Monday, December 31, 2012

Will the best Lor Mee please stand up? A tale of 4 epic fails, and one rather outstanding example of Lor Mee

Lor Mee: simple fat noodles, covered with a thick sauce. The noodles being the mee component. The thick savoury sauce being the lor. Firm favourite in Singapore.

I kind of like them once in a while...usually for breakfast, but sometimes for lunch. And particularly as a mid-ride lunch. Satisfying.

Several famous lor mees come to mind. 178 Shark Meat Lor Mee in Tiong Bahru Market...who became famous for serving shark meat made into fritters with their lor mee. For me, it is mediocre. The other Lor Mee stall in Tiong Bahru market is altogether more traditional, with slices of braised pork belly, and a braised egg. But still a bit middle of the ground for me.

I recently tried the stall in Telok Blangah curiously known as Tiong Bahru Shark Meat Lor Mee. Found that to be too starchy. But with the addition of a piece of chicken cutlet...deep fried, crisp outside, juicy inside elevated the game a bit.

But the lor was bland, and starchy.

I also tried the famous one at Bkt Purmei. Long queues characterise this stall...the upsized version is $4, and is presented thus

Not my taste. Too starchy. No meat...a few small bits of traditional braised pork belly but no other meat adorns this lor mee. Neither fish fritters nor chicken cutlets...just plain flour fritters...to save the day, they were crunchy and rather tasty, but really, the only saving grace of this lor mee was the cut chilli padi.

So epic fails so far...4 and counting. One of my buddies suggested the Tanjung Rhu Lor Mee...so off I went to try it.

Ah...finally, a hit. They used flakes of a deep fried garoupa. A nicely crispy and tasty deep fried wantan is added. A braised egg too. And the gravy was thick, very delicious. The noodles, done just right. I went back again two days later to ensure that it was indeed a good lor mee...and indeed it was.

They also serve a mean Wanton Mee...in my view, better than the more famouse Kok Kee one just a few stalls down the same aisle.

Done black, the sauce was just right. The noodles could be a bit more al dente, but I cannot really complain. The char siew was ok, the wantan themselves were rather nice. I prefer the wantan mee from this stall...and to add to the enjoyment, the owners are nicer folks...smiling, and chatty.

Chai Kee Chicken Rice Noodle House
Tanjung Rhu Food Center

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