I immediately joined the queue for the satay bee hoon even though I didn't plan to have it initially. Lao Chao Zhou is run by a husband and wife probably in their 60s.
For $4, the plate was so generously laddled in smooth and nutty peanut sauce that you can barely see any beehoon. Since this was for sharing, we decided to add $1 for more ingredients including cuttlefish, pig liver, prawns, cockles and Kang Kong.
The sauce was thick and creamy, neither too heavy nor too sweet. My mum likes the fact that the sauce wasn't too grainy, a sign that efforts were put in to ensure a smooth consistency.
The sheer amount of sauce ensured that the vermicelli won't dry up as fast as they would have. But those with a preference for richer, spicier flavors might find this slightly bland.
Other than this, the Mee Siam ($3) is worth a try as well. The broth has a bright Assam tang and not so sweet unlike some that makes you want to surrender your fork immediately after the first bite. Squirt in the wedge of lime, mix in some sambal and there is the comforting bowl of noodles that hits the right points on sweet and sour.
Next time I'll probably come back on a Wednesday/Thursday as that's when the Cuttlefish Kangkong is available. It's not shown on the signboard but printed on an A4-size paper with an amusingly hand-written text that says "Die Die Must Try".
Lao Chao Zhou 老潮州
Blk 20 Ghim Moh Road
Daily 8am till sold out