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Authentic Teochew Minced Meat Noodles: A True Hawker Legend!

Mee Pok Tar $6 (medium) (They ran out of mee pok so this photo shows mee kia)

Fans of the unnamed Mee Pok Tar stall, formerly located in the Tiong Bahru coffeeshop (where Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice once stood), will be thrilled to hear that 77-year-old Mr. Koh Lin Chai has come out of retirement. He now serves his old school Bak Chor Mee at Havelock Road Food Centre! Word has been transmitted down the electronic grapevine and the stall is already attracting long queues! We had to pay him a visit to see if he still has that magic mushroom minced meat mee touch!

Is it as good as before?

2015: Mr Koh at his old stall in Tiong Bahru and 2024: Mr Koh still striking the same pose at his Havelock Road Food Centre stall.

One word: YES!!

It’s wonderful to see one of Singapore’s pioneering Mee Pok Tar masters still serving bowls of mee pok every day! Mr. Koh had planned to retire last year when the coffeeshop owner reclaimed the space. But within a year, his China-born daughter-in-law, Chen Li, persuaded him to revive the stall. She has started to learn the ropes and eventually plans to take over its operations.

Mr Koh and his daughter-in-law Chen Li

Been doing this for over 60 years!

Mr. Koh has been selling Mee Pok for 60 years, beginning as a teenager in 1964, plying the streets of Chinatown. Back then, a bowl of mee pok cost just 20 cents! It included a few slices of pork and fish balls. He eventually settled at a coffeeshop in Tiong Bahru in the early 2000s. That’s where he built his reputation for serving authentic Teochew mee pok.

When I visited the stall in 2015, it didn’t even have a proper name. It was simply called Traditional Teochew Minced Meat Noodles. I rated his bowl of Mee Pok 4.5/5 back then, as the ingredients were fresh and the noodles were perfectly cooked with a wonderfully balanced sauce.

I’m happy to report that the noodles remain excellent. The old master still has the knack for cooking the noodles perfectly before topping it with fresh pork mince and prawns. The giao (dumpling) are outstanding! They are packed with a generous amount of fried sole fish that delivers an umami kick!

Another ingredient Mr. Koh is passionate about is his mushrooms, which he proudly showed me. He insists on using only quality dried shiitake mushrooms to make the braised mushroom sauce. Another component that he does well is the pork lard which he makes fresh regularly. His meticulous attention to detail is the secret to a perfect bowl of mee pok tar. A true legend! 4.5/5

Conclusion

Old school is still the best school. This mee pok tar boasts a traditional flavor that’s hard to beat. Just one caveat: Mr. Koh isn’t as nimble as he used to be, so the queue moves rather slowly. However, I was assured that his successor has mastered the noodle-cooking skills, and the queues move quickly when she’s at the helm.

Read my previous post written in 2015


Authentic Teochew Traditional Minced Meat Noodles
Address

Blk 22A Havelock Rd, #01-21, Havelock Rd Cooked Food Centre
Singapore 161022
View Map

Opening hours:

6:30 am to 2:00 pm

 
Closed:

Mon

Other Info

Last Order 1:45pm

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