Uncle Martin has been raving about the mee soto at Enak for a while now, "the best in Singapore" he said. As I am a fan of mee soto, I dated Uncle Martin to have mee soto together at Enak stall in Bedok.
Enak stall has already made a name for themselves for their affordable yet sumptuous and scrumptious nasi ambeng <- click. Besides their claim to fame, Enak is a typical food centre stall serving rice and Malay dishes plus familiar staples like mee rebus, mee siam, lontong and mee soto etc.
There is a bit of everything and in the hands of a good chef, it means we get artisanal food made in small quantities i.e. it means we get a good deal lah :-D
For SGD2.50, Enak gives us a lot of yellow noodles (too much Uncle Martin says), bean sprouts, shreds of chicken meat topped with fried shallots, chopped scallion, and a large dollop of fiery looking sambal chili. All these in a spiced chicken broth.
To me, the heart of mee soto is in the chicken broth. Enak just makes what broth that could be extracted from 2 fresh chickens a day, nothing more. We missed the mee soto some two weeks ago as the chicken broth was sold out when we arrived in the afternoon.
The watery broth packs a layered savoury sweet spiced punch.
Stir in that sambal chili and the broth now packs a deeper spice flavour and a sharper sting.
It's delicious and likable, and what made Uncle Martin pronounce Enak's mee soto "the best in Singapore".
Shreds of tender chicken meat.
The mee soto comes with a large clump of yellow noodles - "too much" Uncle Martin says. But hey, hawker centre food is meant for feeding people, not for the entertainment of foodies lah ;-p
Just like Uncle Martin, I like Enak's mee soto too - it is delicious.
But, my favourite mee soto is from another time.
It exists only in my memory.
I used to travel from the northern tip to the southern end of Singapore at Clifford Pier for my weekly fix of my favourite mee soto. It's a nasi campur stall (much like Enak) at Clifford Pier serving the tired passengers and sweaty bronzed dock workers here. It was a great place for comfort food, teh tarik and pungent kretek smoke (Indonesian clove cigarette). In my memory, their mee soto has a thicker chicken broth, almost like a spiced version of full bodied chicken broth in good ramen restaurants.
Credit: Wikipedia Commons
Oh, old Clifford Pier holds lots of memories for me. My best friend Dennis and I, once jumped onto an overloaded bopping tongkang (small wooden cargo boat) for a chance to board the USS Ranger, anchored off Keppel Harbour in the 1970s. The tongkang man took a week of our savings but it was my first time on an aircraft carrier. It's a day I still remember well. The carrier strike group was in Singapore for rest and recreation between battles in Vietnam. The seamen's favorite haunt was Bugis Street, the infamous one. All that is gone now, Clifford Pier is now just generic glitter.
If anyone has any information on where the old Clifford Pier mee soto stall is today, please, please share it with us. We will be eternally grateful.
->> Back to Enak's excellent mee soto - it's one of the many good old school dishes you will find at this little stall.
Restaurant name: Enak
Address: Blk 16 Bedok South Road #01-04, Bedok South Market and Food Centre, Singapore
Tel: 8161-8791 / 9666-6909
Hours: 7:00am to 4:00pm (Closed on Tues)
Date visited: 25 Dec 2015, 27 Feb 2016
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