Best Bak Chor Mee in Singapore? Super debatable.
With that said, Singapore’s Bak Chor Mee 肉脞面 is a hawker dish we can be proud of – with a Michelin star in the bag, and once listed as the top world street food by World Street Food Congress.
Also known as Minced Pork Noodles or Minced Meat Noodles, the noodles (typically called mee kia) dish is included with minced pork, pork slices, pork liver, stewed mushrooms and pork lard, tossed in vinegar, chilli and other sauces (depending on the stall).
This is one of my go-to hawker food, though how good a stall is sometimes depends on who’s doing the cooking and even time of the day. Consistency, consistency.
Here are 10 places you can find good Bak Chor Mee in Singapore:
Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles 大华猪肉粿条面
466 Crawford Lane, Tai Hwa Eating House #01-12 Singapore 190465 (Lavender MRT)
(Behind Immigration and Checkpoint Authority Building)
Tel: +65 6292 7477
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 9:00pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Seriously nobody would have expected a BCM stall receiving a Michelin star (back to those days), putting the humble coffeeshop stall in the same ranks as many fancy restaurants around the world.
Owner Mr Tang Chay Seng was himself very surprised, and said he didn’t think that ang moh Michelin inspectors would know how to eat hawker food, and didn’t ever think he could get a star.
After the converted star, more have also descended to queue in the blazing heat, which can be about an hour to 1.5 hours on average. Even if you see a ‘short’ 5-10 pax queue, that can take about 40 minutes at least?
Most customers I saw would go for the $10 bowl. Though I think the cheapest version of $6 is not that far off in terms of amount of ingredients.
You get more meat, balls and a bigger bowl of soup though.
Here’s the ‘magic’: Al dente springy noodles tossed in a savoury vinegary sauce, filled with tender pork and liver slices, minced pork, dumplings, and a sprinkling of fried sole fish.
The entire combination was full of ‘oomph’, firm bite of the noodles, the sauce robust with a mixture of tastes all in one bite. The pork and liver happened to be tender, cooked just right.
Used to be better in the past, but still one of the best you can find here. Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles (Crawford Lane)
Macpherson Minced Meat Noodle (Bak Chor Mee)
1 Opal Crescent Singapore 328393
(Stall currently closed, deciding leasing with landlord. Could be moving.)
Their dry Bak Chor Mee may just be a shoo-in for one of my person Top 3 favourites in Singapore, and their soup version is definitely a worthy contender.
Watch owner Uncle Yap cook up his noodles, and you know that your bowl is in good hands.
The soup comes very hot and ‘floating’ with many ingredients from minced pork to sliced braised mushrooms, flavourful with slight sweetness as it is cooked with soybeans and ikan billis. The taste of umami.
There is that bit of old-school flavour as well, matched with al dente mee kia. Get the fishcake if you still have stomach space.
(Note: the stall is currently closed and may reopen again at a different venue.)
Li Yuan Mee Pok
710 Clementi West Street 2, Singapore 120710
Tel: +65 8742 6540
Opening Hours: 7am – 3pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
This stall had quite a number of moves and names changes, that non-Clementi folks may have trouble catching up.
What’s special is that a Japanese man Mr Naoji Kuribara is behind the stall.
Certainly very unusual to have Japanese cook up a very local fare of Bak Chor Mee especially in a hot and humble coffeeshop stall.
Mr Kuribara learned his BCM skills from owner (previous co-partners) of Ah Hoe Mee Pok, and was even his apprentice for 6 months. So from Ah Hoe, this became Li Yuan.
On the menu are Japanese Fusion Mee Pok ($6, $7), Special Mee Pok ($4, $5), Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle ($4, $5), Crayfish Mee Pok ($10), and Meat Ball Soup ($4).
Tossed in a savoury sauce, the al dente Special Mee Pok ($) had that additional layered dimension of earthy, slight-salty miso upon every bite. And I was glad not too much was added, making the taste subtle and delightful.
The accompany Char Siew, done Japanese style was tender, fatty, and did not have a strong ‘porky’ flavour.
If you would like to have something more ’atas’, there is also the option of Clayfish Mee Pok, with a more unadulterated base without the additional of miso or shoyu.
Sixties Chaozhou Traditional Minced Pork Noodles
Tiong Bahru, 71 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 160071
Opening Hours: 8am – 1pm (Mon – Wed, Fri – Sun), Closed Thurs
This is also known as the “No Signboard Bak Chor Mee”, and you often find a queue outside this humble coffeeshop opposite Tiong Bahru Market.
Do not mix up this line, with its neighbour Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice.
The taste is as old-school as it gets, with a distinct vinegary punch.
However, as I tried this a couple of times, the springiness of the noodles and sauce mix is not always consistent. I would go if I see if it is Uncle Chai cooking.
Worthy to mention are the soft braised mushrooms and dumplings included with dried sole fish. If you order the more expensive bowl, uncle would include fresh Ang Kah prawns bought from Tiong Bahru Market.
Tai Wah Pork Noodle
Hong Lim Food Centre #02-16, 531A Upper Cross Street, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 8am – 7:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
There are still customers who confuse this with the1 Michelin starred Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles at Crawford Lane.
This stall is High Street Tai Wah Pork Noodle, located at Level 2 of Hong Lim Food Centre.
It is spelt “Tai WAH”, while the other is “Tai HWA”.
The Bak Chor Mee is priced at $6, $8, and $10, and winning formula is the sauce base with a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce and chilli.
Starting with the noodles, there was a soft, chewy bite to the mee kia, though I would have personally preferred it to be springier.
The best part to me was the flavoursome soup added with minced meat, dumplings, meat balls and seaweed that imparted an earthy taste; coming next would be the tender pork slices and liver.
As for the sauce mixture, it was not as vinegary and layered as one would have expected. High Street Tai Wah Pork Noodle (Hong Lim Food Centre)
Ah Kow Mushroom Minced Pork Mee 亚九正庄香菇肉脞面
Hong Lim Food Centre #02-42, 531A Upper Cross Street
Opening Hours: 7:00am – 2:00pm (Sat – Sun)
359 Bukit Batok Street 31, Singapore 650359
Tel: +65 9846 0941
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 3pm (Mon – Thurs, Sat – Sun), Closed Sun
There are two outlets of Ah Kow, one at Hong Lim and the other at Bukit Batok, owned by different family members. (Comparison to the previous cooking of Uncle Cher would be inevitable.)
The BCM noodles with tossed with special black vinegar, topped with stewed shitake mushrooms, deep fried lard, fresh pork slices and dumplings (slightly thick for these).
I thought that the bite and texture of the noodles was spot-on. Take note that the chilli can be on the spicier side.
Bukit Batok’s outlet is more predictable; while the opening hours of Ah Kow at Hong Lim is as rubber as it goes – now you see it opened, more often it is closed.
Seng Kee Bak Chor Mee
49A Serangoon Garden Way, #01-36, Singapore 555945
Tel: +65 8439 0434
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 1:30pm (Tue – Sat), Closed Sun, Mon
A long-time hawker stall, it has been running for 36 years and operated by owner Mr. Lee and daughter Melody.
The Seng Kee queue can get relatively long during lunch time. As every bowl is cooked up one by one, so getting your food may take a while.
Mr Lee is quite famous for his antic of tossing his bowl up into the air whenever he prepares Bar Choe Mee, so look out for that.
The stall serves up Minced Meat Noodles Dry or Soup ($5, $6), Fish Maw Noodle Dry or Soup ($11, $13), Pork Rib Noodles ($5, $6) and Fish Maw Soup ($11, $13).
Order the Fish Maw Noodles bowl which includes slices of pork liver, minced pork and braised mushrooms. Mr. Lee himself assures you he uses premium quality fish maw in his BCM.
What’s special about Seng Kee’s version of BCM are the sliced mushrooms that come with it – braised for at least 4 hours for full flavour. I do prefer the soup version of this BCM though. Seng Kee Bak Chor Mee (Serangoon Garden Food Centre)
58 Minced Meat Noodle
3 Yung Sheng Rd, #03-150 Taman Jurong Food Centre, Singapore 618499
Tel: +65 8245 8975
Opening Hours: 9am – 2pm (Mon, Thurs – Sun), Closed Tues, Wed
There are two popular 58 Bak Chor Mee in Singapore: The stall called “58 Minced Meat Mee” at Bedok New Changi Road specialises in the soup style BCM; while “58 Minced Meat Noodle” at Taman Jurong is known for its dry version.
The two stalls are not related.
58 Minced Meat Noodle started way by in 1973, now managed by 2nd generation hawker Deon Ang.
Here’s what worked about the bowl: Ingredients were generous, pork slices and liver were prepared just nice and tender.
Noodles were cooked more to the softer side. There were also sliced dry button mushroom included, which I feel could not absorb the sauces as well.
The base sauce was unlike others, more to the savoury-spicy side with a tinge of sweetish ketchup, and less of the vinegary element.
Lai Heng Mushroom Minced Meat Noodles
Lor 4 Toa Payoh #01-611, Block 73, Singapore 310073
Tel: +65 9620 2074
Opening Hours: 8am – 3pm (Mon, Thurs – Sun), Closed Tues, Wed
Probably Toa Payoh’s most famous BCM stall, but it has relocated quite a few times across the years.
If you are really keen to try this, do arrive early enough as their popular noodles such as mee kia and mee pok gets sold out. There are regulars who go for their bee tai mak aka silver needle noodles.
Thankfully it is a buzzer system, but still a long wait. 30 minutes or more perhaps?
The BCM bowl is included with minced pork, lean pork slices, liver and braised mushrooms.
Very mixed reviews though – some loved for its nostalgic taste and fresh ingredients; while others thought it is pretty average to warrant that long wait.
Ah Seng Bak Chor Mee 亚成潮州肉脞面
270 Queen Street, #01-77 Albert Centre Market & Food Centre, Singapore 180270
Tel: +65 8399 0220
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 5pm, (Mon – Fri, Sun), Closed Sat
Ah Seng Bak Chor Mee 亚成潮州肉脞面 located at Albert Centre Market & Food Centre (opposite Bugis Plus) is listed in the Singapore’s Michelin Guide with a “Michelin Plate”.
Ah Seng serves affordable bowls of Bak Chor Mee, starting at $3. The Fish Ball Kway Teow available in dry or soup versions, is priced only at $2.50 onwards.
Prices are kept low so more customers can afford and eat his food.
The $3.00 portion (add $1 for meatballs) comes with assorted meat balls and fish cake, as well as generous amounts of noodles, minced meat and stewed mushrooms.
While I thought the sauce and soup might not stand out that much, the special item in the whole bowl was the meat balls.
The spongy meat balls have a Teochew fish cake-like texture. The pork flavour wasn’t drowned out at all, as it was even enhanced with bits of pork fat added to the mix. Ah Seng Bak Chor Mee (Albert Food Centre)
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