Friday, September 10, 2010

Tsim Chai Noodles

Three words - Monster Prawn Wontons.  This place has one of the best wontons, boiled or deep fried, that I have ever had.  I discovered this place years ago through my friend and fellow foodie Eric.  I was a starving college student back then and a bowl of wonton mein for less than 5 bucks was very attractive. 
The place is kind of small, but packed with a lot of seating.  Even still, you may find yourself in a line up waiting for a bit to get in.  The customer turnover is pretty quick though, most people want to get in, eat, and get out.
Giant Wontons.  It's hard to tell by the picture how big these things really are, but for about $5, you get a belly full of prawns.  You can also opt for 4 wontons and noodles, but I usually get just the wontons.  The broth is salty and full of MSG, but that's fine by me, I grew up on the stuff and I'm used to it. 
There are a lot of other dishes at Tsim Chai that are great, like the yang chow fried rice (not pictured here), the beef with rice noodles (above picture) and the assorted seafood hot pot.  The prawns in the last dish are huge too.
The deep fried squid wasn't that great though.  It was the generic, uniform cut of squid that was either freezer burned or overcooked.  A lot of places will cook the squid just so it's a bit crispy on the outside, yet still moist and tender on the inside.  The ones here were a bit tough and chewy.  If you like spice, those little red peppers will burn your o-ring off.  Most other places will use a milder green chili pepper, as well as some garlic and a bit more seasoning. 

Anyway, despite the shortcomings of the squid, I still recommend this place as a decent, cheap place to eat.  The service is not too bad, the food comes pretty quick, a lot of times it gets busy and the service isn't that friendly, but like a lot of small places, if you are a regular, they're pretty good to you.  The host for example isn't the friendliest looking guy in the world, but he sort of recognizes my parents and is always courteous to them.

Tsim Chai Noodles on Urbanspoon

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