HOLLAND VILLAGE FOOD GUIDE: RU JI KITCHEN
Fishball noodle is not my to-die-for kind of food. As a person who goes for intense flavour, I find fishballs to be too bland for my liking. It takes an exceptional bowl of fishball noodle for me to like it.
Ru Ji Kitchen fishball noodle is one of the few exceptions.
The vital factors in determining an exceptional fishball noodle are al dente noodles, tangy sambal chilli sauce, dash of vinegar and crunchy lard. And of course, the central stage of this Teochew dish is the firm and bouncy fishballs.
Handmade fishballs are the best, as opposed to factory-made. You can tell by their uneven shapes and sizes. Wolf herring (also called ikan parang, or sai toh fish 西刀鱼) or yellowtail snapper (黄尾鱼) are premium choice to make fishballs. They have very fine bones, but the meat is fresh and sweet.
To make fishballs with hands is a lot of hard work. After scrapping and mincing the flesh of the fish, they are slapped back and forth on the board to create the bouncy texture. They are then shaped into balls by squeezing the meat through the palm.
BE PREPARED TO QUEUE AT RU JI KITCHEN
When you are at Holland Drive Food Centre during breakfast or lunchtime, you can never miss the perpetual meandering queue at Ru Ji Kitchen.
Well, the queue is usually a testament to the popularity of the stall and quality of the food. Typical die-hard Singaporean foodies don’t mind waiting in line for 30-45 mins for good food.
Do take note there are two side-by-side stalls at Ju Ki Kitchen. One sells fishball noodles, and the other bak chor mee. The former is the more popular choice.
Prices at Ru Ji Kitchen starts at $3. I ordered my bowl of mee pok ta for $4 which came with five fishballs and few slices of fish cakes.
As I sank my teeth into the fishball, I could feel the ‘doink’ (bounciness) with no fishy taste to it – a sign of freshness. Their shapes and sizes were so uneven. The fishcakes with a crusty outer layer were excellent too.
RU JI KITCHEN ALMOST PERFECT FISHBALL NOODLE
Drenched in sambal chilli, the bloody-looking noodles were cooked to perfection.
I was blown away by the chilli that was explosively shiok! The perfect blend of the mee pok, chilli sauce and crisp bits of lard was yummilicious! I even slurped up some spoonful of the tasty soup.
Everything about my bowl of dry mee pok at Ru Ji Kitchen was almost perfect. Maybe a small dash of vinegar would have brought it closer to perfection.
Having tasted the fishball noodles at Ru Ji Kitchen, I now know why it has earned a well-deserved listing in the Michelin Plate Guide.
Address: 44 Holland Drive #02-28/29, Singapore 270044. Closed on Monday.
My overall verdict: 4.5/5