Eng’s Vs Eng’s Back To Back – Noodle or Mee?

As promised in my previous post, I ate at both shops yesterday. The first stop was Eng’s (Original) Wantan Noodle at 287, Tanjong Katong Road. We had parked behind the shop so we went in by the back door.

20180602 Eng's Wantan Noodle Original 2018-06-02 18.23.47

Entrance from the carpark behind Eng’s (Original) Wantan Noodle at 287, Tanjong Katong Road. Saw a delivery man going in to collect food; I think it’s Deliveroo (not confirmed).

20180602 Eng's Wanton Noodle Original 2018-06-02 18.26.12

Check your order chit and bring it to the service counter and pay upfront for food. Food and drinks will be served to you at your table.

20180602 Eng's Wanton Noodle Original 2018-06-02 18.26.34

The infamous super HOT chilli is not that intimidating in reality.

20180602 Eng's Wanton Noodle Original _6020009

Food came rather quickly with the crispy fried wantons arriving first.

20180602 Eng's Wanton Noodle Original _6020011

The Wanton Noodle dish came promptly after the wantons. There’s some seasoning mix in the bowl so young kids and non-spicy fans can eat off without adding chilli sauce.

20180602 Eng's Wanton Noodle Original 2018-06-02 18.37.49

The boiled dumplings had a thick “rim” as the skin-filling ratio weren’t balanced resulting in undercooked wanton skin in that area.

20180602 Eng's Wanton Noodle Original 2018-06-02 18.40.40

The undercooked parts were discarded as there’s alkaline taste unacceptable to me (but some people like that).

20180602 Eng's Wanton Noodle Original 2018-06-02 18.42.47

Date of visit: 2nd June 2018
Wantan Mee Dry Small S$4.50
Fried Wantan S$3
Barley Cold S$1.50

20180602 Eng's Wanton Noodle Original 2018-06-02 18.43.33

I came in through their back door and left by the entrance because I had a Mee ssion mission… 
Eng’s Char Siew Wantan Mee here I come!

20180602 Eng's Wanton Noodle Original 2018-06-02 18.43.45

Across the road to Eng’s Wantan Noodle’s left is Eng’s Char Siew Wantan Mee (two yellow signboards below the street lamp).

20180602 Eng's Char Siew Wanton Noodle (Desmond) 2018-06-02 18.44.41

Eng’s Char Siew Wantan Mee at 248/250 Tanjong Katong Road is run by Desmond Ng.

20180602 Eng's Char Siew Wanton Mee (Desmond) 2018-06-02 18.44.53

Pardon the poor snap shot of the shopfront as I was standing on a busy road with no room to take a full frontal.

20180602 Eng's Wanton Noodle Original 2018-06-02 18.45.32

Similar template of order chit.

20180602 Eng's Wanton Noodle Original 2018-06-02 18.49.12

Same price tag!
Find a table, write your order, bring order chit to counter and pay there. If you have drinks it’s self service. Go back to table and wait for food.

20180602 Eng's Char Siew Wanton Noodle (Desmond) _6020013

Desmond’s Fried Wantans looked so much more generous. Their appearance alone already scored points with me; bulging parcels in light golden hue.

20180602 Eng's Char Siew Wanton Noodle (Desmond) _6020021

Food were brought to our table all at once.

20180602 Eng's Char Siew Wanton Noodle (Desmond) 2018-06-02 19.07.01

Their Boiled Wantan were cooked evenly with no undercooked part where the pinching was executed in the process of sealing these tasty pouches. Sounds painful, right? Lol…

20180602 Eng's Char Siew Wanton Noodle (Desmond) 2018-06-02 19.11.57

Seated in the middle of the restaurant (I’m facing inward, my back to its entrance), I couldn’t help but noticed a prominent contrast in the shop’s lighting. To my right, the eatery is brightly lit whereas the entrance and towards the drinks service counter were rather dim. From outside, it gave me a feeling as though they were about to close shop for the day.

Battle of Eng’s Noodle vs Eng’s Mee:

Eng’s Wantan Noodle [Original] 榮雲吞麵 [正宗] (by Lao Huo Tang)
Point of Purchase:
Very simple and systematic.
1) You find a table big enough for yourself and your family/friends or share table with other patrons during peak hours.
2) Write your order on the printed sheets provided at every table, bring it to the cashier’s and pay upfront. Transaction done!
3) Drinks and food items will be delivered to you. Service was fast and efficient.

Fried Wantan: Wantans were crispy and hard-textured. If you have soft upper palate, it could poke and hurt you. Technique is to let the filled part into the mouth first. The fillings were almost halved the portion and not as moist in comparison to their rival shop. I didn’t count but I think both shops serve 8 dumplings at S$3 per small portion.

Soup: The soup had a strange Japanese feel to it. It reminded me of bonito flakes or the like of drinking miso soup. That completely threw me off. I cannot and would not be able relate this soup to wanton mee at all if eating blindfolded.

Noodle & BBQ Pork:
Delightfully, the noodle tasted better than what I remembered from my 2017 visit. The char siew were portioned miserly and served with a few strands of limp chye sim (Chinese mustard leaves).

Barley Drink:
Home-made version that is thick and gooey which is the same as most stalls island-wide (not my kind of drink, I prefer those that were boiled for lesser period of time).

Eng’s Char Siew Wantan Mee 榮高叉燒雲吞麵 (by Desmond Ng)
Point of Purchase:
System is similar but flow is less fluid.
1) You find a table big enough for yourself and your family/friends or share table with other patrons during peak hours.
2) Write your order on the printed sheets provided at every table, bring it to the cashier’s and pay upfront. Transaction done!
3) You go to the drinks counter and get your own drinks. Depending on where you are seated – we happened to sit near the entrance so it was a triangular route (to think that we had to self serve, mind you this is a shop not food court. Am I being overbearing? Nah!). Food items will be delivered to you. Service was slower than the original Eng’s but staff is friendly.

Fried Wantan: Light golden hue in colour (new oil?), their bulging wantons seemed crispy. Just its 卖相 (outward appearance) alone, Eng’s Char Siew Wanton Mee’s is a coup de grâce! Took a bite; crunch crunch crunch… Yup, I can also confirm that the filling was indeed moist and definitely more flavoursome than the original Eng’s. The boiled wantans were also flavourful and juicy and the skin were uniformly cooked through even at the pinched area.

Soup: The soup also had a hint of the bonito/miso flavour but very much subtle than the original Eng’s. Both shops’ soup lacked the umami characteristic of broth made with anchovies. I must stress that the original Eng’s soup tasted sweeter and more bodied even though I could not marry their soup with this type of noodle dish.

Noodle & BBQ Pork:
Unfortunately, the noodle did not taste any better than the original Eng’s. Without chilli sauce, their seasoning mix was delicious when I ate the noodle. After adding the chilli sauce which I had tasted on its own which seemed rather raw and bland (just heat and not any more fragrant) when compared to the original Eng’s. Their char siew were overly sweet for my taste. Xiao bai cai (小白菜) or baby bok choy (a member of the cabbage family) was served instead of chye sim.

Barley Drink:
Home-made version that is thick and gooey just like the original Eng’s but somehow seemed more refreshing. Maybe because it was just a tad sweeter and colder which lifted the dull starchy gruel feel. Maybe it’s just my imagination after two rounds of identical menu.

Chilli Sauce:
I prefer the chilli sauce from Eng’s Wantan Noodle (Original) because the other tasted a bit “raw” to me.

Shop Ambience: I prefer the 287 Tanjong Katong shop. It is bright and well ventilated. The 248/250 shop was a little dingy at the entrance as well as the whole stretch on its left. I am guessing the contractor could not balance the lighting due to the building’s internal structure. There are also many mirrors inside the shop so much so that I’m wondering if they were Fengshui related as those non-full-length mirrors do not seem to play the part of making the shop look bigger. The mirrors do not irk me in any sense, just a note on its decor. What seemed to bother me slightly was the number of mechanical fans mounted on the ceiling and walls – although they are useful climate control great for our thermal comfort, my stray hairs kept poking my eyes due to the wind movement. Sorry, these Asian baby hair will never grow thick enough to be clipped. Our mee and soup also turned cold within minutes. I hope they maintain their fans well (fans are new right now as the shop just opened for business in May) or dust particles may be blown onto our food from all directions. That said, both places were neat as a button, with their tables promptly cleaned as customers leave.

Ok, the nana in me is in a 罗唆 (nagging) mode and rearing her ugly horns 😈 so I am going to digress a little. Please realise that “while fans are often used to cool people, they do not actually cool air (if anything, electric fans warm it slightly due to the warming of their motors), but work by evaporative cooling of sweat and increased heat convection into the surrounding air due to the airflow from the fans. Thus, fans may become ineffective at cooling the body if the surrounding air is near body temperature and contains high humidity. During periods of very high heat and humidity, governments actually advise against the use of fans.” – Wikipedia

If the place is air conditioned, employ air curtains instead.

The invisible curtains are usually installed at the entrances or exits of supermarkets, theaters, lounges, shopping malls, lobbies,  exhibition halls, churches, shops, manufacturing floors or warehouses. Most of the time, these doorways are kept open all the time for operational purposes. It is also used as a way to separate the smoking and non-smoking areas.

Energy is conserved as these curtains help to keep the air conditioned space or heated space to be confined within the building. During hot weather, it creates a barrier that keeps the humid and hot environment outside the building from coming into the conditioned space. By doing this, the internal humidity and temperature of the space are maintained to the comfort level of the occupants.

Of course, the most efficient way to conserve energy is to close the doorways with the doors but sometimes this is not possible due to the frequent use of the doorways. Usually, the energy conserved over a period of 1-2 years is able to justify the installation cost of the equipment. – https://www.airconditioning-systems.com/aircurtain.html

Horns duly retracted and back on track.

Verdict of Eng’s Noodle (a.k.a. Noodle) vs Eng’s Mee (a.k.a. Mee):
I brought along uncle Hee, a self-professed “I’m not a food snob” on this mission. He liked me Mee better than Noodle, while I like Noodle better than hee Mee. Both Noodle and Mee did not possess QQ texture. The Noodle has better bite than Mee which was quite soft, almost soggy with continuous mouthful, this evening. Could be an “off” day for Eng’s Mee. We both agree that Mee’s fried wantans are better. In fact, I think they are way better than many other wanton mee stalls/eateries/restaurants islandwide, too! Both of us were baffled by the “Japanese” soup served at Eng’s Noodle. While my partner preferred the soup at Eng’s Mee, I am still equivocal. Nothing beats a mild flavoured ikan bilis clear broth when having heritage food such as wanton (says who? say) mee! 😛

Taste is personal, it is also emotional and feasibly social. Due to our diverse cultural backgrounds, it is therefore safe for me to assume that we develop and demonstrate exclusive preferences. Every individual’s capacity to sense and accept certain flavours can be extremely subjective when it comes to food. While both the Eng’s seemed to have garnered a huge fan base (and in order not to offend anyone), let’s just say Hee and I would not be headed their way any time soon.

Without prejudice, I shall be sociable and join my friends should they want to eat at Eng’s Char Siew Wantan Mee. I’ll pursed my thick lips when it comes to mee and open sesame when dumplings arrive. 😆

Eng’s Wantan Noodle [Original] 榮雲吞麵 [正宗] (by Lao Huo Tang)
Address: 287 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 437070.
Opening hours: Daily 11am – 9pm

Eng’s Char Siew Wantan Mee 榮高叉燒雲吞麵 (by Desmond Ng)
Address: 248/250 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 437036.
Opening hours: Daily 10.30am – 9pm

Happy eating and bonding! 🙂

P.S. Wantan is also spelt (spelled) as Wanton and I tend to write more often as wantOn. 😉

See posts of Wanton Mee here: http://bit.ly/2HeNLtb

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.