This is the other 大华 bak chor mee, without the Michelin Star and sans the insane queue. Otherwise, in most other aspects, this Hong Lim Tai Wah and the other Tai Hwa at Crawford Lane are almost identical. Both have their die-hard fans.
Tai Wah Pork Noodle is located on the upper level of Hong Lim Food Centre. There is usually a queue but the wait is normally less than 15 minutes.
I had the SGD8 largest serving which looked very similar to that at Tai Hwa of Crawford Lane - right down to the type of large plastic bowl used.
Each bowl of BCM (as locals call it here) was made quickly but unhurriedly - the fluidity and economy of the stall holder's movements belie his expert cooking skills.
Everything is so beautifully put in place, with so much pride. Not a strand of noodle or piece of meat out of place. Not a stray speck of oil or sauce.
At the bottom of the bowl is the shallow pool of tossing sauce. On that is laid the mound of mee pok (yellow ribbon noodles). Then, the blanket of mince pork, pork slices, and pork liver. Chopped scallion and a couple pieces of toasted tee po (dried sole fish) complete the dish.
The noodles were done soft al dente (whereas at Crawford Lane, it's done a little stiffer).
The tossing sauce is a blend of savoury, tangy, spicy flavours. The tanginess from black vinegar was quite pronounced. The sauce is relatively flat in the savouriness and spiciness department. Still, overall the noodles were very tasty and likeable.
The ingredients like mince pork, liver and lean meat were all top notch. Fresh and cooked to just the right doneness. Tender to the bite and the natural sweet porcine flavours were intact.
I know many people for whom, tee po or the lack of it is the defining line between good bak chor mee and the average.
The salty savoury tee po added another layer of savoury flavour to the dish. It's crispy texture also complemented the soft noodles and pork by adding crackly crunch to the bowl.
The BCM comes with a big bowl of soup with wantons and pork balls.
The watery soup tasted mostly of pork, and was relatively flat in flavour, though it is tasty and I finished the whole bowl gleefully.
Tai Wah and Tai Hwa's signature large wantons. The wanton wrap was slightly thick but soft and very smooth. The knob of fresh minced pork inside was tender and naturally sweet.
The pork balls were tender with a slight spring. Gentle porky flavour with slight saltiness.
Just 2 maybe 3 lard cracklings but they are good quality like everything in the bowl. Fresh, loaded with flavour and aroma in that gently crispy little golden nugget.
3-Star (out of 5). Hong Lim Tai Wah is one of the definitive stalls for the iconic Singapore bak chor mee. Every element from noodle to sauce, soup and ingredients are good. I would love a little additional savoury layer and more intense flavour in the sauce and soup, but this is already perfect for Tai Wah's legion of loyal fans. Go check it out 😊
Restaurant name: Tai Wah Pork Noodles 大华肉脞面
Address: 531A Upper Cross Street, #02-16 Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, Singapore
Hours: 10:00am to 8:00pm
Date visited: 11 Oct 2016
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