Nam Seng Noodle House – Old National Library Wanton Mee
[Updated April 2015] Childhood memories. The Old National Library Wanton Mee continues to be sold by the Granny Leong aka Poh Poh at Far East Square. Still healthy and going strong, and when I asked, she revealed she is 86 this year.
There are so many childhood foods that disappeared without a trace – because they have moved on, or that the younger generation do not want to take over the food business.
The good news is Granny is still serving this same Wanton Mee at Far East Square. The bad news is, who would take over next?
Nam Seng Noodle House started way back in 1957 the former Catholic High School in Queen Street selling macaroni and chicken porridge.
However, it was their signature Wanton Mee when they moved to the National Library at Stamford Road where they earned their accolades. Of course, the sad thing was that the library has given away to an ERP gantry.
During a lunch trip there, Granny was still there taking orders, but it was a group of workers cooking the food items. She was feisty and strong, and I could hear her nagging at her Chinese staff in Cantonese from time to time. Hugely amusing.
I used to eat this during my childhood days every 3 weeks when I went to borrow books, and it taste ALMOST EXACTLY the same. The same springy noodles, thin sliced red char siew, and the oily clear sauce that I miss so much.
Nam Seng’s version ($4/$5) is most similar to Kok Kee’s. Some may not like this because the sauce is not like your typical wanton mee. Made with vegetable oil, salt, sesame oil and some secret ingredients, it somewhat salty, but very tasty which blends almost perfectly with the noodles.
Another popular dish among the lunchtime crowd is the Venison Horfun ($5) appearing brown and drenched, with tender slices of meat. Although there is no usual ‘wok hei’ flavour, the gooey sauce should win you over.
The sad reality is – what would happen if Granny is gone? I shudder to think. Let’s wish her the best of health, and continue to bring us this wonderful heritage dish.
Nam Seng Noodles & Fried Rice
25 China Street, #01-01 Far East Square, Singapore 049567
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 8.00am – 8.00pm, Sat: 8.00am – 3.00pm (Closed on Sun & PH)
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