As a pig tail lover, I long wanted to treat myself to a bowl of pig tails at Ah Hui Big Prawn Noodles. So, a few like minded pig tail lovers gathered at Balestier food centre this morning.
Balestier food centre is a bright and clean space which is kept comfortably cool with huge fan coolers. I used to spend hours here as a child in 1960s Singapore when this place was a dingy wet market. Never dreamed that 40+ years later, I will be here regularly to chill over good food and coffee with buddies.
Our favourite stall here is Ah Hui Big Prawn Noodle, Long House.
Ah Hui Big Prawn Noodle's claim to fame is.... of course, big prawn noodle lah. (Here is my post on Ah Hui's big prawns <- click.)
But, today we are here to indulge in pig tails :-D
The pig tail comes with noodles and I opted for mee pok today (other times, I also enjoy mee kia).
To me, since the egg less noodles at most Singapore noodle places are generic, the winning trick is in robust tasting tossing sauce and garnish. Ah Hui's noodles got everything I like - in the robust tasting sauce there is vinegar, sambal chili (hae bee hiam), soy sauce, shallot oil, fried shallot crackles, pork lard and fried lard crackles (as much as you like :-D ). The noodles are also done nicely tender al dente.
And then, there is the pig tail.
Ah Hui's pig tail is served in a bowl of Ah Hui's signature, slightly herbal broth. The flavourful, not overly greasy savoury sweet herbal broth has little or no synthetic flavour enhancers and I was able to drink all of it.
Pig tail has the best combination of skin, fat, meat and bone in a pig, in my humble opinion. Ah Hui cooked it just right - the skin has a spring in it's tender coil, the fat is juicy, the soft meat still has bite and the bone has little gaps with bits of flavour from the juices that tease my tongue and taste buds. Ah......., the joy of humble, simple sweet things.
Yeah.... pig tails are quite a niche thing... but Balestier food centre has plenty of choices and Ah Hui stall itself has a few other delicious dishes to offer.
Traditional curry laksa.
Fried seafood pancake.
Delicious tender bouncy sole fish fishballs - I've not seen these sold anywhere else in Singapore.
And, Ah Hui Big Prawns has a fishball story.
It was a privilege and humbling to meet the founder Mr Tan Ah Hui.
Ah Hui started work at a fish ball noodle push cart stall in Tiong Bahru Singapore when he was 13 years old. As he was well built, Ah Hui's first job was to smack the fish meat for making fish balls. That sealed his life long journey with fish ball noodles.
Ah Hui then moved a few more times around Singapore before settling down in the popular Long House food centre along Upper Thomson Road. Ah Hui's stall had no name but everyone knew it as the famous Long House Big Prawn Noodles.
When Long House food centre was demolished to make way for the Thomson subway line, Ah Hui moved his stall to here in Balestier food centre.
Now, he has to give it a name and so it's Ah Hui Big Prawn Noodle, Long House. Naturally.
Despite his fame with big prawns, Ah Hui never forgot his roots and attachment to fish balls. So, he has a separate stall also at Balestier food centre serving excellent hand made fish balls - but, that fishball story shall be for another post :-D
Today, it's glorious pig tails :-D
->> If you are a pig tail lover, come and get it at Ah Hui Big Prawn Noodle.
Restaurant name: Ah Hui Big Prawn Noodle 阿辉大虾面
Address: Balestier Market, 411 Balestier Road, Singapore
GPS: 1.325805, 103.849047 / 1°19'32.9"N 103°50'56.6"E
Hours: 9:00am to 10:30pm (Closed on alternate Mondays)
Date visited: 6 Feb 2016
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