Bak Chor Mee, which translates to minced meat noodles, is a quintessential dish in Singapore that’s comforting at any hour of the day. The dry variant of the noodle dish comprises noodles tossed in vinegar, chili and other sauces, topped with minced pork, pork slices, stewed mushrooms and pork lard, and finished with a sprinkle of chopped scallions. Typically served with mee pok (flat egg noodles) or mee kia (thin egg noodles), it usually comes with a clear soup on the side. You can also have it in a soup variation – the hot, piping bowl with minced pork ‘floating’ in the broth can be particularly soothing on a cold day.
Now you can find the humble bowl of noodles almost everywhere in Singapore, but which stalls serve the best moreish bowls? Our editors share their favourite picks.
1. Yan Kee Noodle House (closed)
“For those who used to party at the Boat Quay area, BK Eating House was a traditional stop either before drinking (to line your stomach) or after drinking (to tackle those post-bender munchies). Specialising in dry bak chor mee sua (minced pork rice vermicelli), the noodles here are springy and full of flavour, thanks to the fiery sambal chilli that accompanies each serving. However, if you’re making your way to Circular Road, do take note that the original Yan Kee is now longer housed within the BK Eating House coffeeshop but is instead occupying a shop just across the road. The reasons for them moving are hazy at best, but one thing you need to know is that the noodles are still as scrumptious as before. Don’t forget to order a bowl of handmade fishball soup to accompany your noodles!” – Vanessa Tai, Editor & Content Strategist
Address: 9 Circular Road, Singapore 049365
2. Fa Zhan Fishball Noodles
This hole in the wall coffee shop at the corner of 928 Upper Thomson Road – next to the famous 928 Ngee Fou Ampang Yong Tau Foo – is out of the way and looks unimpressive at first glance – I thought so too, and it was purely by luck that I tried the bak chor mee here one morning. I’ve never looked back since. The noodles are springy with a great mouthfeel but I particularly love its wonderfully balanced sauce that comes with a good dose of chili. Everything in this bowl is just right – it’s flavourful without being overpowering and the portion is perfect. Best of all, the lady helming the stall noticed I’m not a fan of pork balls (I go there that often) so she swaps it with a fishball every time, without me asking. If you’re a fan of carrot cake, her rendition is pretty good too. – Joy Fang, Digital Editor
Address: 928 Restaurant, 928 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 787121
3. Ming Fa Fishball
“After 13 years in Singapore, I still wouldn’t call myself a bak chor mee expert, so when asked for my pick, I turned to Pamelia Chia for advice. I was interviewing the founder of Singapore Noodles for an upcoming story on SilverKris and knew that she’d have some good tips. Her choice was Ming Fa at Marymount, which she pointed out as being a supper haunt during her childhood. The dressing for its Minced Meat Mushroom Noodle is well-balanced with the perfect amount of vinegar, and the accompanying soup is full of flavour.” – Alexandra Karplus, Editorial Director
Address: 246B Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574370
4. Jalan Tua Kong Lau Lim Mee Pok Kway Teow Mee – The Art of Mee Pok
“A close alternative to bak chor mee, I love the mee pok here for its super-springy noodles, moreish minced meat, ample use of zingy chilli and vinegar – the more the better – and plump and flavourful dumplings stuffed with a generous amount of pork. It’s always crammed with hungry diners during peak periods, so try to come here at an odd time if you don’t want to have to jostle for a table. They also have an outpost at Queen Street, but I can’t speak to the quality as I haven’t tried it for myself. Pro tip: the stall offers free-flow crispy lard bits (on top of the portion already included in your bowl) that you can use to zhoosh up your dish – not exactly heart-healthy, but certainly delicious.” – Rachel Eva Lim, Editor & Content Strategist
Address: 306 & 308 Bedok Road, Bedok Shopping Complex, Singapore 469469
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.