I recently found out that a relative (possibly a son but this isn't verified) of the legendary Crawford bak chor mee had opened a stall in Ghim Moh market. Given that the Crawford outlet proudly displays a sign saying they're the one and only with no branches, I assume this latest one is also likewise not an official outlet.
Nevertheless, we decided to try it one day, given (a) how convenient it is for us compared to driving and parking at Crawford, and (b) the queue would almost certainly be less than the almost 1 hour wait.
I managed to find the stall without much effort, and there was only 1 person in line. It's manned solely by the guy so if he needs any toilet breaks, the stall is empty.
Prices are $1 less than at Crawford - I ordered the medium bowl for $5. For the most acuurate taste test possible, I ordered what I usually do at Crawford - dry mee pok, with more chilli and vinegar.
So how did it compare? Well, it definitely wasn't as good, but I expected that. The question is - just how far off was it?
Noodles: The noodles weren't as "kiu" (al dente), which is Crawford's trademark. Here, the noodles were quite soft, without much springiness or bite.
Ingredients: You can't really go wrong with liver, minced pork and pork balls. If I had to criticise, it would be that the wontons here had a bit too much skin.
Soup: Fail. Maybe it was early in the day (11am+), but the soup had absolutely no flavour at all. Not even close to Crawford's rich, sweet soup.
Seasoning: Besides the noodles, one could say that this is the most important aspect of bak chor mee. Because I asked for more chilli and vinegar, I got a pretty tasty and flavourful result. Still, it was definitely lacking something, and I can't quite put my finger on it. It didn't have the savoury umani-ness of Crawford's - I reckon it could be the chilli blend, or maybe Crawford adds some secret tare-like concoction to each bowl; who knows?
All things considered, I'd say it was about 65-70% of the original. Given how much less of a palaver it is, I'd say it's acceptable for a quick fix to satisfy a craving, but I'd still go back to Crawford if I had time to kill.
It's okay. Good but nothing special. And at least there's no queue.