Less than one week to starting work again. Today I woke up with a craving for bak chor mee. Rather than go to the nearest coffeeshop to get my fix, I decided to drive down to Crawford Lane instead. I left my house at 10am after leaving a quick note to the fam that I was taking the car for 2 hours.
I’ve written at length about my love for bak chor mee (minced pork noodles). Personally, I think that Tai Hwa pork noodle is one of the best, if not the best in Singapore. The noodles and the vinegar are the key ingredients for me and I’ve not found any other stall that does it better than them.
Let me go forth to describe my journey to get a bowl of this bak chor mee goodness.
10.20am – Arrive at crawford lane carpark. Shucks, carpark is full. I wait 5 minutes for the barrier to open. At the corner of my eye, I can already tell that the queue is at least an hour long. Thank god for my phone and my kindle.
10.30am – Finally get a park. Walk to the stall. Queue is now half of a “U” shape.
11am – I’ve probably moved like a few steps such that I’m at the edge of queue where you start to see the signboard of the stall. A few lucky patrons whose friends had been queuing earlier for them walk pass and an ‘auntie’ exclaims at the queue, which has not subsided from this “U” shape since I arrived.
“OMG look at the queue! Unbelievable!”
11.30am – I start chatting randomly with the auntie in front of me who reveals that this is her first time and it was her brother who suggested coming here today. Proudly, I inform her that this stall has been around for ages and express my surprise that she has only just discovered it. Well, never too late. I tell her that the wait is worth it and rave to her a little about the noodles and their vinegar.
11.45am – feels like I am three quarters of my way through. The end is almost near! I take a photo and send it to M, documenting my more than one hour wait. She suggests going again tomorrow morning. Hmmmmm.
The brother of the auntie in front of me comes to check on the progress and jokes that maybe they should leave since it’s been so long.
“Siao!” the auntie scolds him. Yah man! Queue so long already!
12pm – Finally they ask for my order. One bak chor mee pok with chilli please!
12.15pm – watch the master prepare my noodles in front of me. Yesssss… I sneak a peek behind me. The line is still going strong and seems even longer now with the lunch crowd.
12.15pm – fresh bowl of bak chor mee right in front of me. I dig in. OMG, the vinegar is to die for; noodles are perfectly cooked. I’ve missed this taste so much.
I reach home at 12.50pm. Looks like 2 hours to get Tai Hwa bak chor mee is not enough.
Bak chor mee is a very very local dish and with very local flavours. As such, unfortunately, I’ve never been able to get my friends from overseas to enjoy it as much as I do. However, I think that number of locals who are willing to queue each day is testimony to how good these people are at their craft.
Some have cast doubts on whether the food is worth the wait. I’m sure it’s a fair comment. There may be other places in Singapore that can satisfy those demanding taste buds of ours. However, for me, on the numerous occasions that I’ve been here, the food has always been worth the wait.
Add: Block 466 Crawford Lane #01-12