quite a special bowl of noodles at this coffee shop in jalan besar – they might first incite interest because of the expensive mollusk, but this otherwise pedestrian-looking bowl of minced meat noodles would hold that interest with its flavours.
it’s a typical-looking coffee shop, but spruced up white and clean – with an impressively old-looking signboard and a photo of our prime minister up there.
this stall and the one next to it deals with three key dishes: a salt-baked chicken, abalone minced-meat noodles and an abalone soup. the chicken is tender and flavorful – and perhaps my favorite dish of all three here – plenty good with rice, no other seasoning required here.
we prefer the abalone noodles here in the dry style, tossed with plenty of lard and minced meat. you’ll recognise the distinct flavors of bak chor mee, all vinegary and savory – and the noodles are springy but can come off a tad heavy and starchy. the noodles are served two small abalones and a tiny scallop on a stick – a little bit of luxury for an everyday dish.
the abalone soup is also pretty tasty, but i think it’s heavy on the salt/ seasoning/ MSG – I got quite a bit of post-meal salt burn. there are pieces of fish maw and abalone in there too, as well as dried scallop; there’s a good base of flavor there, but pity about the amount of excessive seasoning. also, it exacerbates the heavy emphasis on salty flavors offered up here.
there are sides to pimp up your meal – like marinated, soft-cooked japanese-style hard-boiled eggs which were still oozey and delicious (they do give one-half of these per bowl of noodles), and palm-sized fried fishcakes that are softly bouncy and on the salty side.
and for greens – an easy plate of stir-fried naibai cabbage topped with even more of that cubed, fried lard.
it’s a simple weeknight meal spruced up with fancy sides, and at less than 10 dollars a pop, why not?
Ah Lam’s Abalone Noodles and Salt Baked Chicken
460 Race Course Road
$.5: less than 10 dollars a pop