Tai Shek Hei & Bamboo Noodles On Koon Seng Road


We were invited to the pre-opening of the Tai Shek Hei to taste their “Bamboo Noodles” on the 13th of September. We asked the boss what’s “Bamboo Noodles”, and he replied that the taste was indescribable and we have to come down and try it for ourselves.

You must be wondering, aside from curtains and chopsticks, do bamboos also make good noodles?

Tai Shek Hei seems to style itself as a Hong Kong Cha Chaan Teng except that it does not serve milky tea. There is a sense of what Crystal Jade used to be when it first started out.

We were guided by Amy who kept apologizing that she was new to the restaurant business and that her staff were very new. We agreed with her.

We started with the Deep-fried Wonton recommended by Amy.

Wanton Innards

Packed full of ingredients, the Tobiko in lieu of water chestnuts gave an interesting contrast to the sweet prawn. I am not sure about other places, but I think it was a generous serving of prawn. Unfortunately, the skin had that stale defrosted taste. Do try it with their red vinegar.

The Chives dumplings were excellent. It came in the unexpected form of a curry puff. Garlicky and crunchy, the flavor of the chives was delicate, especially with the liberal application of the red vinegar.

Innards! (Chive Dumplings)

There’s also the seafood dumpling which is basically the Chives dumpling with seafood (prawn, Tobiko etc) inside. My advice is to stick the the Chives dumpling because Chives, Tobiko and prawn don’t make good fellows, or at least it didn’t then.

Mid-way through the dinner, the owner John came out to greet us. He was very enthusiastic, talking about how he discovered the noodles during one of his business trips to Guangzhou and bought the noodle-making machine and set up a restaurant here in Singapore.

He was also very proud of the fact that his Tobiko is Japanese and not Chinese.

The best dish of the night was actually the prawn paste chicken wings. Not too heavy on the prawn paste, it came hot and juicy with a taut skin.


So what about the noodles? Well, judging by the polite reactions around the table, the noodles were good but not outstanding. Of course, everyone was unhappy with the fact that the kitchen could only serve 2 plates of noodles every 15 minutes. Freshly-cooked yes, but with only 8 diners in the restaurant already causing a log-jam, it does not bode well for the restaurant.

The noodles were clean-tasting with a dense bite, i.e. boring and one-dimensional. Everyone at the table seemed to be picking at the noodles with the enthusiasm of a funeral dirge.

Seriously, anyone who describes it as “tangy” is either lying or has highly questionable tastebuds.

Dead and Boring

So what can a person do when faced with such abysmal dismality?

Why use the Red Vinegar of course! A very liberal sprinkling over the noodles and like Lazarus, our tastebuds were revived immediately. Soon everyone was slurping the noodles down.

There were other pretty good dishes like the pork rib curry and the wonton dumplings. Oh yes, avoid at all costs the sliced bitter gourd in sugar water.

Dinner ended with eslim giving advice on service and place setting (diners need plates and chopsticks should be accompanied by a soup spoon etc).


Tai Shek Hei on Koon Seng Road serves good noodles. Unfortunately, I found the entire concept tired and boring. The noodle-making machine is a novelty at best and wears thin unlike the real, almost-ballet-like process of the man dancing on the bamboo that everyone saw on National Geographic and other TV shows. Face it, there is nothing compelling about a machine pounding flour next to a pavement in full view of the bright burning sun.

The noodles are good but unfortunately, there are dozens of noodle houses in Singapore which serve the same quality and they serve it faster, with soup spoons and plates included free-of-charge. The dumplings (deep-fried or soup or chives) were simply variations of the same theme of prawn, pork and Tobiko (from Japan, no less). The question to ask is would you go back again after tasting noodles folded by a bamboo rod?

Just don’t forget the red vinegar.


Posted on 28th Sep 2008 in Cantonese, Chinese, Food and Drink


There Are 7 Comments


James commented on September 28, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Hi Ivan,

I have the same problem as the other poster about the missing scrollbar. I am using IE6 and there is no scrollbar – the only way I can scroll down or up is to left-click my mouse and drag the cursor downwards or upwards 🙁


auntielucia commented on September 28, 2008 at 5:57 pm

U misread what Weylin said about poor people amusing her… read her post again be4 u cast aspersions..


Ivan commented on September 28, 2008 at 9:45 pm

@James: Hi! I’ve fixed what I think is the offending code. Do give it a whirl and let me know. Thanks in advance!


Ivan commented on September 28, 2008 at 9:52 pm

@auntielucia: I stand by my view. I feel that the sentence can be improved especially since I’ve seen Weylin use big words like “Marmalade”.

No usage of obscure idioms by some drama queen is going to change my view.


jy commented on September 30, 2008 at 12:46 am

Oh dear it still isn’t working on my IE6…


Ivan commented on September 30, 2008 at 10:01 am

@jy: I’ve removed some unknown javascript from Foodbuzz, so give it a try. If it still doesn’t work, it means, perhaps, you might want to upgrade your browser. :/


Ivan commented on September 30, 2008 at 5:43 pm

@jy: I’ve managed to borrow a computer with IE6 and did some testing. You are right, IE6 (IE5 look ok) can’t seem to handle some IE-specific code I’ve embedded. I’ve removed that line. It was my fault entirely to have included that code. Thanks for your help!

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