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The best ban mian in Singapore

By Julia Khoo
13 October 2010 4:08 PMUpdated 26 Oct 2010

The best ban mian in Singapore

Ban mian (literally “board noodles”) is a kind of noodle typically served in soup. Traditionally, families would make their own ban mian. First, they made a simple dough of wheat flour, water, and egg. Then, the dough is rolled into a sheet and cut into ribbons.

These days, ban mian is a common hawker dish. Compared to other hawker dishes, it’s relatively healthier because it’s soup-based and usually served with plenty of vegetables.

There are many good ban mian stalls, but which are the ones that are truly brilliant? Here at inSing.com, we think we’ve found the best ban mian in Singapore!  

 

China Whampoa Homemade NoodlesEDITOR’S PICK!

Blk 91 Whampoa Drive #01-24 Whampoa Food Centre

Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 7am-2pm, closed on Mon

Price: from $3.00

Rating: 5/5

It’s rare for us to award full marks, but China Whampoa’s impeccably-executed ban mian is a deserving winner.

Freshly made on the premises by a husband-and-wife team, the slightly curly noodles boasted excellent texture. Smooth and chewy, they retained their bite all the way. The clear-looking soup was intensely flavorful, yet very refreshing.

For a mere $3 bowl of noodles, there was a wide variety of ingredients that went into it. There was minced pork, a choice of prawn or fish, thick slices of stewed mushroom, crispy ikan bilis, and a mix of wolfberry leaves and Chinese endives. All the ingredients were remarkably fresh, especially the sweet and crunchy large-sized prawns.

It’s evident that much care and detail went into this ban mian. Even the prawns had been thoughtfully shelled in the mid-section for the convenience of diners.

In addition to the top-notch ingredients in China Whampoa’s ban mian, there’s an extra ingredient that’s rarely found: passion. This soulful bowl of ban mian not only warms the tummy, but also the heart.

 

Poon Nah City Home Made Noodle

810 Geylang Road #05-02 City Plaza

Opening hours: Daily: 11am-8pm, closed on ad-hoc basis

Price: from $3.00

Rating: 4/5

Tucked away in a location where you’d least expect to find good food is this little gem that serves exceptional ban mian. The best part was the soup. Intensely rich and complex, the stock was so good we almost forgot about the other ingredients.

We also liked that they used wolfberry leaves. These soft and silky leaves complemented the soup and noodles very well. Their slight bitterness also provided a unique edgy dimension.

The noodles were just as memorable. Smooth and toothsome, they went very well together with the soup.

The ingredients were on the skimpy side. For the prawns, they weren’t as meaty as China Whampoa’s. There was also very little pork and mushroom. Their own-made chilli sauce looked pale, but was super potent. You’ve been warned!

 

Lan Xiang Handmade Noodles

Blk 163 Bukit Merah Central, #02-37 Bukit Merah Central Food Centre

Opening hours: 10am-8pm, closed alternate Sat

Price: from $3.00

Rating: 3.5/5

If there was one thing they could improve on, it’d be the fact that the noodles are too thick. Lan Xiang’s ban mian was smooth and firm, but tasted a little floury. Some of that starch also made the soup rather gluggy, but thankfully, in a comforting way.

The ingredients were hearty in portion. They certainly didn’t hold back on the minced and sliced pork, ikan bilis, and cai xin. There was also an egg at the bottom of the bowl. While the pork was nicely seasoned, they were over-tenderized for our liking.

The soup was sufficiently tasty. But what really whetted our appetites was the zingy chilli sauce. Though numbingly spicy, it upped the shiok factor by several notches.

 

Qiurong Hand-made Noodles Seafood Soup

50 East Coast Road, Basement 1 Roxy Square

Opening hours: Daily: 9.30am-9pm

Price: from $2.80

Rating: 3.5/5

The cheerful lady who operates this stall was very generous with her noodles. In fact, we had difficulty finishing the mountain of noodles. They were firm at first, but tended to go soft quickly.

The stock was pleasantly tasty, albeit on the sweet side. But after mixing in the salty ikan bilis, the flavors became more balanced. We wished there had been more soup to balance out the noodles, though.

The ingredients were nicely executed. The minced meat balls were well-seasoned and tender, with a texture that wasn’t too rough or too fine. However, we wished the ikan bilis had been crispier.

 

L.32 Handmade Noodles

558 Geylang Lorong 32

Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 11am-9pm, closed on Mon

Price: from $3.00

Rating: 3/5

Of the five stalls in this round-up, L.32’s noodles were the thinnest. They were cooked to the soft side of al dente. These silky ribbons were soaked in a robustly sweet and slightly peppery stock. Very comforting indeed!

While the soup and noodles were gorgeous, the other ingredients weren’t as stellar. For the minimum order, there was only minced pork, ikan bilis, and cai xin. The minced pork had the fragrance of sesame oil, but we didn’t enjoy the fibrous cai xin stalks. Compared to the other stalls in this round-up, the ingredients here were very simple, and didn’t offer much in terms of value.

However, the accompanying chilli sauce—dressed with a hint of tangy lime—deserves praise for its fresh and perky flavors.

 

inSing.com made anonymous visits and paid its own meals at the stalls featured here.

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