While this stall at Tiong Bahru Food Centre is called “Zhong Yu Yuan Wei Wanton Mee” (忠于原味雲吞麵) – which implies ”true to the original taste”, people know it better as the ”Bu Jian Tian” Char Siew stall.
The stall which has been operating for more than 30 years is famous of their “Bu Jian Tian” Char Siew Wanton Noodles 不见天云吞面, literally translated as the “roast pork that doesn’t see the sky”.
That is because the meat is taken from the arm pit of the pig – a part which is seldom exposed to sunlight, and thereby being more tender than the other cuts.
You also do not get much of meat from a pig, as a 100kg pig would yield about 2kg of ”Bu Jian Tian” cut.
Wait, wait… I was slightly surprised by the ‘low’ Google review of the stall at 3.7*. When I took a closer look at the 1* ones, most gave negative feedback on the long queue (thus “over-rated”), grumpy hawkers, and tough char siew.
To be fair, I thought that auntie mellowed down over the last two years, and perhaps usually just appeared tired (it is very tough work!).
The wait can be long though, and can take say 20 minutes or more, even if there are just 5 to 6 customers ahead of you.
A plate of Premium Wanton Noodle goes for $6 or $12; while the usual Wanton Noodles is at $5.
You do have to indicate clearly that you want the ”Bu Jian Tian Noodles (I was passed the other plate before because I just said “Wanton Mee” without indicating “Bu Jian Tian”).
Sometimes the particular premium meat version is sold out early by noon time.
The Char Siew marinated for hours and roasted over charcoal in small batches, is sliced thicker than what you find at the usual Wanton Mee stall in Singapore.
Upon closer look, you would find the roast pork slice come with alternating layer of lean meat and fats, just slightly charred on the outer layer.
It has a light honeyed-taste but not with overly-strong caramelisation.
I enjoyed having the thick cuts of meat which gave a satisfying mouth-feel, and this was almost restaurant quality (actually better than some restaurants). However, I can imagine customers saying that the fats part is too fatty and the lean meat part too tough.
So I guess it is up to individual’s liking, again?
The noodles are more geared towards the Cantonese style, long, thin and springy, tossed with savoury sauce.
Perhaps the ‘weakest’ link would be the dumpling soup – not that it was anything bad, just closer to the average and light-tasting.
Zhong Yu Yuan Wei Wanton Mee 忠于原味雲吞麵
Tiong Bahru Market #02-30, 30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 7am – 1pm (Wed – Thurs, Sat – Sun), Closed Mon, Tues, Fri
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