Friday, 18 August 2017

I found my Hong Kong Wanton Mee First Love at Noodle Place Orchard Gateway 华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

Noodle-Place-Orchard-Gateway-华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

In the 1980s, my favourite place for Hong Kong style wanton mee in Singapore was at the little food street of sorts at the basement of The Centrepoint in Orchard Road, roughly where Mak's Noodle is located today. It was the definitive HK wanton mee in Singapore for me. I only knew it as the "HK wanton mee in Centrepoint" and don't know the actual name of the restaurant. I didn't pay great attention to such things as shop names before I started blogging 😂

This HK wanton mee was my first love and early education on what HK wanton mee is about, as it was before I ever stepped foot on Hong Kong (for the first time in 1985). Somewhere along the way, I could not remember when, this HK wanton noodle shop closed for good. Disappeared. My love left without a word. For two decades afterwards, it was just a fond memory and a taste I sometimes still pined for. Memories of our good times together intrude into my thoughts at the most unexpected moments.

Noodle-Place-Orchard-Gateway-华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

Recently, buddy YJ and I had HK style wanton mee at Noodle Place Restaurant at Orchard Gateway near Somerset MRT station.

(This wanton mee costs SGD8.30++.)

Noodle-Place-Orchard-Gateway-华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

The thin light springy noodles, the mild savoury sweet broth with the distinct taste and aroma of dried sole fish, and juicy crunchy shrimp wanton reminded me of my old wanton mee flame across Orchard Road (at Centrepoint). Poor YJ had to put up with a sentimental uncle reminiscing about his old flame.

Noodle-Place-Orchard-Gateway-华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

A couple of weeks later, while having dinner in Geylang (Singapore), I met Hong Konger Chef Chui 徐 (for the first time). From our conversation, I realised that Chef Chui was the chef at the Centrepoint HK wanton mee 😱

Finally, after nearly 30 years, I get to know how my old wanton mee flame left without even a good bye. The Centrepoint shop closed in the early 2000s, and Chef Chui went to work in Los Angeles, USA. He then returned to Hong Kong and worked with Mak's Noodles. Finally, Chef Chui came full circle back to Singapore and is now consultant chef with Noodle Place (across the road from Centrepoint).

Finally, it's HK wanton mee closure for me.

Time to move on. I still have a lot of living to do 😄

Noodle-Place-Orchard-Gateway-华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

Back at Noodle Place Restaurant, we also had their Noodle Place Special Congee (price SGD12.80++).

There were roast duck, canned abalone, cuttlefish, shrimp, fish, pork ball, liver, chicken, egg etc everything in the piping hot congee. 

Noodle-Place-Orchard-Gateway-华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

Fold everything into the congee while the porridge was still piping hot.

I love the congee - the thick creamy gruel of rice boiled until it is melted into a sweet sticky paste.

But, personally I feel the sides though each were nice in their own right, were competing with the congee for attention and rather distracting. It's just one messy mess of textures and flavours - quite overboard in my opinion.

Next time, I shall limit myself to just egg, cuttlefish or liver or century egg. Not everything together.

I will love it just like old times, the way you were (without overdressing).

Noodle-Place-Orchard-Gateway-华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

Boiled pig liver with seasoning sauce (price SGD14++).

Noodle-Place-Orchard-Gateway-华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

The tender spongy pork liver tastes wonderful when dipped in that robustly savoury sweet house made special sauce with deep layers of flavours.

Noodle-Place-Orchard-Gateway-华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

Preserved egg (century egg) wedges lightly battered and deep fried.

Noodle-Place-Orchard-Gateway-华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

The lightly crisped tender century egg wedges are eaten with a savoury sweet spicy house blended sauce.

The pork liver and century egg sides make simple plain congee great. I like to eat my Cantonese congee this way rather than with a jumble of ingredients thrown into the bowl.

Noodle-Place-Orchard-Gateway-华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

Fried noodles simple and nice. Savoury sweet sauce, tender noodles with a nice soft spring to the bite dressed with blanched kai lan greens and braised Chinese black mushroom.

Noodle-Place-Orchard-Gateway-华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

Noodle Place Restaurant is simply furnished, neatly laid out, compact but still comfortable. It's a typical casual Singapore shopping mall diner. Good for a quick meal - a good Hong Kong style wanton mee and congee fix in Singapore.

Noodle-Place-Orchard-Gateway-华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家

Restaurant name: Noodle Place Restaurant 华苑面粥小厨云吞面世家
Address: 277 Orchard Road #01-17 Orchard Gateway Singapore
GPS1°18'01.7"N 103°50'19.3"E | 1.300461, 103.838684
Tel: +65 6733 3171
Hours: 10:00am to 10:00pm

Non Halal

Date visited: 16 Jul 2017

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.

4 comments:

  1. Uncle, that shop at Centrepoint was probably Noodle Place.
    So after 20 years, you are back at Noodle Place !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL Thank you Lily. My memory of the place is slowly coming back. I think it was indeed "Noodle Place".

      Delete
  2. In JB you can try i-Canton香港粥面家 (in JB CitySq and Aeon Terbau) for an equally authentic HK style prawn wantan mee (RM18/bowl).

    If you happen to be in the neighbourhood of Bukit Bintang, KL do drop by Hong Kong Food Culture 港饮港食, located in the basement of Low Yat Plaza. Their curried fish ball 咖喱魚蛋 is worth a try too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Crawler. Will try them :-D

      Delete

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints as it makes this blog better :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is unethical in the same way as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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