Cheap & Good

Head Home for aromatic white vermicelli

The vermicelli was bathed in a rich gravy and came with clams, fish cake, bok choy, finely sliced tau pok and wispy fried egg.
The vermicelli was bathed in a rich gravy and came with clams, fish cake, bok choy, finely sliced tau pok and wispy fried egg.ST PHOTO: TAN KENG YAO

The Home Restaurant is a little eatery in a corner of an office building opposite HDB Hub, and its stir-fried white noodles ($6) and vermicelli ($8) are much raved about. It is not hard to see why.

First off was the dramatic entrance made by my stir-fried white vermicelli, which was served so hot, it was giving off an impressive amount of steam, the plumes spiralling upwards and outwards.

(If you look carefully at my photo, you can see the food steaming up my camera.)

Its taste also blew me away.

The vermicelli was drenched in a rich and flavourful gravy and came with some clams, little rounds of fish cake, several stalks of bok choy and - my favourite part - a liberal amount of finely sliced tau pok and egg that was fried till it was wispy and airy, lending a wonderfully chewy texture.

And as a final flourish, the dish was topped with a generous sprinkling of fried shallots that gave it an intoxicating aroma.

The stir-fried white noodles, too, were just as good - the soft doughy la mian giving the dish a whole different taste and texture.

Another dish that is good to try is the Grandma Porridge ($6), which had the Chinese word "gu" stamped next to it on the menu, alluding to an old-school flavour.

  • THE HOME RESTAURANT

  • 01-06/07 Hersing Centre, 450 Toa Payoh Lorong 6; tel: 9228-0901; go to www.facebook.com/thewhitenoodle;

    Open: noon to 3pm and 5 to 9pm (Mondays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays

    Rating: 4 Stars

In contrast to the rich white vermicelli, this porridge was light and simple, deriving its flavour from finely minced dried shrimp, a bit of minced meat and, again, a generous sprinkling of fried shallots. It was topped with a handful of cubed tau pok.

My dining companion groused about the lack of ingredients in the porridge, but to me, the simplicity of this dish is precisely its allure. It is so light that it goes down easily, perfect for those days when you are under the weather yet feel the need to eat to keep up your strength.

I also tried The Black Ribs ($10/$15), which reminded me of the traditional black vinegar pork trotter many Chinese new mothers eat during confinement.

The ribs here tasted tart and sweet at the same time and earned a surprise flavour - black pepper - which punctuated the dish.

For $10, I got five huge, meaty pieces, enough to feed two people.

If you are there for lunch, you can add $2 for a set meal, which consists of a drink and a side dish of chye poh omelette, fried chicken or kailan.

The menu features many other interesting dishes I did not get to try, such as sauteed smoked prawns ($15/$23) and The Home Wings (whose name in Chinese translates to something like "nostalgic chicken wings", $6).

I have no choice, but to make another visit here. Its menu is calling my name.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 13, 2019, with the headline 'Head Home for aromatic white vermicelli '. Print Edition | Subscribe