Located at Old Airport Road Food Centre, Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee 新美香卤面 is famous for its lor mee. You know that a hawker stall in Singapore is not an ordinary one when it has its own Facebook and Twitter accounts and mentions of it in food blogs are as numerous as there are people standing in the long queue at the stall. Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee at Old Airport Road is one of those food stalls in Singapore where waiting in the queue for 20 minutes or more will be considered normal. I was at Old Airport Road Food Centre one day at either a very lucky time or a witching hour because there was no long queue at Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee stall. I could not pass up the opportunity to take-away a bowl of lor mee.
Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee 新美香卤面 is run by Mr Lim, his wife and 2 daughters. I used to think that Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee must be the pioneer of the work life balance trend in Singapore because the stall would usually be closed by 2 pm. That was until I found out about the long hours needed to prepare the ingredients and the gravy for the lor mee dish. Mr Lim typically starts preparation at the stall at 11 pm the night before! I have new found respect for the diligence and dedication of our hawkers.
Lor Mee is a traditional Hokkien braised noodle dish with thick gravy which is made of starch, spices and eggs. There are different versions of lor mee in Singapore and Malaysia. The more common version found in Singapore stalls uses flat yellow noodles and has thick dark sauce. Toppings typically include slices of lor bak (braised pork), ngoh hiang and braised egg.
Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee’s version has a less thick gravy compared to the common Singapore lor mee. The gravy is smoother and less sweet. The gravy is made from starch and eggs plus some secret mix of spices and takes about 4 to 5 hours to cook. Tediously hand-shredded deep-fried Batang fish or Spanish mackerel is one of the key ingredients of Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee. Instead of yellow noodles, you can ask or kway teow or bee hoon or any combination of them.