Today’s post is about our lunch at Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre. It is a lunch of Michelin Hokkien mee from Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee and noodles from Min Nan Pork Rib Prawn Noodles 闽南抢摊排骨虾面. We completed our lunch with some sweet desserts from Tian Tian Yuan Dessert House. Hong Heng is probably the most famous of these three stalls at Tiong Bahru Market as it received recognition as a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant in the 2017 Singapore Michelin Guide. These are restaurants which are regarded as serving “quality cuisine at affordable prices in approachable and friendly establishments“.
One hesitation which I had to try the Michelin Hokkien mee was the dread of a long queue which seems to afflict good local food that achieves this kind of recognition. Thankfully, the queue at Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee was manageable. I was #8 in the queue and got my food after only 15 minutes. They only serve one type of noodles which made ordering easy – just select the portion size – $3, $4 or $5. I went for the $4 and that turned out to be a generous potion.
This Michelin Hokkien mee had quite a bit of seafood ingredients – strips of squid and a couple of prawns. The taste was smooth. The intensity of the seafood flavour was average. It was an above-average plate of Hokkien mee but, because of the Michelin Bib Gourmand label, I was expecting something extra.
My lunch companion opted for the prawn noodles from a stall known as 閩南排骨虾面. Some refer to the stall as Min Nan Prawn Noodles. Like the Michelin Hokkien mee stall it also had a short queue, but they serve a slightly wider range of noodles dishes – with pork ribs, pork tail, prawn or a combination. I must say I was impressed with the pork ribs and prawn kway teow mee ($4). The soup was rich and flavourful. The pork was soft and separated easily from the bones. The prawns were cooked just right. Most importantly, there was no porky taste.
Tian Tian Yuan Dessert House at Tiong Bahru Market was another stall with a short queue. But we did not mind waiting as we used the time to study the wide range of items displayed on the menu board. The number of dessert items this little stall can churn out is amazing. We decided on a couple of traditional desserts – a cold cheng tng ($1.80) and a hot sweet potato and yam.
The sweet potato and yam was quite average. Just pieces of both boiled in a sweet tasting syrupy soup. The cheng tng was much better – beneath its plain looking exterior, there were lots of different ingredients inside, giving different textures to each spoonful chewy, sticky etc.
Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre
31 Seng Poh Road #02-01
Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee #02-01
Tian Tian Yuan Dessert House #02-15
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog