I step up to the counter.
“Number 6, please. Mee kia, with chilli.”
“Sure, please hold on for your change.”
I take my queue number and shuffle down the line to wait for my bowl of bak chor mee. I look on as she kneads a bundle of mee kia from a bag and tosses it into the ladle. With a skilful flick of the hand, the neat bundle relents into disarray as it sits in the bubbling water, amidst a rising plume of steam.
Photo Credit: Phoebe Sim
I look up at the sign with a sigh. Yes, only a few more days before the stall closes. (By the time you read this, it will be their last day.) I found out when a friend took a picture of the sign and posted it on a Whatsapp group chat, to gasps and murmurs of dejection.
Meanwhile, she lines the bowl with a combination of sauces and spices. The fragrance of the vinegar and soy sauce draws the subtle growling of hunger pangs you wished no one else could hear. She then mixes the noodles in the bowl before arranging the fishballs, meatball, wonton and a generous sprinkling of minced meat and lettuce to complete the dish.
I’m sure many of us will miss the stall, its owners and the noodles. I had a chat with the owners, Wendy and Jeffrey, to tell them how we all enjoy the noodles they prepare and to catch up on what’s in store for them.
Wendy places the bowl of noodles on my tray with a smile. I reciprocate and, taking hold of my tray, make my way to my seat. With the noodles before me, I thought of Wendy’s secret to making the best tasting noodles.
When I had asked about her secret, she answered like any dedicated chef would – “There’s no secret ingredient. You just have to cook it with your whole heart.”
I gather the chopsticks and give the noodles a final toss. The taste of the chilli greets you first, before the springy consistency of the mee kia wins you over. Not too chewy, not too mushy — just right.
I’m sure you’re wondering why they chose to leave. Wendy shares that they simply have too much to do! Managing two stalls between the two of them plus children to care for at home, they decided to return to focusing on their stall at Adam Road. She lets in that she will miss the people here most, and would love to have us visit them at their Adam Road stall.
As I reach for the fishball, the way it sits between my chopsticks is telling of its QQ quality. The same goes for the fishcake: it is thinly sliced, just enough to give a texture that keeps you wanting more. The meatball also has its fair share of fans. For some of us, having the fishballs and meatballs in the flavourful soup is enough for lunch.
Wendy tells me that her personal favourite on the menu is the Laksa. It’s her signature dish and it’s the one she’s most proud of. We clearly share the same sentiment, because the Laksa is always the first to be sold out.
Soon, it will be the last time we will be able to dig into a bowl of Adam Fishball Noodle in the comfort of The Summit. Nothing beats a piping hot bowl of noodles waiting for you, as you take your mind off work and escape into an awesomeness packed into a bowl. The consolation is that their other stall is just a stroll away at Adam Road.
So, mee kia or mee pok?
“Here, mee kia. But at Adam Road, the mee pok. It’s transparent and shiny.”
We will have to head down to Adam Road to find out.
Adam Fishball Noodles
2 Adam Road
Adam Food Centre
Article contributed by: Desmond Chng (Law 1)
Photography by: Chan Ying Ling (Law 1)