Toa Payoh folks hankering for a filling bite in the hours before dinner can drop by the local interchange for a super value meal. The Koufu kopitiam on the second floor of HDB Hub (an escalator ride from Toa Payoh interchange) has recently opened a noodle stall — Noodle Giants.
Taking over the previous Ah Ma Chi Mian outlet, it seems that they have left the menu largely the same.
I rarely drop by even on daily commutes through the interchange, but I could not dismiss their eye-catching promo of $2.50 for prawn noodles, laksa, bak chor mee and lor mee. For that price point, you’d have to step back a whole decade and then some. Running till 13 Nov, the discount is only available at teatime from 3pm to 4.30pm.
To see if the noodles were worth diverting from my route, I had a bowl of the regular-sized Minced Meat Noodle (S$5.50/S$6.50) and Lor Mee (S$5.50/S$6.50). For all your dishes at Noodle Giants, you can pick from 8 noodle types — mee pok, mee kia, mee tai mak, yellow noodles, Hokkien noodles, thin or thick bee hoon, and kway teow.
The lor mee gravy was just the right consistency to avoid leaving a cloying impression, though it tasted a touch too light on the five-spice. Stirring in the vinegar and chilli filled the gaps enough for a filling accompaniment to the flat noodles.
A single tube of ngoh hiang, half a braised egg and some pork belly make up the rest of the substantial ingredients in the lor mee.
The bak chor mee comes with a standard assortment of fine and lean pork as well as some fish cakes and a fish ball.
Even with my specific request for ‘shao la‘, the reduced spice level was enough to light my entire tongue on fire. I had to take breaks to air out my mouth, putting unwelcome intervals between mouthfuls of pleasantly firm mee pok.
Spice masochists will get a kick out of it, but unwitting eaters looking for a simple meal might find an unexpected challenge in the bak chor mee here if there’s so much as a dollop of chilli. Outside of forking out for a drink, you’ll have to make do with a small bowl of soup on the side.
If you’re on a tight budget, the $2.50 teatime meals at Noodle Giants are nothing exceptional but definitely worth a go.
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