How long will you queue for a bowl of noodles? Well, many Singaporeans are quite happy to queue 30 to 60 minutes for the Hill Street Tai Wah Pork Noodles. The bak chor mee (or minced pork vinegar noodles) stall operates out for a coffee shop in Crawford Lane. The line forms before this small stall opens in mid-morning and does not seem to get any shorter all through the day. Is the length of the queue a barometer for the quality of the food? We finally got to find out for ourselves when a friend kindly queued for 45 minutes for the famous Hill Street Tai Wah bak chor mee.
Hill Street Tai Wah Pork Noodle is a self-service stall. As you are about to reach the front of the queue, a store assistant will take your order. You have a choice of the $5 bowl or more expensive ones at prices up to $10 per bowl. You can opt for the dry or soup version and can choose the type of noodles. You may specify your preference for the amount of chilli and vinegar and make other special requests. You can order an extra bowl of dumpling soup. Wait another 10 to 15 minutes and your order will be ready. You can then bring the piping hot food to your table to enjoy.
The coffee shop is as basic as it gets. There is no effort to dress up the place. It is functional. There are tables and chairs. What else do you need?
When the prized bowls of noodles were brought to our table, the first thing we noticed was that at $5 per bowl they could be quite extravagant with the ingredients. The portion of noodles was modest but there were dried fish crisp, minced pork, pork slices, pork balls and liver slices. The pork, in all its forms, were fresh and of good quality. The crispy fried solefish provided a good contrast to the springy noodles which was firm to the bite. The noodles and all its ingredients were nicely balanced and delicious.
We had an extra bowl of dumpling soup ($6). It was a large bowl and could be shared by 3 to 4 persons. The broth was rich and “meaty”. There were dumplings and, again, pork in all its forms in the soup. The soup could be a meal by itself.
The environment could have been more pleasant and conducive for a meal. However, in spite of that, we thoroughly enjoyed our bak chor mee. The bak chor mee was really better than the average noodles you get at the food courts. Is it so good that I would stand in line for an hour to have it? I do not think so. There are several other places in Singapore where you could have bak chor mee which would be almost as good as what you would get from this famous stall in Block 466 Crawford Lane. Nevertheless, judging by the consistent queues at Hill Street Tai Wah Pork Noodle, it would seem that many would readily agree that Tai Wah’s vesion of bak chor mee is a definite “must try” hawker food of Singapore.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle 吊桥头大华猪肉粿条面
Tai Hwa Eating House
Block 466 Crawford Lane #01-12
Opening Hours: 9.30am – 8pm (Closed on 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month)