Pop round Amoy Street Food Centre and you’ll notice queues for this famous fishball noodle stall which sells one of the best fishball noodles ($4/5/6) in Singapore.
The business was started by a Chinese migrant who made his living hand-making fishballs and in 1958, he started a fishball noodle stall at Maxwell Food Centre called “Asian Boar Fish Ball and Minced Meat Noodles” — translated literally.
His son, Lim Ter Nee, helped his father out for a couple of years before taking over the reins.
They relocated to their own coffeeshop in Bukit Merah in the 1980s but was forced to close it during the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
After selling fishball noodles in various locations for a few years, the stall relocated to Amoy Street Food Centre in 2003 and was renamed “Ah Ter Teochew Fish Ball Noodles”, named after Lim himself.
The business is now run by Lim’s son, Gilbert and he made quite a splash in the media after being voted one of the Most Handsome Hawkers by The Straits Times in 2005.
As a result, this stall is covered by the media on a fairly regular basis but in this case, the stall’s reputation is truly well-deserved as every element in this bowl of fishball noodles is excellently done.
The noodles have a nice firm bite and are dressed in a well-balanced sauce comprised of tomato ketchup, black vinegar, pork lard, fried onions and their special chilli sauce.
The sambal chilli paste is of note because it is made with seven ingredients (dried shrimp, shrimp paste and onions being some of them) and is constantly stirred for six hours.
The result is a saucing that is incredibly full-flavoured and bold — lard rich, sweet savouriness and a hint of sourness. Chopped parsley and sliced braised black mushrooms are also thrown on top as a final finish.
They are also generous with the sauce as there is enough of it to go round — right down to your last spoonful of noodles.
The other highlight is the large bowl of soup which has all the rest of the ingredients — a mix of fishballs, meatball, sliced fishcake, sliced pork, pork liver and a sprinkling of fried garlic on top.
Even though the soup is fairly hot, the liver, pork slices and minced meat are still impressively tender and barely seared through.
The soup itself is a highlight as it has a nice rounded stock-sweetness, thanks to the use of pork ribs and whole chickens as some of the soup’s many ingredients.
At Amoy, “Ah Ter” takes the late evening/night shifts while his son, Gilbert runs the morning to early afternoon shifts.
Previously, we would have said that the version done by “Ah Ter” was better balanced but now both versions are equally good.
The family opened a second outlet at Circular road in 2018 but it relocated to the Food Republic at 313 Somerset in 2020.