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From the Burpple community

While K88 Kopitiam had only been through a revamp rather recently, it does seem that there is already some switch-ups in the tenancy of the stalls that are located within the coffeeshop itself. For those whom are unaware, K88 Kopitiam is the coffeeshop that is located just a short distance away from Maxwell MRT Station at 5 Banda Street; the coffeeshop being located right beside Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre, as well as just across the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum. New to the coffeeshop would be Tang Ren Jie 唐人街面馆 — the stall occupies the unit where the now-defunct and short-lived Good Luck Dumplings 好旺饺 used to be located at. The signboard of Tang Ren Jie seems to suggest that the brand name was established in 1999; turns out, Tang Ren Jie does seem to have outlets situated at Fernvale and Punggol. There really isn’t much that makes Tang Ren Jie stand out from the other stalls in the coffeeshop; Tang Ren Jie is a stall that serves up local Teochew-style noodles — think the likes of Fishball Minced Meat Noodles, Teochew Dumpling Noodle and Mini Wok Noodle — just a few of the items which they have to offer at their K88 Kopitiam location.

Thought not an item that is totally unheard of, what really drew us to give Tang Ren Jie a go at K88 Kopitiam was the race that they serve up Fried Dumpling Noodles — an item that not all stall serving up Teochew-style minced meat noodles would carry. As with most stalls that serve up Teochew-style minced meat noodles, patrons can get to choose the type of noodle that comes with their bowl of noodles — we opted for Mee Pok to go with our order of the Fried Dumpling Noodles, while at the same time also opting for both chili and vinegar to be added to our bowl of noodles. Receiving the Fried Dumpling Noodles at the counter, we do note that the Fried Dumpling Noodle at Tang Ren Jie comes with five (5) pieces of fried dumplings, leafy greens, pork lard, and some spring onions as garnish. Giving the noodles a bit of a toss around the chili-vinegar mix, we really liked how the noodles are done just quite about right here — the noodles are springy, while the sauce just clings on to the squiggly parts of the Mee Pok; the chili-vinegar sauce being pretty spot-on and balanced without being too heavy on either component, creating a savoury tang with that tickle of spiciness which would work for those whom are tolerable to lighter levels of heat. The pieces of fried pork lard was also done well; crisp without feeling too greasy; creates a good textural contrast against the noodles, while the leafy greens did carry a slight bitterness that we weren’t too found of — perhaps less obvious if one allows them to be soaked with the chili-vinegar mix. The fried dumplings were prepared in-advanced; plated onto the bowl upon order — we do feel that these could have likely been supplied since they tasted really familiar, though crisp and not too greasy in their own right. They also came with an adequate amount of meat, whilst being just savoury enough — quite a joy to have. Overall, a bowl of Fried Dumpling Noodle that felt really familiar — there was an uncanny resemblance between this and the one that we have had since childhood that is located in a food court just opposite us. The price tag of $5.30 is fairly reasonable; needless to say, one that we will be back for considering how this is basically comfort food for us!