Thursday, 8 October 2015
Ah Hoe Mee Pok Singapore Clementi 阿和面薄 JK1259
Mee pok is to Singaporeans like ramen to Japanese. In Singapore, it's common to see a coffee shop or food centre with more than one or even two mee pok stalls. We eat so much mee pok - we love it to bits yet it's so overly familiar that I rarely feel inspired to write about this everyday pleasure.
Ah Hoe's mee pok has a little twist that excites me more.
The owner of Ah Hoe Mee Pok is Mr Kuribara, a Japanese permanent resident. Kuribara came to Singapore as a finance specialist but his passion for food led him to start a Japanese food stall at the coffee shop at Clementi West's Block 710.
At the same coffee shop, Kuribara met the owner of Ah Hoe Mee Pok. Kuribara who once worked in a ramen shop in Japan was so fascinated by mee pok that he apprenticed under Ah Hoe's owner Eric Chia for 6 months. In January 2015, Kuribara took over Ah Hoe Mee Pok stall (and closed his Japanese food stall).
Ah Hoe by Kuribara turned out to be a hit. Was the novelty of a Japanese man running a heartland kopitiam stall serving a quintessentially Singapore comfort food the key to Ah Hoe's success? Perhaps, initially but if the food isn't any good it would fizzle out in no time once the hype wears off.
Well, it's nearly a year now - waiting time during lunch hour is still about 20 - 30 minutes. Most of the customers are workers from the factories and offices nearby.
Daughter Reina helps out at the stall, mostly in taking orders. (She took over the cooking while we chatted with daddy :-D )
Kuribara's wife and their son Yuki now runs a branch stall of Ah Hoe Mee Pok at Block 713 coffee shop which is just 2-3 minutes walk from daddy's stall. This second Ah Hoe Mee Pok stall at 金順 coffee shop opened in Aug 2015. Second generation Japanese hawker in Singapore - now, that's a story for main stream media :-p
We started with two bowls of this lowest priced mee pok tah 面薄干 at SGD4.
The SGD4 serving was already quite loaded - two canned shellfish slices, pork slices, minced pork, pork balls, braised mushrooms and noodles tossed in a robustly flavoured sauce.
The sauce is a well balanced blend of mainly savoury with very slight sweet, tangy (from vinegar) and spicy flavours laced with a splash of lard.
The generic mee pok noodles were cooked just nicely soft al dente. The noodles well greased with the slurpy sauce was very likeable.
Each bowl of mee pok comes with a small bowl of cloudy pork bone broth. The mildly savoury sweet flavoured broth complements the robust noodle sauce well.
We liked Ah Hoe's mee pok enough to order a third bowl, this time a SGD5 one. (There's a SGD10 one with crayfish, but next time..... )
This time, I tipped in the whole little dish of that accompanying yellowish sauce into the bowl of noodles.
It was a game changer.
It shifted the taste profile a little and just enough for me to fall in love with it. The yellowish sauce is tangy, sweet, savoury and slightly spicy. It is perky and adds zest to the robust savoury sauce already in the bowl of mee pok. It's the little difference that made all the difference (to set Ah Hoe apart from the countless mee pok stalls in Singapore).
Old style HDB parking at Block 710 - open air, spacious, plentiful, door step parking.
Weng Kwang coffee shop.
Restaurant name: Ah Hoe Mee Pok 阿和面薄 (dad and daughter)
Address: Block 710, Clementi West Street 2, Singapore (stall inside Weng Kwang coffee shop)
GPS: 1.306381, 103.761761
Hours: 6:00am to 3:00pm (closed on Sunday)
Restaurant name: Ah Hoe Mee Pok 阿和面薄 (mum and son)
Address: Block 713, Clementi West Street 2, Singapore (stall inside Kim Soon 金順 coffee shop)
GPS: 1.305087, 103.762521
Hours: 6:00am to 2:00pm | 6:00pm to 9:00pm (closed on Saturday)
Date visited: 8 Oct 2015
Return to Johor Kaki homepage.