Saturday, January 21, 2012

Da Lian Teochew Noodles, Balestier Road

Teochew Fishball Noodles

After reading about these guys online a few weeks ago, we made a note to ourselves to come down here for breakfast one of these days. And today, we finally did. Located at the Kai Juan Coffeeshop (395 Balestier Road) across from Boon Tong Kee, it sat next to a larger bak kut teh stall, which most of the customers seemed to be patronizing, seeing how there was no line in front of the noodle man. Our jaws just dropped then when we were told after placing our noodle orders that they wouldn't be ready for at least 30 minutes.

We went ahead and waited for it anyway, picking up a little steamed fish from the bak kut teh stall in the meantime. The fish's meat wasn't anything special - in fact, it tasted a little muddy. But then I unsuspectingly ate a white jelly-like organ near its stomach, which I think was its roe sack or something. It turned out to be very rich and creamy, which was probably why most people were getting these fish too. Sure, it was a little bitter, but nothing that those pickled veggies that they threw on top couldn't fix.

Anyway, when the noodles finally came out, we liked what we got, mainly because of its dark condiment mixture that gave it a unique character. This was supposedly due to the use of the buah keras nut, which - if I understand it correctly - is different from the similar sounding buah keluak nut. I also liked the fact that he used dried chili seeds rather than a sauce that most other Teochew noodle places would use. I don't know if I would wait 30 minutes for that again, but it was good and certainly unique.

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