TAI HWA PORK NOODLE
"One Star Michelin food for $6!"
Having tried quite a few Michelin Star or Bib Gourmand spots, mostly in Asia, I always approach their validation with a touch of scepticism. Though they certainly can shower praise on willing recipients (Yat Lok in Hong Kong for example), they tend to also choose rather odd places to elevate as opposed to the neighbor stall that does better food with less fanfare.
This can all be personal preference of course, but I'm still wondering if they hire caucasians to do the research in Asia or Asians.
Regardless, I head out while the rain pummeled all and sundry with it's torrential appetite, and steered my Grab Taxi towards the roadside shelter. I dove out and ran round the corner to join the long line of punters rubbing their bellies in unison.
Every minute or so the line parted as the lucky person up front received their bowl on a bright red tray and needed to squeeze through to find a table. Minutes turned slowly as hunger bore a hole in my very soul.
Finally it was my turn and I placed my order, and stood watching the noble routines of a man who has done these repeated motions thousands of times. Talk about muscle memory, his fingers found handles and ladles and bowls without merely a glance.
Observations aside, what we all came here for was the food and with mine in hand I found a deserted table, mixed the bowl together and dove in with chopsticks in battle formations. A side bowl of broth served as lubrication.
All in all I enjoyed the meal. The bowl was beset with various textures and flavours, each complimenting the next. I asked for mine without liver because I deem it insufferable to digest, and definitely didn't miss it. The pork pieces were moist, the wonton was tasty, the minced pork held deceiving flavours and the noodles were springy. If there was to be one slight grumble it would be that everything was a bit too "soy/vinegar-forward". It wasn't so much a condiment here as the principal flavour. Also the meatball was extremely dense and unappetizing.
I'd definitely recommend this place to any friend visiting Singapore, but I'm dubious as to why exactly this place deserved to be bestowed with a prized star and not just added to the Bib Gourmand section.
Click to watch Mark Wiens eating it in 2016:
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
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"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"