Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Ding Ji Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle Bak Chor Mee Bishan 284 鼎记
I was running an errand around Bishan (Singapore) this morning and decided to give Ding Ji 鼎记 a try. Ding Ji is at block 284, Bishan Street 22 which is about 10 minutes walk from Bishan MRT station.
It's 11:00am and the queue was short (though constant). I wanted the premium SGD8 version with the dried fish maw but was politely informed that it was sold out. The friendly staff recommended the SGD5 version.
The SGD5 set - noodles with a bowl of broth sans fish maw.
The generic yellow ribbon noodles (mee pok) were done the way I like - half a notch stiffer than soft al dente.
The tossing sauce is a blend of soy sauce, lard, vinegar and chili sauce. The flavours were a shade shy of intense or deep but it was well balanced. It didn't make me swoon but it was likable. Ideally, I love my bak chor mee sauce to be unabashedly robust - Ding Ji's isn't.
These grease saturated crisp lard cracklings and savoury stewed mushrooms were as good or better than at some old established bak chor mee names. But, even then, they were not enough to lift the noodles out of the ranks of mundaneness.
What won me over was Ding Ji's soup.
It's clear body was rich with essence extracted from boiling pork socket bones and also ti poh (dried sole fish 鳊鱼), I found out from the lady and young man manning the stall.
At Ding Ji, the layered savouriness from pork bones and ti poh is pronounced and it is balanced by sweetness from very generous amounts of fresh minced pork. The flavour might have a MSG boost but I don't feel that there is too much of it. The soup body is fortified by an egg drop and that is a clever, time tested natural way to thicken soup.
There were lots of other ingredients like pork ball, fried fish ball etc thrown into the soup in an almost kiasu make-your-money worth kind of way. It's mainly generic factory things except for the pork liver and meaty Teochew dumpling. But, loading the soup with lots of liaw 料 (ingredients) did succeed in making this SGD5 bak chor mee very competitive price wise.
I think this Bishan Blk 284 Ding Ji 鼎记 serves a good value bak chor mee for SGD5 in Singapore. If I happen to be near the Ding Ji either in Bishan or Eunos Crescent, I'll be glad to have it again, all because of the tasty soup.
Too bad that fish maw was sold out before noon today but that just means that I shall be back pretty soon.
(There are 39 - yes, thirty nine - Ding Ji stalls, all under the Fei Siong Group but only the Bishan Block 284 and Eunos Crescent stalls serve the "premium" version of bak chor mee.)
Restaurant: Ding Ji Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle 鼎记
Address: Blk 284 Bishan Street 22 #01-203 Singapore 570284
GPS: 1°21'32.2"N 103°50'39.0"E | 1.358947, 103.844178
Hours: 24 Hours
Date visited: 13 Sept 2016
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