+
Restaurants & Bars 11

[Singapore] "Lor Mee" Face-off - Chinatown Complex Food Centre versus Hong Lim Food Centre

klyeoh | Mar 3, 201507:39 PM

"Lor Mee" is a typical Hokkien dish where yellow Hokkien noodles and thin rice noodles are smothered with a thick, unctuous brown sauce flavoured with pork broth, 5-spice and soysauce, thickened with tapioca starch and streaked through with egg-white ribbons. Of course, that's a simplified description of the "lor" sauce as each "Lor Mee" eatery will strive to come up with the most complex, subtle flavours which will set their rendition apart from others.

In Singapore. "Lor Mee" usually comes with various toppings: fish flakes (even shark-meat, like the one from the famous Amoy Street Food Centre), soy-braised pork belly slices, thin slices of fish-cake, hard-boiled egg, a piece or two of batter-fried fish fillet, and crispy crumbs of batter added for the texture. Raw minced garlic and extremely spicy chilli paste are usually spooned on top of your bowl of noodles before serving. Some stalls also provide black vinegar, to be splashed onto the "Lor Mee".

Among the oldest & best "Lor Mee" spots in Singapore are the popular stall in Bukit Purmei (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/737015) and the aforementioned stall in Amoy Street Food Centre (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/915883).

Last weekend, I tried two more "Lor Mee" places - these ones are in the Chinatown area:

1) 178 Tiong Bahru Lor Mee at Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre on Smith Street.
The noodles here are soft-cooked, and the "lor" sauce was subtle and fragrant, with strong star-anise overtones. The batter-fried fish fillets were generous portioned, and the soy-braised pork belly was delicious.

2) Penang Kitchen at Hong Lim Market & Food Centre.
This was a pretty average rendition - despite its name, the version here bore little resemblance to the "Lor Mee" served in Penang (e.g. Fong Sheng http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/824873 or Hai Beng http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/691846), which tended to be lighter than Singapore's. The "Lor Mee" in Penang *never* contain crunchy battered crumbs nor batter-fried fish fillets like those in Singapore, but instead, will have soy-braised, meltingly-soft pig's intestines and chicken feet.

The crunch in the rendition here came from crisp-fried tofu wafers ("foo chok"), instead of batter-crumbs. Lesser ingredients than "Lor Mee" from all other places I'd tried.

Addresses
==========
Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre
335 Smith Street
(S)050335

Hong Lim Market & Food Centre
531A Upper Cross Street
(S)051531

    Image Title (Optional)
    Caption (Optional)
    Image Credit (Optional)
    Image Title (Optional)
    Caption (Optional)
    Image Credit (Optional)
    Image Title (Optional)
    Caption (Optional)
    Image Credit (Optional)
    Image Title (Optional)
    Caption (Optional)
    Image Credit (Optional)
Want to stay up to date with this post?