Friday, August 01, 2008

Lunch @ Hong Lim Food Centre

Ah Hui Famous Hokkien Big Prawn Mee, Hong Lim Food Centre

This as you see above, was the cumulation of a couple of decades of prawn noodle making. Doesn't look like that much does it? I cannot remember any point of my life in recent years when I've been down to Hong Lim Food Centre to eat despite the location being rather iconic for good local fare. That will be probably because, I haven't. What I do remember is eating there as a child, dragged by my mother to have lunch with my father who used to work in the vicinity and these happened on the basis of once or twice in a week. After so many years, I was wondering if I could reconnect with any of the memories from 20 years or so ago. The only thing that actually stuck was the uncomfortable heat, the crowd and the taste of the prawn noodles. None of it was particularly intimate in any sense. Though it's not necessarily a bad thing.

Ah Hui Famous Hokkien Big Prawn Mee, Hong Lim Food Centre
The prawn noodles from Ah Hui (Ah Hui Famous Hokkien Big Prawn Mee, Hong Lim Food Centre, 531A Upper Cross Street, #02-61) did taste like how I remembered them to be. The noodles were surprisingly al dente firm which was something that I never quite registered from the past. Prawns were decent, also thinly sliced which isn't usually the way I like them. There's a bunch of short pork ribs which were okay-ish, some sliced pork and a generous helping of pork lard. The chilli powder was good and has probably got to be one of the compelling factors contributing to the taste of the prawn noodles.
  Tuck Kee (Ipoh) Sah Ho Fun, Hong Lim Food Centre

Another dish that I remember from then was the crayfish hor fun from Tuck Kee (Tuck Kee (Ipoh) Sah Ho Fun, Hong Lim Food Centre, #02-41). I joined the lunch queue, grabbed a plate to re-live it and I guess it was pretty ok. I never realised that there were so many crayfishes neatly arranged at the back of the store, all ready to feed the daily lunch mobs. The prices weren't on the lower end for hawker fare and what you paid determined the size of the crayfish that you got. And it's not the cheap and bland starch that many others attempt pass off for gravy in there too. The taste of the gravy is unmistakably crustacean and as I understood of that taste, it's acquired. I wonder if there are any other crayfish noodles out there.

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