Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hidden Hawker Gems - Jia Xiang Mee Siam at Redhill Market

Somehow, finding a good mee siam these days is proving increasingly difficult. Most renditions are watery moats with diluted flavours and half hearted cooking.

There is one, however, in Redhill Market that might just surprise you. It's a half century old stall, and it is hardly talked about in the culinary media scene.

It happens to be one of the best mee siams around. I dare say, it could be at the very top of the mee siam chain.

Mdm Tan, the present lady owner, helped out her dad when he first started this place in the late 60s. There is also a very moving tale behind this bowl of mee siam.

You see, Mdm Tan was only eleven when her dad passed away. She also had three other siblings to take care of, but unselfishly, she quit school to help her mum operate the business in order to raise enough funds to put her siblings through school.

That act of family love and passion is also reflected in the food. The mee siam is so lovingly constructed, it looks unlike any you find in your neighbourhood stall. There's so much going on, and yes, it looks a bit messy. But sometimes, messy is good as it shows that there is genuine substance behind that mess.

The tamarind and spice infused broth is so strong it never feels as if its been watered down. The addition of black bean paste provides an umami and bean flavoured savoriness. And little chunks of fried dough as croutons give it so much crunch and texture, it is absolutely engaging and delightful the first time you encounter this bowl.

The thing is, you should just come and have it instead of me trying to impossibly describe this dish. For I can never accord it enough justice through my description here.


Besides mee siam, they also serve an excellent lotong. It may not reach the same gastronomic heights as their signature mee siam dish, but it is still a pretty robust bowl of spicy powered broth to go with the rice cakes.

These dishes remind me of the good old days when our street food are all made from the bottom up. No shortcuts, full of passion and effort and focus. Something that just cannot be said for 90 percent of the street food these days.

Jia Xiang
01-35 Redhill Food Centre
85 Redhill Lane

No comments:

Post a Comment