Growing up, we’ve all had childhood memories surrounding food. Personally, I’ll always remember the smell of my grandma’s freshly-baked pandan chiffon cake, but for the young hawker behind Shiok Shiok Noodles, it was black mee sua soup and chicken in red glutinous rice wine.
Chef Kelvin Tan, who turns 37 this year, drew inspiration from his maternal and paternal grandmothers’ traditional recipes when setting up his first hawker stall at Sin Ming Lane in late 2020.
Apart from paying homage to well-loved and old-school dishes such as chicken in red glutinous rice wine, Chef Kelvin also wanted to breathe new life into these dying dishes, which have slowly been phased out over the past few decades.
After a year at Sin Ming Lane, Chef Kelvin made the move to Teck Ghee Court Market & Food Centre in late 2021, which is located in Ang Mo Kio.
You’ll find Shiok Shiok Noodles along the stretch of hawker stalls facing the main road and it’s easily identifiable by its gleaming red signboard.
What I tried at Shiok Shiok Noodles
Shiok Shiok Noodles’ Traditional Black Mee Sua Soup costs S$7 and comes with mee sua, liver kidney, sliced ginger, and a home-made herbal soup that reminds me of Seng Kee Mee Sua.
If you’re feeling fancy, you can top up another S$1.50 to get XO liquor added to your mee sua.
I learnt that the recipe for this particular dish hails from Chef Kelvin’s maternal grandmother, and in a bid to try his most authentic version of this nostalgic dish, I decided to get the version with XO liquor, which worked out to be S$8.50.
Despite the slightly hefty price tag, I was impressed with the broth, which was hearty and filled with robust flavours. The intoxicating aroma of the XO liquor added a depth of richness to the soup, which had a hint of smoky gaminess.
There were plenty of innards in my bowl of mee sua— I counted about six or seven large pieces, which were delicately springy and not too chewy.
Paired with the slippery mee sua, this made for a comforting bowl of noodles which absolutely hit the spot on a rainy day (which it was!). I was impressed by Chef Kelvin’s rendition of this old-school dish, which I’m sure will invoke plenty of childhood memories for other diners who grew up eating this.
There is one dish on Shiok Shiok Noodles’ menu that isn’t from Chef Kelvin’s grandmothers’ recipes: his Spicy Mala Minced Meat Noodle (S$4.50 for small, S$5.50 for big).
Yes, you read that right! Mala bak chor mee.
As a huge mala and bak chor mee lover, I was super eager to give this dish a try.
All it took was one good stir for the familiar numbing scent of mala to fill the air, and once my mee pok was coated thoroughly with the sauce, I slurped up my first mouthful of noodles.
The mala spice hit me quickly and I could taste its iconic umami-filled pepperiness, which surprised me as to how much it resembled my favourite bowl of mala xiang guo.
Spice level wise, I’d say it sits between a xiao la (small) and zhong la (medium). The heat builds up slowly and steadily, so if you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can opt for less spice. Chef Kelvin shared that for customers who ask for less spice, he’ll balance it out with tomato ketchup.
The combination of textures and flavours worked well. You’ve got that silky sauciness from the noodles, the springy minced meat, fishballs and fish cake, smoky and crunchy lard, and a good meaty bite from the meatballs.
All in all, this is a solid bowl of mala noodles from Shiok Shiok Noodles. My only gripe would be that it was missing that kick of acidity from the vinegar in my usual bak chor mee.
Towards the end of our meal, Chef Kelvin brought out a small portion of his Ang Zhao Mee Sua (S$5.50), which is also known as chicken in red glutinous rice wine.
This dish, which hails from Chef Kelvin’s paternal grandmother, is only available on weekends at Shiok Shiok Noodles.
This tasted exactly like home-cooked food and instantly soothed my stomach. Aromatic with a good depth of savoury flavours, this is something I’d easily travel down on a weekend to have— it was that good, and I’d say, quite appropriately shiok.
It’s definitely an A for effort at Shiok Shiok Noodles.
Chef Kelvin’s dishes are infused with a nostalgic old-school taste that makes them simply delightful. I was impressed with his dishes’ authenticity and depth of flavour, and would gladly recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a taste of home-cooked Black Mee Sua Soup with XO or Ang Zhao Mee Sua. His own concoction, the Spicy Mala Minced Meat Noodles, was pretty decent and would sit well with mala lovers for its addictive numbing pepperiness.
You can bet that I’ll certainly be back— perhaps even with my own grandparents in tow, so that they can indulge in a fuss-free bowl of nostalgic and yummy goodness at Shiok Shiok Noodles.
Expected damage: S$3.50 – S$8.50 per pax
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