Hong Mao Mian Jia aka Ang Moh Wanton Noodles - Gastronomic Ruminations
My favourite wanton noodle joint in Singapore has a very interesting name, "Hong Mao Mian Jia 红毛面家" in Mandarin. It's more commonly known as "Ang Moh Wanton Mee" amongst the regular clients. For the uninitiated, "wanton" are dumplings and "Ang Moh" is a local slang for Caucasians.
On weekends, it's at least a half hour wait to be served so consider yourself forewarned. Currently located at Joo Chiat Road, the shop operates a queue system. Get your queue number and place your order when you arrive, then wait patiently for the numbers to tick by on the display. This is a welcome change from the arbitrary "queue" system that was in operation at its previous location in a coffeeshop along Tembeling Road.
Wanton Mee @ S$3
Toss the firm and springy noodle strands with the sauce that fills the bottom of the plate. Next, enjoy the bite in the noodles and savour the saltiness of the seasoning that is fired up by the almost gentle spiciness of the chili sauce. The flavour is enhanced by the use of lard, in its crisp, browned form and also the fat that was rendered in the frying process. The sliced Char Siew was just a little too sweet for my liking but thankfully was not excessively dry or tough.
Wanton Soup @ S$3
The wantons here are Singapore-style so they're essentially dumplings made with seasoned minced pork and do not have prawns in them, unlike the ones in Hong Kong. I love dumplings, so we ordered an additional bowl of wanton soup. The wantons were tasty, juicy morsels floating in a bowl of steaming hot broth with crunchy sections of Chye Sim (Chinese Mustard Green) and just a little more rendered lard to smoothen the texture of the vegetables on the tongue during consumption. I love drowning my wantons in the chili sauce that is gently piquant without bringing tears to the eyes. The Wanton Noodles and Chili Sauce here are a Must-Try!
Before you start getting up in arms about the use of lard here, consider the following: Lard is rarely used in cooking these days largely as it is high in saturated fat. Saturated fat increases the bad cholesterol and is avoided by the increasingly health-conscious consumer. However, studies have shown that Trans fat (found in processed food containing partially hydrogenated oils and commercial cooking vegetable oils) tend to increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol. Moderation is key. Since, some fat is allowed in normal dietary consumption, why not indulge in the rich flavour that lard lends to this dish once in a while unless expressly forbidden by your doctor?
I've always wondered why the shop was called Ang Moh since the people running it are definitely local, my folks couldn't explain it either so it was especially amusing when we chanced upon a French family of four having lunch there the previous weekend. They seemed to be regulars as the shy little boy was comfortable enough with one of the uncles at the shop to sit and chat with him after lunch.
Hong Mao Mian Jia 红毛面家
aka Ang Moh Wanton Noodles
182 Joo Chiat Road,
7 am to 3 pm daily, except Mondays.