Saturday, June 28, 2014

Soi 19 Thai Wanton Mee - A Different Yet Familiar Kind of Wanton Noodles

This was the first time that I have heard of Thai styled wanton noodles, and it is said that this dish is quite the rage in Pratunum, Bangkok.

Soi 19 Thai Wanton Mee is located in a remote corner of Ang Mo Kio, and has no actual relation to the Soi 19 eatery in Thailand. Nevertheless, the dish they serve up here does bear more than a passing resemblance to the one in Pratunum.

The owner was so enchanted by what he had in Thailand, that he managed to wrestle the recipe out of the Thai owner, and founded this stall here with the intention to replicate what he ate there.

From the outward appearance, his Thai wanton noodles looked like a more elaborate version of our regular bowl of wanton mee, with some minor differences.

Soi 19 Thai Wanton Mee

The first thing that caught my attention was the huge size of the wantons in the accompanying soup bowl. For the regular portion, it had only 2 wantons, but boy, were they big.

The bowl of dry noodles was presented in a colorful myriad of ingredients, which included the lovely noodles, the char siew, the pork lard and one more large fried wanton that was almost hidden from sight. The condiments were 2 small plates of green chilli and chilli flakes.

The Eggy Noodles

While the char siew was pedestrian, what really stood out was the wonderful eggy texture of the noodles. It was cooked to perfection, and had a beautiful bounce to every bite, and coupled with a simple flavoring of oil, lard and salt, the noodles were the star of the dish.

A few stalks of chinese greens rounded up the garnishing, and while the fried wanton's filling was nicely seasoned, it could not outshine the combination of flavors and textures emanating from the noodles.

Big Wantons in Clear Broth

The soup itself was decent and had a clear savory taste to it, and the regular wantons were pretty good too. The same seasoning was applied to the fillings, and the generosity of the portioning was pretty much value for money.

Additional Condiments of Sugar and Fish Sauce

For the hardcore lovers of this dish, the stall also provides fish sauce and sugar to give it that extra kick. Whilst I personally did not partake in these extra seasonings, I was reliably told that the flavor enhancements did give this dish a different dimension.

The use of chilli flakes is also an interesting touch, and gives it a more modern spice twist to the dish. For purists, the reliable green chilli is also on hand to meet your spicy demands.

The Extras

It has been reported that during peak hours, there may be a waiting time of up to an hour, so be forewarned. And the standard of the dish might dipped as well.

I have not had the opportunity to savor the actual Bangkok variant of this wanton noodle delicacy, but from what I have savored so far, there is little to complain.

I certainly enjoyed the overall dish as a whole, and while there are a couple of clever touches here and there, it is still pretty much wanton mee as we know it. The truly impressive component was the choice and cooking of the noodles, which was excellent and superior to almost anything out here, and actually reminded me of the handmade egg noodles from Johor aka Chin Chin Restoran.

Some may say Soi 19 qualifies as hype, and they may not be wrong. But hype or otherwise, it is still worth a trip here to check this out. Just avoid the peak periods.

Soi 19 Thai Wanton Mee
151 Ang Mo Kio Ave 5 Kopitiam

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