A dish to be proud of
Mee kuah is a Southeast Asian Indian-Muslim noodle dish that came out of a desperate need to create dishes that the masses would have liked back in the day.
It's a bowl (or plate, at times) of noodles sitting in a thick, rich, usually mutton broth, enriched with spices and masala.
While it is not a mainstream street dish (many among the younger generation are clueless about this dish), it is one which we can be proud of because it has its roots here.
I note at least two versions here that are unique to us. There are also renditions that you can find even in Penang.
Here are three to try:
The boss created this version because he caters to a large group of youngsters who are increasingly staying away from "complicated spicy dishes".
So he does a lamb and seafood stock version with a wistful touch of spices, topped with lamb or beef, prawns, egg, tomatoes, greens and green chillies.
The tangy yet meaty seafood stock is moreish and not complex.
It costs $5 to $8 for the "whole works" version, but he serves it up in a folded boat-shaped opeh leaf (betel nut palm).
Not related to M A Deen Biasa, this corner stall has been around for a few years.
It draws many Muslim regulars.
I find the kuah similar to the Penang or Kuala Lumpur version.
It comes savoury and spicy (much like sup kambing with added rempah and masala).
If you ask for a half-cooked egg as a topping ($4), they crack a raw egg over and let the heat of the noodle dish slowly do the job.
M A DEEN BIASA
About a decade ago, Deen - "everyone calls me Deen" - left his stall in Golden Mile Food Centre and bought this two-storey shophouse.
His place draws crowds every night with lovely al fresco side-lane seats, associated with such "mamak" stalls.
His reddish mee kuah is unique to Singapore, as he uses a soupy version of the sup tulang merah sauce (a unique Singaporean Indian-Muslim dish too).
Their all-important kuah (sauce) is sweet, spicy, salty, savoury and lightly gamey.
It comes with a half-done egg, all ready to ooze its yolk to further enrich and smoothen the sauce.
The hearty portion comes at $5.
Makansutra, founded by KF Seetoh, is a company that celebrates Asian food culture and lifestyle. It publishes food guides in and around the region, produces a food series, develops interactive mobile content and services, operates foodcourts and eateries, organises food tours and events, and consults on culinary concepts.
1, Bedok Road, Bedok Corner Food Centre, Stall #25
Opens: 1.30pm to 9pm daily (Thursdays to Sundays)
B1-17, Golden Mile Food Centre
Opens: 12.30pm to 11pm, closed on alternate Tuesdays
M A Deen Biasa
95, Jalan Sultan
Opens: 5pm to 2am daily