The bak chor mee at Macpherson Minced Meat Noodles is without a doubt one of the best in Singapore. It is my personal favourite stall, and it is definitely one of the top 3 bak chor mee stalls in Singapore.
The best bowl of bak chor mee
Bak chor mee is one of my all time favourite foods. The delicious flavourful sauce, coupled with the fragrant bak chor and pork, together with a touch of lard, fish cakes, mushrooms and even wanton. The trick to make the most delicious bak chor mee lies in the noodles, the freshness of the ingredients, and the sauce. The noodles have to be al dente, or QQ. This requires a mastery of the cooking timings, the noodles have to be boiled in the water just right, not a second too early or too late. Certain chefs have incorporated dipping the noodles in cool water to make it easier to hit that perfect springy texture. The ingredients have to be fresh to give the best taste. The sauce has to be perfect as well – if you have tried bak chor mee from multiple stalls, you will know that no two stalls use the same sauce. Each stall will have its own proportion of lard, vinegar, soy sauce, soup broth, shallot oil, garlic oil, mushroom sauce, fish sauce, chilli, and that special secret ingredient that you will never know.
Mee pok or mee kia?
Each camp will have its own fans. Personally I am a fan of mee pok tar (tar means dry in Hokkien). The al dente or QQ effect is the most pronounced when you have noodles with more surface area, and that consequently soaks up more sauce to give a better taste, IMHO. However when a noodle stall, like most of them around, is unable to get the al dente or QQ springiness, I would go for mee kia. When I tabao noodles I generally go for mee kia as well, as you will never get the best springiness after the noodles have been subject to further cooking in the plastic container.
Macpherson Minced Meat Noodles
Macpherson bak chor mee used to be located at Tai Thong Crescent, where I was introduced to it many years ago. One day the stall mysteriously disappeared without warning. Where did it go? Thanks for the strong netizen foodie community, I found the answer after some days of Googling. They had moved less than 1km away, to Opal Crescent, sharing the coffeeshop with the famous Tian Wai Tian Steamboat that only opens in the evening.
At Tai Thong Crescent they had monstrous crowds. Waiting an hour for a bowl on a weekend was the norm. When they first moved to Opal Crescent, nobody knew about their new location, and it was deserted. I could get a bowl in a couple of minutes on a weekend! I was happy. But as with all good food stalls, anonymity was not meant to be. In a month all the office workers at the nearby Ministry of Manpower had found out about the stall, and even on weekday lunches you would see a queue. Soon, the weekend queues returned, and the ‘couple of minutes’ waiting time was a thing of the past.
Bak Chor Mee
This is the best. I have tried bak chor mee from famous stalls like Hill Street Tai Hwa and Seng Kee, but nothing comes close to the standard here at Macpherson Minced Meat Noodles.
With some luck, you will get the perfect al dente noodles, addictive sauce with just the right amount of vinegar, and the usual fresh and delicious ingredients. And this only sets you back S$4. One bite into the noodles and the perfect shiok springiness with the delicious sauce will dance around your tastebuds. It goes just so well with the bak chor and the pork. We rate this 4.6/5, and it qualifies for a listing in our The Ultimate Taste category.
I did say ‘some luck’ above, as you may find the odd case of inconsistent quality here. Sometimes the noodles won’t hit the perfect al dente springiness. There was once when they changed their chilli and it was way too spicy. That said, you would be completely satisfied more than 80% of the time, and we would have given them an even higher rating if they were perfectly consistent.
小碗面 (xiǎo wǎn miàn)
I’m not sure of the correct English name for this dish. The stall translates it as ‘Dish & Noodle’ and I’ve read it elsewhere as ‘Soup Dish Only’. Literally it means ‘small bowl of noodles’. For accuracy I will just refer to this dish as Xiao Wan Mian.
This is Macpherson Minced Meat Noodles’ signature item, going for a whopping S$6, a 50% premium over the aforementioned superb tasting bak chor mee. Does it taste 50% better?
I first tried the Xiao Wan Mian here many years ago at the recommendation of the lady server. It differs from the regular bak chor mee with the ingredients separated from the noodles and placed in the soup instead. There is also a conspicuous egg that is cracked into the soup.
The Xiao Wan Mian is delicious. Especially the soup. The cracked egg goes so well with the broth, which would have absorbed all the flavours from the pork, bak chor, fish cakes and wanton. If I could drink this soup everyday I would. That said, the taste of the ingredients taken out from the soup together with the noodles is very slightly inferior to the regular bak chor mee. Nonetheless this is still super delicious, and we rate it a monstrously high 4.4/5.
If you are a soup person, and you prefer your bak chor mee with soup instead of dry, you must try the Xiao Wan Mian here.
It is always conflicting sharing your personal favourite food stalls. On the one hand you want to promote the best food in the country and reward the stall for making such a delicious rendition of bak chor mee. On the other hand you fear that the queues will grow even worse than it already is.
Macpherson Minced Meat Noodles is the stall where once you try it, you will want to come back for more every week. The typical bak chor mee that you taste at the food court will no longer satisfy your gastronomic tastes. So, you have been warned, try the bak chor mee here and get your taste buds spoilt forever – you will never enjoy your normal bak chor mee again.