Please pardon the acronyms in the title, I am trying to keep it short, yet contain enough information. We had a lot of food for lunch the other day, including two items with Michelin credentials. Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre has such a wide range of food choices, a few of which are listed in the Singapore Michelin Guide. This time we tried two of them: Lor Mee 178 and Jian Bo Shui Kueh. We also had fried noodles from Tiong Bahru Fried Kway Teow and a beautiful dessert from Tian Tian Yuan.
Lor Mee 178 has a Singapore Michelin Guide 2018 “The Plate” award. This award is said to recognise the following achievement: “Fresh ingredients, carefully prepared: a good meal”. We saw that the queue was rather short that day with only a few people in line. There are two lor mee options – either $3 or $4. The latter is for noodles with their famous deep fried shark meat nuggets. We opted for the $4 version as the shark meat topping is one of their selling points.
Service was quick and we soon reached the head of the queue. Various condiments (chilli, garlic, vinegar etc) were available to be added to the customer’s taste. We added a bit of everything (picture below).
The lor mee was good and rich but the portion was not big. The pieces of deep fried shark nuggets were bigger than we expected. The nuggets remind us of the fish component of fish and chips. The fish itself did not have much of a taste, they just soak in the flavour of the gravy. The big question is which lor mee at Tiong Bahru Food Centre is better – Lor Mee 178 or Tiong Bahru Lor Mee. It is a close call but we marginally prefer the latter. In practical terms, we would probably just go with the one that has the shorter queue.
We also tried some fried noodles from nearby stall, Tiong Bahru Fried Kway Teow. The char kway teow ($3) was not bad but not exceptional.
One of our evergreen favourites at Tiong Bahru Food Centre is the chui kueh from Jian Bo Shui Kueh. We always try to find room for it whenever we can. We purchased the minimum of 5 pieces for $2.50.
The rice cakes certainly did not disappoint. The key attraction of these chui kueh is the generous toppings of chai poh and chilli. They were tasty but also super oily. Jian Bo Shui Kueh also has a Michelin Plate award.
And since we had already overeaten for the day, we might as well end the gluttony on a sweet note. The go-to dessert place at Tiong Bahru is Tian Tian Yuan Dessert House. We picked a cold pretty dessert bo bo cha cha.
The BBCC at Tian Tian Yuan Dessert House was beautiful. The jelly balls added some bling to this common dish. The coconut milk flavour was robust and the cubes of yam and sweet potatoes were soft and had a nice texture.
Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre
31 Seng Poh Road #02-01
Lor Mee 178 #02-23 | michelin.com/sg/lor-mee-178
Tiong Bahru Fried Kway Teow #02-11
Jian Bo Shui Kueh #02-05 | www.jianboshuikueh.com
Tian Tian Yuan Dessert House #02-15
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog