Went to Toa Payoh Lor 1 Blk 127 market and food centre this sunny morning. It's an old haunt just beside my high school (First Toa Payoh Secondary).
The popular food centre with about 50 stalls is on the upper floor and the wet market is on the ground floor. I noticed that there are quite a few Teochew style street food here like pau, chai tow kway, sliced fish soup etc and Lao Sim is just one of at least three fish ball noodle stalls.
The Chinese only signboard says 鸡丝面 "noodles with julienned chicken" but Lao Sim's claim to fame is their hand made fish balls and fish dumplings. 老沈 or Lao Sim means "old Mr Sim".
So remember.... if you are coming here to try Lao Sim's fish ball and fish dumplings, it's the julienned chicken stall 😃
(Next time, I wanna ask the boss the story behind this chicken and fish thing 😁 )
Ah Liang is the second generation owner of the stall founded by his parents in Hougang, Singapore's Teochew enclave.
Ah Liang cooks behind that shroud of steam until 1:00pm and then spends the rest of his day making fish balls by hand. Lady boss Doris told me that they still get fresh fish which Ah Liang will debone and extract the meat by hand.
In Singapore, very few hawkers persist in using fish nowadays (no, actually Ah Liang is the only one I know). A handful may use mashed fish meat packed in bags from suppliers but the majority merely resell factory made "fish balls".
The mound of mee pok noodles topped with white slivers of chicken, braised black mushroom slices, chopped scallion and parsley.
The springy noodles were smothered in a robust savoury spicy sauce with sambal chili which Ah Liang personally made. The greasy sauce laced with lard has a bit of savoury spicy kick and I like it 😋
There were stall made fried shallot and lard cracklings in the noodles.
What about the julienned chicken?
Oh... they were tender with meek flavours and sort of disappeared in the mound of gummy springy noodles dressed in the strong tasting coat of sauce.
But, Lao Sim is really about their hand made fish balls and fish dumplings.
The fish balls and fish dumplings are served in a small bowl of nice, light chicken broth.
Small bowls make the fish balls look bigger 😃
The two fish balls were good sized (slightly smaller than ping pongs), gently springy and bursts savoury sweet fresh fish flavours when we break it by biting.
Lao Sim's fish dumpling... well not exactly fish.
The sheet of rolled fish meat wraps a knob of minced pork spiked with ti poh (dried sole fish). The tenderly gummy chewy wrap had the taste of fresh fish. The minced pork filling is sweet, complemented by savouriness of ti poh embedded in the tender little juicy meat ball. It is a very nice her keow (fish dumpling) but with pork inside 😉
👉 When you are in Toa Payoh, check out the Lor 1 Blk 127 food centre, there are many good food options - it's one of the better food centres in Singapore. Lao Sim is a good choice for brekky or brunch. The old stall serves good hand made fish balls and fish dumplings complemented by a solid bowl of noodles with robust sauce.
Restaurant name: Lao Sim Shredded Chicken Noodles 老沈鸡丝面
Address: Blk 127 Toa Payoh Lor 1 Food Centre #02-01, Singapore 310127
GPS: 1°20'18.6"N 103°50'40.9"E | 1.338507, 103.844704
Hours: 8:00am to 1:00pm (Mondays off)
Date visited: 11 Dec 2016
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