Monday, June 23, 2014

Tale of two Mee Poks: Tua Kong and 132

Mee Pok is one of the standards and staples of the Singapore hawker scene. Some have elevate it to artisanal level. Witness the Tai Hwa in Crawford Lane. And the Jalan Tua Kong.

Originally from Jalan Tua Kong, this veritable shop now occupies the corner coffee shop in Simpang Bedok. The workers wear T shirts bearing the inscription "Art of Mee Pok"

I visit often to this shop. But recently, over a period of a week, I went twice. The first order was $6.50 and the second order $4.50. The first visit, was on a Friday, and I had a rather regular Tua Kong Mee Pok

Unusual in that it had prawns, minced and sliced meat, fishcake. And a very nicely done mee pok. The broth on this dry version was thick and wonderfully savoury, with great umami. And coupled with pork lard and lard crisps make a satisfying meal. The chilli proved to have a strong kick, and very tasty. Though, a bit pricey at $6.50 a bowl. 

A few days later, on the following Friday, we ordered the least expensive option at $4.50:

No sweet succulent prawns. In its place, two fish balls, and the rest was similar. Taste wise this was not a bad bowl. But the question is...what does the $2 buy you? Indeed it is not a lot of money, but proportionally $2 is 45% more expensive. The jury is out on this one.

Not far away, in Marine Terrace, the 132 Mee Pok is another similar styled dish being served. As I queued at the stall, I read on the framed Straits Times report that this was possibly the stall which "invented" the mee pok. The next generation has taken over the business now, and continue to be quite popular.

For this, $5 portion, two very nice, fresh succulent prawns adorn, with fish cake slices, and fish ball. The noodle was done just right. There was precious little gravy, yes I know this is a dry noodle dish, but compared to the Tua Kong version which had a beautiful savoury gravy, this was rather dressed with pork a result a bit greasy. Taste wise it was superb. Very nice indeed. 

I can recommend the original Jalan Tua Kong version, but not the second one. The 132 version is also recommended if you are not averse to pork lard and a slightly greasier dish.

308 Bedok Road, Bedok Shopping Centre
Open 7.30am – 5pm
Closed Alt Mondays

Block 59 Marine Terrace
#01-105 MP 59 Food House
Open 7am - 4pm
Closed Mondays and 3rd Sundays of the month

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