I grew up in Toa Payoh, but if you ask me what nice food are there, you'd probably get a "I don't know" answer from me. Much thanks to my mum who always prepare delicious home-cooked meals for the family, so I don't really eat out, until I moved away.
My BFF was the one who told me about this stall called 福州板面 which serves up very 'shiok' bowls of Dry Ban Mian (板面干) in Toa Payoh Central. I asked him "how shiok?", he said "I don't know how to describe lah, you eat already then you know". Guess it's time to revisit my 'hometown' :p
Very conveniently located near the Toa Payoh mrt station at the corner coffeeshop of Blk 186 (next to Courts), the stall looked really humble and nondescript, with no queue in sight which would more or less be an indication if the food is any good. I would have just walked pass this stall without an inkling of the great dry ban mian they serve, had it not been for the recommendation of BFF.
I love pasta and always describe ban mian as Chinese pasta in soup. Essentially handmade egg noodles, the dough of the ban mian is usually rolled and cut into 2 different thickness (think spaghetti and fettuccine) and served in anchovy broth. The stall serve the soup ban mian too, but the dry version is what they are better known for and drew us over that day.
We ordered Minced Pork Ban Mian ($3) in thin noodles and Sliced Fish Ban Mian ($3.50) in thick noodles, both are equally good. The star has to be the black sauce! It was indescribably tasty, not too salty and nicely balanced with a tinge of sweetness, complementing the smooth and springy noodles perfectly. Very lip-smacking good!
The stall was definitely not stingy with their ingredients, each bowl was brimming with fresh vegetables and generous amount of minced pork and sliced fish, all topped with extremely crispy anchovies (I hate those stalls who try to get away with stale and hard ones). Ooh I almost forgot to mention the creamy poached egg! Tossed everything well together, with black sauce coating each strand of noodles nicely and some chilli padi to heat things up, each mouthful is super SHIOK!
Each serving is substantial enough to fill our tummy, yet without leaving us feeling 'jerlat'. So great value, hearty and satisfying! It was truly an simple enjoyment which I love and would like to share it with you too. So now, if you ask me what nice food are there in Toa Payoh, I will answer without hesitation, "Dry Ban Mian at Toa Payoh Central! It's a must-try!" :D
福州板面 @ J99 Eating House
Address: Blk 186, Toa Payoh Central, Singapore 310186 (next to Courts)