Tek Heng has been run by the same Thai-Taechiu family for more than 130 years now, offering an eclectic mix of Bangkok-style local cuisine, and incorporating quite a bit of Chinese-Taechiu dishes in their menu. Its current location near Talad Plu market takes up 3 shophouse lots, though the place still fills up pretty quickly at lunch-time when we were there.
The must-try dish is, of course, the “mee krawb”. King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) had awarded a Royal Ribbon to Tek Heng for its amazing “mee krawb” - crispy noodles flavoured with palm sugar & tamarind, garnished with shrimps, pickled garlic, fresh beansprouts, Chinese parsley and chives.
Best eaten with raw beansprouts and chives, to undercut the sweetness and tartness of the crispy noodles.
The other dishes we ordered were wholly Taechiu dishes. The Taechiu-style oyster omelette, containing the characteristic lumps of stretchy, jelly-like tapioca bits, was well executed. But the local oysters used were smaller than the ones we’re used to. Still, the requisite flavours and textures were there. Sriracha sauce served on the side adds a spike of spiciness to the omelette, but not quite enough - if you’re native Thai or Singaporean looking for more assertive flavours. The Taechiu prefer their food lighter and plainer in flavours.
The “hae cho”, another staple at Taechiu restaurants, is excellent here - minced pork and crabmeat, wrapped in beancurd sheets and deep-fried, and served with the plum dip. It’s wholly similar to the Teochew food in Singapore, which is not a surprise since most Teochews in Singapore actually first came in the 19th-century from Bangkok/Siam at the time.
The “hae cho” were light and crisp, served hot off the wok. The Bangkok version is slightly more peppery than the ones we normally get in Teochew restaurants in Singapore, but lighter and tastier here.
Tek Heng (aka Mee Krob Jeen Lee, Mee Krob Ror Ha)
326-330 Soi Toedthai, Talad Plu
Tel: +662-466-9170, +662-466-9037
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-2pm, 4:30-10pm (daily)