer feel of how their chilli tasted. It did not possess any intense flavours like dried shrimp, and the spice was subtle and did not overpower the taste of the noodles.
The braised chicken mid-wings were tender and the skin was soft and flavourful. The meat inside was unfortunately on the bland side, and I wished that they had been braised longer to absorb all the awesome flavours of the braised sauce. I had no complaints about the whole braised egg.
The slight disappointment from the chicken wings immediately diminished when I took a bite of the pork rib. It was extremely tender and fell off the bone, and I could taste notes of star anise coming from the braised sauce that it was cooked in. I took alternate bites of the pork rib together with the noodles and they were a match made in heaven.
The last dish I tried was their Handmade Wanton ($3). You could either have them fried or in soup. I am known to be a lover of fried food, so I ordered the former. Similar to the Handmade Meatballs, it came in a plate of eight, together with mayonnaise and green lettuce. The wanton skin was crispy and the meat was not dry. It tasted like a basic fried wanton and it made me wonder if the soup version would have been a better choice.
Mou Tak Teng Bak Chor Mee has perfected the art of getting the right texture for their noodles, and their braised pork ribs were great. The bak chor mee on the whole was good but not fantastic and may not appeal to those who enjoy a strong vinegar flavour in their bak chor mee. Although there were some hits and misses, I would honestly travel all the way to Chinatown Complex Food Centre, just for the fried meatballs. I’d probably bring a friend or two just to find out if the soup version is just as good.
Expected damage: S$3 – S$10 per pax
Other articles you might like:
The post Mou Tak Teng Bak Chor Mee: Opened by Mediacorp’s hawker academy winner appeared first on SETHLUI.com.