When it comes to food, I personally feel that the most simple name of dishes is usually the best. This is also what I found out when I entered Tai Shek Hei for a midday lunch at Joo Chiat Road. The eatery has been opened for slightly over a year now and is perhaps known for its handmade noodles with its dough pounded by a chef bouncing on a long bamboo pole.
Out of all the dishes I have sampled, I was deeply impressed by the Spinach Seafood Broth ($4). Introduced to me by the owner John See, the spinach seafood broth is perhaps the least appetizing of names and its appearance would beg one to think twice before ordering. But honestly, this was one of the creamiest, thick, savoury and slightly sweet Shark’s fin soup taste-a-like. And the best part, it is brimming with healthy goodness from the spinach.
Pair it with a dash of vinegar and pepper, and oh its so fantastic! For $4, why not? Its good =)
The Grilled Mullet Fish ($16/18), another plain sounding name is also a dish to impress if you go for natural flavours and sparkling aftertastes. The mullet is wrapped in a banana leaf, thereafter wrapped again in aluminium foil, and left to bake. The result? A soft, sweet and very meaty fish with texture so surprising you would think it was steamed if nobody told you.
I especially liked the natural oils in the fish’s belly. Delectable. Makes me want to go home and try it out myself.
For the house, its specialty stands at the Specialty Tobiko Dumpling Noodle ($6.80). The dumplings are filled with meat, prawns and a serving of tobiko (flying fish roe) for that extra flavour, colour and crunch. Decent enough for a good bowl of dumpling noodles. The noodles were not too bad, with it being springy and each bite was clear and sharp.
When it comes to the broth, a savoury aftertaste is left which was a little too strong for my liking. Oh yeah, the clams you see in the picture are not part of the dish, its just a little something John wanted me to try.
The Specialty Fried Tobiko Dumplings ($4 for 5) are the same dumplings except that they have been deep fried in hot oil. A crisp and delicious crunch goes in each mouthful, I felt that the skin overflavoured the natural goodness of the tobiko. Though I must acknowledge that the juiciness in each piece has not been compromised.
Fragrant Spring Chicken (Half $6.80) was recommended to me by John. His chicken is wrapped in clingwrap to keep the meat moist and sweet, while not losing any natural flavours. I found the meat soft, a little chewy and a little bland. I still enjoyed the very smooth skin. And one thing, this is one lean chicken with absence of fat here and there.
For drinks, I had the Vegetable Fruit Juice ($3.50). A definite thirst quencher in the horrid heat, this is a good mix of sweet and leafy vegetables that is blended with a good serving of ice. Ahhhh…I feel relaxed now.
If you are looking for that fabulous bowl of Spinach Seafood Broth that mimics the flavours of Sharksin soup, perhaps Tai Shek Hei is the place for you to visit. The owner John is an old boy of Pulau Ubin, so he knows his fish well. And that creation of Grilled Mullet is simply fantastic and naturally divine. Decent pricings is also a crowd puller here. Thinking back, I might just keep going back for the bowl of green soup. Yeah.
|Tai Shek Hei – House of Bamboo Noodle
283/285 Joo Chiat Road
Tel : 6345 5095