There is an interesting story behind the founders of Bai Nian yong tau foo. When Amy was hospitalised, she told her partner Andy that she craved for YTF. She wanted (1) bite-sized pieces, unlike the chunky pieces usually found at stalls, with (2) variety, and the ingredients have to be (3) tender, (4) tasty, and (5) healthy. And Andy created this bowl of YTF for her.
Andy, who was in the timber industry, switched career to open Bai Nian, a hawker stall at Albert Centre, in 2013 and, soon after, another stall at People’s Park hawker centre. It is so successful that it nows opens a food court at Viva Business Park, and of course, they have their stall in their own food court. I heard through the grapevine that they are in talks to open shops in China. Wow. Like LOTR. One bowl to rule the world.
What’s so special about their YTF that people are willing to queue for it? According to their facebook, they hand-make their YTF freshly at the stall; and the soup has no MSG. I wonder if they can still maintain their artisanal model of handmaking food since they are expanding so quickly.
They only sell their YTF in a fixed set and they use beehoon, so you cannot choose the ingredients.
Initially, their YTF came only in soup for $4, but now, at Viva Biz Park, there is a choice between dry and soup but they increase the price to $4.90 (7 pieces) and $5.50 (9 pieces). They also added fried chicken wings to their repertoire so they can no longer be considered a one-dish shop.
I heard that their fried chicken wings are fantastic. But I was there at 11 a.m. when there wasn’t a queue yet, and the lady said that chicken wings are only available at 11.30 a.m. But at 11.10am, a long, long queue started forming and I don’t like to queue for food, so we didn’t try the chicken wings.
The 7-piece bowl has 7 different pieces, but if you order the 9-piece one like we did, you get to choose two extra pieces from the 7 options. The lady informed us that people usually double-up on the pork and prawn ball, and we listened to her wisdom.
It is marvellous. Everything is so delicious. The soup, made from dried anchovies and soy bean, was light, refreshing, and sweet. The pork, as she recommended, is fan-freaking-tastic. It’s so sweet and fatty and there is a nice crunch from black fungus, which also gives an added boost of umami. The prawn ball (actually they are more like prawn cylinder) is made from minced fresh (not frozen) tiger prawn meat; it is also amazing, such great texture.
Even their tau kwa is especially good that you can taste the integrity of the soy beans. I also like this fish wrapped with beancurd skin that I haven’t eaten anywhere else before, or maybe I have but the taste is so refreshing and sweet that it comes across as something totally new. People who don’t eat slimy and bitter things have told me that their eggplant and bittergound are a revelation and change their impression.
What I really love is this: usually, YTF stalls use one fish paste for all their items but Bai Nian puts in honest, hard work to make each item taste differently.
One last thing I want to say is their sauces. Their sweet sauce, made from fermented bean curd and sweet soy sauce, is just ok for me, but their chilli. WOW. When I eat spicy food, I’ll LS. But their chilli is VERY SPICY and I kept eating it. I thought, “LS then LS.” haha. It is really very good. I read that they make the chilli freshly at the stall, and you can really taste the freshness of the chilli, and there is a super strong garlic taste, which I love.
I hope when they expand, they can maintain their current standards. As of now, I give them 10/10 for their YTF! I won’t queue for them, but if the stall is empty, I’ll definitely eat the ytf.
We paid for our own meals and review eateries anonymously.
Bai Nian Yong Tau Foo 百年酿豆腐
Blk 750 Chai Chee Road #01-25 Viva Business Park Singapore 469005
tel: +65 8268 8883
You may be interested in…
–Yentafo Kruengsonge, Cineleisure Orchard: Popular Bangkok Pink “Yong Tau Foo” Has Come to Singapore. Go Spicy or Go Home.
–Fu Lin Boat Quay: 1994 Hawker Stall. 2017 Hipster Asian Tapas Bar
–88 Hong Kong Roast Meat Specialist, Jalan Besar: Inconsistent but When It Is Good, It Is the Best in Singapore
–Soon Kee Bitter Gourd Soup 新顺记苦瓜汤, Johor: Fantastic Hakka & Cze Char Food
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.