It is really about time that our humble hawkers are moving into restaurant shop spaces.
Let’s be honest here. Not that many years ago, there doesn’t seem to be much of a future for young people to take up “hawkerpreneur”. Until a few rather successful cases seem to have a spurring-on effect.
The Michelin Guide coming to Singapore was also a contributing factor.
We (meaning consumers) cannot always expect hawkers to be working in conditions of staggering heat, long hours, and still have to sell their food below a certain price, say $4 to $5.
Therefore, I hope that Ah Ter Teochew Fishball Noodles can become successful.
The stall which I go to occasionally at Amoy Street Food Centre Hawker selling fish ball and minced pork noodles, has opened a full-fledged shop at Lorong Telok (near Boat Quay).
This is helmed 2nd generation hawker Gilbert Lim (and other business partners) who has been described as “Hawker Hunk” by MissTamChiak (who took a brilliant photo of him cooking noodles, defined biceps and all).
However, as I usually visit Amoy during night time or Saturday mornings, I always tried the elder Uncle Lim’s version. Both father and son have their fans.
The stall has also been listed in the Michelin Guide under the less-talked about “Plate” category – technically defined as “restaurants where the inspectors have discovered quality food” and in another perspective means it didn’t get any star or Bib Gourmand.
Ie, consolation prize.
Anyway, the shop serves up value-for-money meals of Fishball Bak Chor Mee ($6, $8), Whole Abalone & Seafood Soup ($15), and sides of Fishballs ($5), Fishcakes ($5) and Marinated Wings ($5).
Just slightly more than the hawker centre pricing, but you get air-conditioned space and comfortable seats. OLS NEED AIRCON.
I did think the business partners did put in some effort to make their food and presentation more “atas”.
It is not only about selling hawker food at a shop. You could see that the bowls, utensils (gold chopsticks, yo) and furniture are specially sourced. Only feedback is they should try to play some music, rather than the same video which goes on an endless loop.
I have eaten Ah Ter a number of times, and would say this is quite an “upgrade”.
The sauce has a good mix of home-made chilli, just a slight notch of vinegar, and sweetness coming from ketchup – which I liked. Somehow, there is that right balance. But I can imagine some people who would think it is not “vinegary” enough.
The soup was tasty, with sweetness coming from the minced pork and seafood.
Okay, it is not a wow-wow-wow Bak Chor Mee, but I think it is definitely above the average bowl and deserves a mention.
The good news is, it opens way early in the morning at 7am for early risers, till 3pm (last order for noodles 2:30pm). The bar component is opened till 1am.
Ah Ter Teochew Fishball Noodle Bar
5 Lor Telok Singapore 049018
Opening Hours: 7am – 3pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun (Last order for noodles 2:30pm)