Yong Zhen Lor Mee – Hidden Lor Mee Stall in Bukit Merah
Every Singaporean knows, and possibly loves, lor mee. We all have our own definition on what makes the perfect bowl of lor mee. Well, I love throwing in heaps of minced garlic and a tinge of vinegar in mine. Sure, you could do that with almost any average lor mee. That’s why the lor or gravy is so crucial. Team Tam Chiak headed to ABC Brickworks food centre in Jalan Bukit Merah to check out Yong Zhen Lor Mee, which was said to be on par with the likes of reputable lor mee establishments such as Chia Bee Lor Mee (which has unfortunately closed). Yong Zhen Lor Mee sells only two dishes— Lor Mee ($3), and Prawn Noodles ($3/dry or soup). You’ll notice a husband-and-wife team preparing your orders. “We’ve inherited this business from our aunt,” the couple shared before shying away from any further questions I asked. You know what they say, let the food do the talking.
I’ll usually look forward to the white fish flakes that sit atop the noodles. Unfortunately, the fish flakes are absent in Yong Zhen’s version. What their lor mee has is the standard thick-flat yellow noodles, and pieces of pork belly, fish cake, and ngoh hiang. Although the noodles retained a slight alkaline taste, I thought its texture was pretty decent. As for the gravy, it was somewhat lacking in that deep savoury flavour and the gooey consistency that we are used to. Feel free to add more garlic to boost the flavours of the broth. Combine both the noodles and gravy, and you’ll get a run-off-the-mill taste that you find in most lor mee.
What excites me most about a bowl of lor mee is the ingredients. I liked the ngoh xiang, which had a crunch, the most. Most lor mees come with an egg but be prepared to add a braised egg for 50 cents at Yong Zhen. It’s a good bowl of lor mee, just not a great one.
We also tried the dry prawn noodles which come with yellow noodles, a few prawns, lean pork slices, fish cake slices, and a bowl of prawn broth. The seasoning used for the noodles, which comprises aromatic shallot oil, made the dish pretty flavourful. Packed within the seasoning is a spicy punch. Accompanying the dish is a light broth which paired decently well with the noodles.
There wasn’t much to shout about the prawn noodles. I do, however, appreciate that the prawns were already de–shelled and ready to be eaten.
There’s definitely room for improvement, or maybe it was just a bad day. After all, its decades of history must count for something.
Yong Zhen Lor Mee
Address: ABC Brickworks Food Centre, 6 Jalan Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-40, Singapore 150006
Opening Hours: 8am to 5.30pm daily. Closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
MissTamChiak.com made an anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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