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Home / Chinese Cuisine / Tai Shek Hei House of Traditional Bamboo Noodles – Retro Bamboo Pressed Noodles
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Tai Shek Hei House of Traditional Bamboo Noodles – Retro Bamboo Pressed Noodles
By Alfred December 26, 2009
Readers' Rating
10.00
(2 rated)
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Editor's Rating
7.50
Overall
Tai Shek Hei House of Traditional Bamboo Noodles – Retro Bamboo Pressed Noodles
Fast Facts
Food:
Wanton Mee (云吞面)
Type:
Chinese Cuisine
Setting:
Restaurant
Price Range:
S$6 - S$10
Rating Range:
7 to 7.9
Location:
Joo Chiat
Food Centre:
N/A
Recommended For:
Breakfast Dinner Lunch
Reviewed by:
Alfred

If you asked me where was the best noodles I have had in Singapore, I will say it was at Crystal Jade. Distinctly like what you can get from any wanton mee stall in Hong Kong, it got that little springy, chewy yet slippery texture with that translucent look that can be so delirious to slurp. I am not sure here, but I’m guessing that Crystal Jade’s noodles could be due to the handmade outcome or perhaps the effect of the ‘made in the house’ process.

Tai Shek Hei House Of Bamboo Noodles at Joo Chiat prides itself in creating bamboo noodles in the house. So, just what are bamboo noodles?

bamboo7
(image via)

Bamboo noodles are traditional noodles made the old-fashioned artisanal way which the noodle master will astride a bamboo pole to knead the noodle dough. The novelty of bamboo noodles is of course not only in the bamboo. There are ’special’ ingredients used and it is said that the really really good quality bamboo noodles are made using essential ingredients like top-grade flour and duck eggs. This bamboo pole method of producing noodles is supposed to give a more delicate and firmer texture to the noodles while other distinct feature is in the taste of the noodles which has an unique flavour as opposed to ‘non bamboo noodles’ which usually are bland and can(or need to) soak up foreign flavors.

This traditional method of making noodles hailed from Guangzhou and is today a dying art as machines have long but taken over the bamboo job. In Hong Kong or some parts of China, it is termed as the ‘real’ noodles and purportedly, the one good thing about it is that this special noodles cannot be mass produced for you need a man to astride the bamboo pole.

If you’re wondering, unlike bamboo rice or bamboo leaves dumpling(zongzi), there is no bamboo flavour to behold in the noodles and the reason for such production method to exist today is to rediscover the novelty of how people used to make their noodles back in the old days. Pretty much as retro as our opeh leaf used in hokkien mee or hor fun today if you get the drift and yes, this ‘bamboodles’ will do very well for ridiculously picky traditionally handmade noodles aficionados.

I have not heard anything about Tai Shek Hei House Of Bamboo Noodles before that day and it was by chance that I stopped at their door flipping through the menu when my destination was actually the Dunman Food Centre. A waitress quickly came out and introduced to me one of their ‘before you die you must try’ house specialities which is the Tobiko Dumpling Noodles. Fact is I ordered a dry version but she insisted I must take the soup version in order for her ‘die die must eat’ claim to be validated.


Tobiko Dumpling Noodles $6.80

For $6.80($7.10 with GST), 4 tobiko dumplings came in a bowl of noodles soup which looked like the common wanton mee you can find from any wanton mee stall in Hong Kong. The soup was a let down for me, with that absolute ikan bilis flavour. It just tasted like one of those you can create using Maggi Ikan Bilis(anchovy) stock cube if you know what I mean. It can be as delicious as whatever to anchovy lovers but it is just stinky to me. The noodles were well quite good but didn’t come with that fantastic springy texture I was expecting. There were some mysterious subtle black dots all over in the noodles which I thought could be what make this special, I’m not sure. The lack of springiness aside, it is fresh and definitely unique. Maybe I don’t know how to appreciate the intrinsic values or sentiments of this bamboo noodles but I was hoping for one that can have mind-blowing effect on me. I guess there is a beauty to it but it’s just me that don’t know how to apprehend the fine points of it all.


Tobiko Dumpling

Tobiko is the roe of the flying fish and though the dumplings looked great with that conspicuous orange feature, the taste was never going to beat one that have prawns instead. The dumpling’s parameters also included minced pork and prawns but which can hardly compensate for the lack of that cantonese ‘wanton paradise’ flavor.

Tobiko Dumpling Noodles at Tai Shek Hei House Of Bamboo Noodles is a pretentious Hong Kong wanton mee soup with fancy tobiko as ingredients in the wanton at best. If there’s indeed such a thing called Tobiko Dumpling, I’m just suspecting that there is a more ‘perfect’ one elsewhere.

Bamboo noodles culture may be dying at the hands of modern noodles machines but if this is what it should taste, I’m convinced that it’s nothing to shout about. I may be too greedy with my expectation of bamboo noodles to be of Crystal Jade’s noodles’ standard, or perhaps this isn’t the real thing – since the bamboo in the noodles making process here is actually controlled by machines instead of human, so that makes it half manual or unauthentic if you like to call it. And yes, I do know people who are skeptical about opeh leaf doing wonders to a plate of hokkien mee or hor fun, but unlike those foods, there are hardly anything in this bamboo noodles that can create an umami impact.


Tobiko Dumpling Noodles $6.80

Price: $6.80(30 for GST)

Conclusion: The bamboo noodles here didn’t quite hit the spot for me. Since there is no bamboo flavor to impart, I’m just thinking that it can also be done using any plastic or metal pole, as long it has the same solidity and texture as the bamboo. There were rumours that only 3 people in the entire Hong Kong knows how to make the ‘real’ bamboo noodles so you can go figure how scarce this really is. If you are coming here to eat, you may like to consume your noodle fast for apparently, another ’strange’ feature of the bamboo noodles is that it continues to be cooked in the soup while you eat. So lest you get a soggy overcooked soft noodles half way through, try to be quick. And yes, mine did turn a little soggy towards the end.

Likes: Noodles has an unique flavour.

Dislikes: Noodles not QQ enough. Dumplings not shiok enough. Tobiko only performed visual wonders.

Address Overall Rating

bamboo2
Tai Shek Hei House of Traditional Bamboo Noodles
283/285 Joo Chiat Road
Tel: 6345 5095
10.30am – 11.00pm


Food:
7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Authenticity:
8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Value:
7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Service:
7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Ambience:
8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Cleanliness:
8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Overall:
7.5/10 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 


Readers' Comment(s) : 2
charlotte says:

Been there a few times. The standard not very consistent..I think their business not that good..

Posted January 12, 2010
Alfred says:

Yeah lack of customers flow.

Posted January 27, 2010
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