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Best tasting 'Fried Rice Vermicelli In Singapore Style,星洲炒米' in the GTA: Yang's version - Hand's down!!!

Charles Yu Feb 19, 2013 08:13 PM

I very seldom hand out accolade to a single dish, especially when it pertains to just an ordinary and popular item that gets featured in almost all Chinese restaurants' menu.

However, the plate of 'Singapore style fried Rice Vermicelli' I had at Yang's yesterday evening was so surprisingly tasty, that it literally blew me away and IMO, blew all its GTA competition away as well!! That would include hole-in-the-wall, fast food/food court, wok-hay stirred fry, family and fine dining establishments. Be it Richmond Court, Gourmet Garden, Congee Queen, Fantasy Eatery, Sun Star, Maple Yip.....etc

With an over abundance of ingredients that include multiple, sweet tasting, 'jumbo' size prawns, what also set this dish apart from its competitors was how well the vermicelli was seasoned and cooked. Such perfection in execution, it will have no problem rubbing shoulders with the best of S.E.Asia, Hong Kong and China!

For sure, I will return for another plate this week!!

  1. grandgourmand Feb 21, 2013 03:05 PM

    Awesome...this is a dish I crave with regularity. I must try this version. Thanks for the heads up. I've never been to Yang's. What are some other dishes you can recommend there (nothing too adventurous or offal...have to think of my dining companions).

    6 Replies
    1. re: grandgourmand
      Charles Yu Feb 21, 2013 03:37 PM

      I just ordered a take-out from Yang's.
      Though still very good, however, I found it to lack a bit of the other night's dine-in 'wow' factor? Overall flavor was a bit subdued. May be cooked by another chef?
      BTW, the cost is $15!! not 12.99
      Why must we consumer always have to endure 'inconsistency'?! Sigh!!

      1. re: Charles Yu
        klyeoh Feb 21, 2013 07:46 PM

        It does look a bit stringy and dry-ish from this photo.

        1. re: Charles Yu
          klyeoh Feb 25, 2013 10:35 PM

          Just for comparison's sake - this is a classic "Singapore Fried Rice Vermicelli" - the typical Malaysian version. Ingredients include shrimps, pork strips (not "char-siu"), beansprouts, shallots, fish cake and cut red chillies.

          Had this for lunch at Greenview Restaurant, a 30-something year old eatery in Petaling Jaya (near Kuala Lumpur)

          1. re: klyeoh
            dyson17 Feb 26, 2013 08:08 AM

            I think this dish has come full circle.I believe that this dish was created by Hong Kong chefs(either in Hong Kong, North America or maybe the UK) who added a dash of curry powder to a generic dish of fried vermicelli and needed a new name and came up with "Sing chow mai" as Singapore was associated with spicy SE Asia.It never had a Singapore/Malaysian origin.Along the way chefs in Singappore/Malaysia picked up this dish but apparently unaware of its origin and some have omitted the addition of curry powder.

        2. re: grandgourmand
          Charles Yu Feb 21, 2013 04:36 PM

          Some of my favs include:
          - Fried Jumbo size prawns with salted duck egg yolk coating.
          - Stirred fry Dover Sole fillet with yellowing chives, asparagus and mixed mushrooms on crispy bone carcass
          - Poached free range chicken in Rose wine essence premium top soya sauce.
          - Filet of Angus beef tenderloin in house specail 'Teriyaki' sauce

          1. re: Charles Yu
            grandgourmand Feb 22, 2013 05:18 AM

            thanks man.

        3. klyeoh Feb 21, 2013 07:59 AM

          Can you take a photo of the dish next time, Charles? Just curious to see how it looked like.

          3 Replies
          1. re: klyeoh
            Charles Yu Feb 21, 2013 09:14 AM

            Will do!! Was planning to but the kids devour it all before I had a chance!!

            1. re: Charles Yu
              kwass Feb 21, 2013 03:35 PM

              Charles, do they have a menu I could look @ online? I searched but couldn't find one.

              1. re: kwass
                Charles Yu Feb 21, 2013 04:37 PM

                Don't believe they have a website with pdf's of menu

          2. h
            Herne Feb 20, 2013 12:38 PM

            Are we talking Yang's on Bayview or Yang's on Kennedy?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Herne
              Charles Yu Feb 20, 2013 12:55 PM


              1. re: Charles Yu
                kwass Feb 20, 2013 04:40 PM

                Is the Yang's on Bayview and the one on Rutherford owned by the same person? Or are they completely unrelated?

            2. d
              durianlover Feb 20, 2013 11:19 AM

              >>Such perfection in execution, it will have no problem rubbing shoulders with the best of S.E.Asia, Hong Kong and China!

              Hmm, interesting. That's being said, there's no 'Singapore Style Vermicelli/Noodle' in Singapore and S.E Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, etc).

              14 Replies
              1. re: durianlover
                Charles Yu Feb 20, 2013 12:01 PM

                Agree! Though not an authentic S.E Asian dish. However, this clone has migrated from Hong Kong to all over the world.. You'll find it in 'Chinatown' all over S'pore, S.E Asia...etc

                1. re: Charles Yu
                  durianlover Feb 20, 2013 12:09 PM

                  Thanks, I wasn't aware of the origin, HK. I was thinking that it's invented in Canada / US. I didn't encounter it when I lived in a few SE Asia countries.

                  1. re: durianlover
                    klyeoh Feb 21, 2013 07:55 AM

                    It was invented by creative HK chefs in the US.

                    There is "Sing Chow Mei Fun" in Kuala Lumpur, but it doesn't contain any curry powder, hence bore no resemblance to the "Singapore fried noodles" in HK and the US/Canada.

                    I had my first taste of US-style "Singapore fried noodles" in HK (around 1990?), then in Washington DC (1992).

                    1. re: klyeoh
                      kwass Feb 21, 2013 08:02 AM

                      So there's curry in the noodles?

                      1. re: kwass
                        MissBingBing Feb 21, 2013 08:28 AM

                        What did you think makes them yellow :}?

                        1. re: MissBingBing
                          kwass Feb 21, 2013 10:30 AM

                          I've never had them. I wasn't aware that they were yellow.

                          1. re: kwass
                            Charles Yu Feb 21, 2013 11:33 AM

                            This is 'generic' version from a Google site. Coloring of Yang's version is more dense and deep.

                            1. re: Charles Yu
                              kwass Feb 21, 2013 11:54 AM

                              Thanks Charles

                  2. re: Charles Yu
                    vincechan Feb 21, 2013 08:21 PM

                    Now why can't true popular noodle dishes from Singapore actually grace the menus of Toronto restaurants? Instead of these "foreign" inventions? How many of these popular noodle dishes actually sold and enjoyed in Singapore are hardly to be found here? Let's count...
                    1. Bak Chor Mee
                    2. Mee Pok
                    3. Mee Goreng
                    4. Mee Rebus
                    5. Mee Siam
                    6. Rickshaw Noodles
                    7. Sang Mee
                    8. Satay Bee Hoon (again, only HK versions around TO)
                    9. Wanton Mee (ok, this one is pretty universal and best versions are HK anyways)
                    10. Char Kway Teow
                    11. Hokkien Mee (my fav - the Singapore version is unique and different from other SE Asian countries. This should be the one TRUE Singapore Noodles!)
                    12. Crab Bee Hoon (really a crab dish)
                    13. Laksa (the native Singaporean "Katong" version that you can eat with a spoon alone)
                    14. Curry Noodles (in Singapore, you don't call this Laksa, and vice-versa. There's a DIFFERENCE!)

                    IMHO, everyone of the above is superior to some stir fried vermicelli in curry powder. Singaporeans would agree... adding curry power doesn't make it any more Singaporean than battered balls of chicken meat being claimed as "Chinese" food

                    1. re: vincechan
                      Charles Yu Feb 21, 2013 08:27 PM

                      You can find 'Rickshaw Noodles' on the second floor of Pacific Mall. Though variety and quality of toppings are no where near those in Hong Kong...etc

                      1. re: vincechan
                        durianlover Feb 21, 2013 08:50 PM

                        Fully agree....We can't get most of them here in Toronto. Though sometimes, I go to Gourmet Garden to get Laksa and Mee Goreng.

                        1. re: vincechan
                          klyeoh Feb 21, 2013 10:01 PM

                          Maybe because there aren't many Singaporeans in Toronto to support genuine/authentic Singapore food offerings.

                          A close friend of mine once migrated to Toronto with his family a few years back - he wanted to give his daughters a more relaxed/non-pressuring educational environment than in Singapore. Held a big farewell party, invited everyone. I remembered giving his wife "The Best of Singapore Cooking" cookbook by Mrs Leong Yee Soo, thinking that they'll miss Singapore food whilst they were there, and may have to cook some on their own.

                          But, they came back to Singapore permanently a year later - couldn't get used to life in Toronto. Part of their culture shock? They couldn't find good Singapore food there :-D

                          1. re: vincechan
                            jlunar Feb 22, 2013 09:40 AM

                            Laksa, I like a lot from One2 Snacks. My fave place for this kind of food. Also, they have some really good kuih dadar and other kuih's on the weekends (only).

                            Though I'll be frank, I don't know if it's Katong laksa since these guys are from Malaysia.

                            1. re: jlunar
                              vincechan Mar 25, 2013 12:46 PM

                              One2 Snacks doesn't serve Katong Laksa but it's decent (by Toronto standards). However, I always order their Lor Mee when I do drop-by. Mainly because it's a large portion with lots of fixin's... and not being bland helps.

                      2. h
                        Herne Feb 20, 2013 10:53 AM

                        Singapore Vermicelli better than Kom Jug Yuen on Spadina. Hard to believe but I'll try it next chance I get.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Herne
                          Charles Yu Feb 20, 2013 12:06 PM

                          The smokey wok-hay, the strand separation and 'dryness' of the noodles, the colour and taste from the seasoning and the generous quantity of b-b-q pork and king size prawns makes it pretty hard to beat!!

                          1. re: Charles Yu
                            Herne Feb 20, 2013 12:27 PM

                            OK OK i'm now convinced that I have to go out of my way to try Yang's version. I have to admit Singapore noodles is my favourite Chinese dish even though ordering it has brought derision from Chinese speaking friends of mine. I assume Yang's has takeout?

                            1. re: Herne
                              Charles Yu Feb 20, 2013 12:58 PM

                              Yes they do have take-out. However, I would suggest eating in-house or in your car whilst its still hot!!. No idea what the condensation inside the container will do to the texture of the noodles?!
                              BTW, comparing to other noodle and congee places, Yang's version is not cheap! I believe its around $12.99?!

                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                sumdumgoy Feb 22, 2013 07:17 AM

                                Thanks again for a great tip!

                                Tried them at lunch yesterday and they were certainly the best I have ever had.
                                1. The fragrant curry powder was properly cooked so i didn't get the dry, grainy mouth feel.
                                2. The serving of shrimp (large 31-35s I think) was very generous. About 11-12 pieces.
                                3. The quality of the juliened ham was an unexpected surprise.

                                I finished with the Durian Puffs which I also loved!

                                1. re: sumdumgoy
                                  Charles Yu Feb 22, 2013 07:55 AM

                                  You are most welcome!

                          2. re: Herne
                            MissBingBing Feb 21, 2013 08:29 AM

                            Been recently? KJY changed hands a year or so ago.

                          3. m
                            Michael N Feb 20, 2013 09:09 AM

                            You're referring to this place I assume?


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Michael N
                              Charles Yu Feb 20, 2013 10:27 AM


                            2. estufarian Feb 20, 2013 07:19 AM

                              A challenge!
                              This is the dish that has taken me 'somewhere else' for over 15 years now. So I'll rise to the challenge.

                              Of course (?!) it's Wokking on Wheels which parks outside the Robarts Library on St. George and has been loved by thousands of U of T students over the years. Recently renovated (at least re-painted) - this is my guilty pleasure and the Singapore Style Vermicelli is my go-to dish here ($6 - $5.50 for the Vegetarian version - including all taxes, gratuities etc) - but I don't recommend sitting outside to eat it in this weather.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: estufarian
                                jlunar Feb 20, 2013 08:24 AM

                                LOLOLOL that truck!! I would order the dry fried beef noodle all the time.

                                1. re: estufarian
                                  autopi Mar 25, 2013 01:32 PM

                                  i was going to say the same thing! i'm sure not in the same league as the place that Charles has pointed out, but at a much more accessible location, for me at least.

                                  actually, though, i think the truck i like may be a different one. i like the singapore noodles at the first truck going south from harbord. not sure if this is wokking on wheels--actually, fairly certain that it isn't. but it's good, filling and cheap.

                                  1. re: autopi
                                    estufarian Mar 25, 2013 06:16 PM

                                    I've also tried that one. But prefer Wokking on Wheels.

                                2. f
                                  filtered Feb 19, 2013 08:42 PM

                                  hopefully the 'country style' is just as good

                                  1. d
                                    deabot Feb 19, 2013 08:30 PM

                                    One of my favorite dishes. Now to find a way to get up there! Thanks for the tip!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: deabot
                                      caitlink Feb 20, 2013 04:00 PM

                                      One of my fave growing up. I think there was one year where i ate it every week. I prefer it to stir fried beef rice noodle for sure.

                                      Also ate lots of it at the robarts truck. Is it still there?

                                      My favourite version is probably congee queen. Although recently we had a version at one of the restaurants at the kennedy finch plaza that was quite good. I don't usually eat in that mall. But it's the dinner place that does quick lunch specials during the day. Next to the specialty vermicelli place.

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