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Home / Chinese Cuisine / The Bak Chor Mee Challenge: Part 10 [Extended]
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The Bak Chor Mee Challenge: Part 10 [Extended]
By Alfred September 11, 2009
Readers' Rating
9.00
(5 rated)
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Editor's Rating
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The Bak Chor Mee Challenge: Part 10 [Extended]
Fast Facts
Series:
The Bak Chor Mee Challenge
Food:
Bak Chor Mee (肉脞面)
Type:
Chinese Cuisine
Setting:
Coffee Shop
Price Range:
S$1 - S$5
Rating Range:
7 to 7.9
Location:
Tampines
Food Centre:
N/A
Recommended For:
Breakfast Lunch
Reviewed by:
Alfred
[This is a multi-part series looking for the best Bak Chor Mee around Bedok area.]

See other parts:
Part 1: 58 Minced Meat Mee (Bedok Blk 58)
Part 2: Li Fa Rou Cuo Mian (Bedok Blk 58)
Part 3: Xing Ji Rou Cuo Mian (Bedok Blk 85)
Part 4: Seng Hiang Food Stall (Bedok Blk 85)
Part 5: Ah Poh Meat Noodles (Bedok Blk 85)
Part 6: Tian Nan Xing Rou Cuo Mian (Bedok Blk 511)
Part 7: Chai Chee Bak Chor Mee (Bedok Blk 216)
Part 8: Soon Heng Bak Chor Mee (Bedok Blk 538)
Part 9: Lao Cai Shi Rou Cuo Mian (Bedok Blk 18)
Part 10: Cai Shi Rou Cuo Mian (Tampines Blk 478)
Part 11: An An Rou Cuo Mian (Tampines Blk 823)
Part 12: You Nuo Shi Rou Cuo Mian (Eunos Blk 7)
Wrap-Up: The Bak Chor Mee Challenge

When we talk about Bedok’s style of Bar Chor Mee, then we must be thinking all about Bedok. Little did we know that it didn’t even originated from Bedok but Chai Chee. Ok ok though I know that historically, Chai Chee is actually within the Bedok’s perimeter but still, in the past it is referred to as Kampong Chai Chee and it’s actually north of Siglap, east of Kembangan, west of Bedok Central and south of Bedok Reservoir. So you can see that the location of Chai Chee is actually quite distinctive.

Chai Chee in mandarin means Cai Shi(菜市) which is translated to mean Vegetable Market. The place used to have series of rolling hills and the kampong or village was located on high ground and it was a place where a lot of farmers would gather to trade or sell their produce. What many people don’t know is this, Chai Chee is the first HDB estate to be built in the east part of Singapore back in the 60s. It was one of those places in the old days that had good thriving community that warrants the gahment to project the village to be one of the pioneer estate to be ‘transformed’ into a modern town.

Ok ok, enough of Chai Chee history. Now as we all know by now, Bedok’s Bak Chor Mee came from Chai Chee and was invented by someone long long time ago. Who is this person and how long ago?

I have the honour of speaking to one of this inventor’s great-grandson(Ah Guan) recently and if what he told me is to be believed, this Bak Chor Mee is almost 100 years old. You didn’t heard it wrongly, this Bak Chor Mee recipe had been passed down through 4 generations and Ah Guan who looks to be in his mid 30s continues to carry the Bak Chor Mee ‘baton’ forward. By some simple arithmetic, this Bak Chor Mee must be first sold almost 100 years ago!

Ah Guan’s ‘Ye Ye’(great grandfather) is the reason why we all are enjoying this delicious Bak Chor Mee. He went on to reveal a few other stalls operating by his relatives and it was indeed quite enlightening digging in on those gossips that could well be classified as ‘insider information’!

Ah Guan is operating Cai Shi Rou Cuo Mian at Tampines Blk 478 with his buddy, Ah Seng. The 2 had been operating the stall for almost 15 years though Ah Seng did went out to run his own stall for a while at Bedok Blk 216 market before coming back to continue the partnership because, in his own words, “It’s not easy to run a stall by yourself”.

Truth is I’ve been eating Bak Chor Mee from Ah Guan for as long as they first started. I still remember in those days, when this area was quite new, they already were getting the business. Back then I thought Bedok Bak Chor Mee is as popular as Mee Pok Tah because when I go Bedok I saw it, and then when I went Tampines I saw it too. It’s only recently that I realised that for people who doesn’t live in the east part of Singapore, Bak Chor Mee has a different meaning. Well those kind of Bak Chor Mee that most Singaporeans know, I only know it as Teochew Mee Pok Tah. So you can imagine my level of suakuness when I realised Teo Chew Bak Chor Mee is what most Singaporeans know as Bak Chor Mee!

Whenever I’m at Ah Guan’s Bak Chor Mee stall, it’s the dry version of his Bak Chor Mee that I would go for. It’s not that their soup version is bad, it’s just that their dry version is quite shiok. For some reasons, Ah Guan will throw in 4 meatballs and 3 bak giaos(dumplings) for the dry version but only 2 meatballs and 2 bak giaos for the soup version. So it’s quite straight forward which is a better deal right? And it has always been like that since those days when the price was $2. The best thing is that their sauce for the dry version is seriously quite shiok with a concoction of some sambal chilli and a bit of ketchups and some bak chor that has a hint of that tik poh flavour.


The more shiok dried version!


Ah Guan’s Bak Chor Mee

Ok the soup version here is not quite comparable to the best but nonetheless still quite good. The best thing about the soup version here is the minced pork is really finely grinded and floating sporadically in the soup too, so for me the minced pork is on par with the good ones else where. The flavour of the soup here is slightly different. It has that minced pork cum tik poh flavour but Ah Guan do not believe in making the soup more salty or sweet so it came pleasantly bland most of the time though not without the flavours. So if you can imagine it right, it’s full of that relevant flavours but on the bland side just like how you would do your wintermelon soup. The noodles here have the same kind of QQness so it’s a safe bet there.

Ah Guan employs a lady who does nothing but wrapping the bak giaos and delivering Bak Chor Mee to tables so you can imagine how serious he is in bringing you the best Bak Chor Mee experience.

This has been my regular place to visit whenever I need a Bak Chor Mee fix during the day time. It’s not on the high street but well hidden in a coffeeshop at Tampines Blk 478 so I am sure that not many Bak Chor Mee fanatics would have heard of this stall. Unfortunately they don’t open in the night so you still have to head to Bedok Blk 85 for your supper Bak Chor Mee fix. But if it’s day time and you need a fix, and you’re around Tampines area, there’s no question where you should go. The only thing you probably need to do is to toss a coin to see whether it’s the soup or dry version that you should order.

Price: $2.50

Recommendation: Dry version is value for money but of course you should also try the soup version!

Conclusion: Operates by one of the grandsons of the Bak Chor Mee’s inventor, this has been my regular fix for a long time. Not the best but very very far from the worst. It definitely is authentic in it’s own way and there’s no doubt that this can provide a very good fix. Ah Guan’s Bak Chor Mee stall is the reason why I very seldom need to travel to Bedok for a fix. This is definitely not just a decent bowl but well above the average. So if you’re staying in Tampines and need a fix, you now know that you can save those petrol money for travelling to Bedok.

Likes: Very fresh giaos that has full of that tik poh flavour. Soup is not too salty and so provides a very healthy bowl of Bak Chor Mee but yet flavour wasn’t compromised! The dry version is my favourite because of value and authenticity. Remember to ask for more chilli!

Dislikes: For the soup version, noodles sometimes too much, miminising the soup in the bowl. But if you’re a noodles person then that would suit you fine!

Address Overall Rating


Cai Shi Rou Cuo Mian
Kopitiam at
Tampines Blk 478
Ah guan
Tel : 9683 7033
0600am-1400pm
Off: Alternate Thursday


Soup:
7.5/10 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 

Noodles:
8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Bak Chor:
7.5/10 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 

Dumplings:
8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Value:
8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Overall:
7.75/10 ★★★★★★★¾☆☆ 


Readers' Comment(s) : 5
Gary says:

Chai Chee is infact inside Bedok, just like Geylang is in Aljunied.

Posted September 12, 2009
Alfred says:

Yup I just found out too.

Posted September 13, 2009
Ivy says:

Wow really value for money there. Too bad it’s far from me.

Posted September 15, 2009
Eater says:

Actually, it’s at Block 476. 478 has (or will have) a kou fu instead.

Posted March 8, 2010
Matchy says:

one of the better one

Posted October 2, 2012
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