Zhong Yu Yuan Wei: Wanton noodles with pig’s armpit char siu!

By HungryGoWhere July 11, 2021
Zhong Yu Yuan Wei: Wanton noodles with pig’s armpit char siu!

Pop by Tiong Bahru Market in the mornings and you’ll easily spot the long queues at Zhong Yu Yuan Wei.

While their normal wanton noodles ($4/5) is decently executed, it is their pricier wanton noodles using premium “bu jian tian” (armpit) char siew ($6) which is in hot demand.

Run by Lee Meng Joo, now 60, he started the business some 30 years ago in the early 1980s and currently runs the stall with his wife.

The pig’s armpit char siu is made with the meat in between the shoulder and pork belly, this cut of meat is fattier and more tender than the more commonly used pork shoulder.

Charcoal-roasted in-house, the char siu is cut into big, thick slices and has a delicate marinade — lightly sweet and savoury and has a chewier texture as compared to other stalls who specialise in char siu. The slight burnt bits on the meat complete the experience.

 

The premium bu jian tian wanton noodles at Zhong Yu Yuan Wei is good and is pricey at the minimum price of $6.

That said, other Cantonese roast meat stalls which sell similar char siu and noodle portions sell for between $5.50 and $6.50 as well.

Whatever the case, their patrons feel that it is worth the price. The cut is so popular that it can sometimes sell out as early as 9am in the morning.

The flavour of the noodle dressing has a savoury stock taste, with perhaps a dried prawn base. The savoury chilli has a gritty spiciness and a slight tanginess and does well in not interfering with the overall flavour. Though not very oil-rich, it’s a nice sauce despite its watery appearance.


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