Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beef Ball Noodles and Popiah

with office makan kakis



A bowl of rice noodles, smothered in a rich black sauce, and decorated with beef slices, beef balls, tendons, and tripe. Sound like a delectable meal? How about adding a dollop of chin cha lok?

This interesting beef ball noodles is smack right in the HDB heartland...and serves up a storm - long queues almos perpetually adorn the store. The stall is manned by 3 rather senior citizens...and despite the long queues, they seem unhurried, and had time to have a smile and nice word for each customer. This was excellent service, which is apt to be overlooked, especially when the shop is popular and busy.



The ingredients used were superb. The beef slices were tasty and tender. The tendons sublime - so well cooked, it almost disintegrates in the mouth, giving the wonderful mouth-feel. The tripe....um, I don't realy fancy them, but they tasted fine. The rich sauce was a great complement to the beef. The beef balls are factory made, so while reasonably tasty, I would have preferred home made beef balls - more punch, crunchy, springy texture would be a great enhancement to the dish. The chinchalok, an unusual addition, was a masterful touch, and added another dimension of punch and taste. This made this beef ball noodles truly superior!

We also ordered some popiah from a very famous popiah stall just a couple of shops down.



The popiah skin was dry, which is the way I like it. I cannot stand the skins which are so wet, they practically fall apart. And the ingredients were very nice. A sprinkling of crystal sugar provided the sweetness and crunch.



But popiah in many hawkers lack the punch afforded by home made popiah. Premium ingredients like fresh crab meat, prawns, deep fried shallots provide a much better popiah. Also the communal act of wrapping, and eating together appeals to some ancient need within to bond. As hawker popiahs go, the one served up by Old LongHouse is above average. But I'd rather make my own popiah at home.



Nan Xing Zhou Beef Noodles AND
Old Long House Popiah
Block 22 Toa Payoh Lorong 7
(p.s. while the stores are near each other, they are not next to one another as the picture suggests...the photograph is an amalgam of two shots)
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