The Bonding Tool

Foo Chow Noodles 福州鱼圆·肉燕·燕皮·卤面

Foo Chow Noodles.

Foo Chow Noodles 福州鱼圆·肉燕·燕皮

As promised, here’s one of the oodles of noodles I had eaten last week. This dish hails from the Fuzhou 福州 (Foo Chow, aka Hock Chew) province and there aren’t many hawkers selling this traditional cuisine since the Fuzhou community in Singapore is rather small.

One of my friend frequents Seow Choon Hua (70 years in business) annually to buy the Fuzhou Fishballs for his family’s CNY reunion dinner so I asked him to bring me there.

Seow Choon Hua at Sultan Gate Singapore.

Menu listed on sign board.

Blanching noodles for our orders.
I must commend the staff gave us very good service as well as explaining to us what Yan Pi (燕皮) is, without reservations.

The loner on the plate nearer the orange bowl (indicated by the black arrow) is Yan Pi which one girl friend of mine has told me that it has a weird in a bad way smell. I have been warned.

Our order of Foo Chow Noodles with everything – Foo Chow Fishballs, Rou Yan, Dumplings and Fish Ravioli (Heer Keow).

Foo Chow Fishballs are made of fish paste with a piece of minced pork balls embedded inside.

The wrinkly looking dumpling on top of this dish is Rou Yan (肉燕). It is actually minced pork balls sealed in pork wrappers called Yan Pi (燕皮) which is made by pounding lean pork and starch until it becomes a resilient, stretchable paper thin membrane before being sun-dried into sheets. Yan Pi is an ingredient typically used in Fuzhou cuisine.

An extra order of Foo Chow Fishballs and Rou Yan Soup.

Foo Chow Lor Mee 福州卤面 here is lighter in colour than other places. The noodles have different kinds of meat like ngoh hiang (fried minced pork roll), charsiew (bbq pork) and chicken. The tapioca or potato starch thickened gravy has egg ribbons and some slices of fishcakes. Nothing stellar in this bowl.

Lor Mee (Braised Noodles) is usually eaten with black vinegar.

I want to bring particular attention the last two photos on bottom right. I was ungraciously slurping the noodles when my friend told me to have more ettiquete and be lady-like! He felt I was gulping them down.
I couldn’t help but burst into boisterous laughter at his comment.

How did this become a Foo Chow cuisine??? My friend knew I love squid and so he ordered a squid dish but it turned out to be calamari rings served with Thai sweet chilli sauce… What a bummer!

I have eaten Foo Chow Fishballs from vendors selling them in supermarket cooked food section and I do like them when they are springy with bursting savoury flavours oozing out of the meatballs. I admit this place was rather disappointing. The noodles were bland, the fishballs too floury and the meat filling too little to tiltilate any tongue sommersaults. I am still in search of a good Foo Chow Fishball seller. If you come across a superb Foo Chow cuisine master in Singapore, please let me know. The waning popularity of Foo Chow food surely dwindles any artisanal cook’s foray into Fuzhou cuisine. I had better find one before it’s go, going, gone  😦

Seow Choon Hua Restaurant
Address: 33 Sultan Gate
Singapore 198481.
Phone:+65 6298 2720
Operating Hours: Daily 10:00 am–10:00 pm
Transit: Opposite Plaza Parkroyal

I have heard good reviews of another Foo Chow Fishball hawker, Zhong Xing, selling since 1942 (originally in China Street, Singapore) and I may just hop by one day (very soon in fact). I heard it on the grapevine that this stall has no one to take over the business when they retire.

Zhong Xing Foo Chow Fish Ball & Lor Mee(中兴福州鱼圆·卤面
Address: Blk 148 Silat Avenue
Nam Heong Ho Kee, Unit #01-14.
Tel: 9367 5420
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm, closed on every Tuesday

Restaurant and food reviews I post here are NOT meant to criticise in any way but merely to reflect and share my personal taste experience. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. What I like and dislike may be in conflict with your opinion. To each his own. For example, my girlfriend found the Rou Yan “fishy” in smell but I actually liked it far better than the Fishballs. My other friend buys the fishballs yearly from Seow Choon Hua. Sorry about being unable to quote prices as I have lost the receipt.

Happy discovering 🙂