As it was already 9.30 p.m., I thought the dinner crowd would have thinned at Food Republic, the popular six-month-old food court at Wisma Atria. I’ve heard about the wonderful fried Hokkien noodles at Thye Hong, one of the many food stalls at Food Republic, but the queues had always put me off. This time, I was determined to get my hands on a plate of Hokkien mee.
As expected, there was a long queue, but it moved very quickly. Reason: a Godzilla-sized wok of fried Hokkien noodles had been prepared in anticipation of the endless demand, and the cook was simply ladling out plates of noodles. That wok easily had 20 plates worth of noodles. It looked very mass-produced. Not a good sign.
Hastily sloshed into an opeh leaf cone, the noodles came with three medium-sized prawns that were sweet and fresh. Upon tasting the noodles, my first reaction was, “It’s really salty!” R agreed with me.
Although I could tell that the seafood stock used to cook the noodles was tasty and robust, I felt that the dish was overall too salty. To make things worse, there was hardly any crunchy beansprouts to offset the richness of the gravy. Squid rings and pork strips were practically non-existent. WTF?
However, the redeeming factors were: Sufficiently “wet” noodles, well-stewed but not soggy, with a rich, thick gravy. I have a feeling that the original owners of Thye Hong really did a great job, which is why they have become so famous. Unfortunately, the quality of the food seems to have suffered as a result of booming business. Has Thye Hong become a victim of its own success?
435 Orchard Road
#04-00 Wisma Atria