I finally made it out to Yi Zun tonight (60 Joo Chiat Road #01-08, 6909-9287), and it was much better than Salar. They got nearly everything in that bowl right, from the crisp and salty (and slightly peppery) broth to the thick chewy noodles to the smoky yet clean chili oil (they even sell that stuff in bottles for you to bring home, which I did). The only thing that I didn’t like about this bowl was the beef, which was too lean and dry, especially compared to Xibu Mahua. But I’m more than happy to eat here again.
I’m not sure if I’ll get the chuanr again though. Sure, they were tender and generously portioned (and the mutton ones even arrived on a tree branch), but they also seem to have been dusted in a bit of flour, giving it a light crispy exterior. Sure, it was nice to have some differentiation, but it was also a bit of a distraction. And they didn’t sprinkle much spices on despite my request to make them extra spicy. Why, oh why, Alati, did you have to close down for a second time? I still haven’t found a suitable replacement for you yet.