Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Singapore, Johor, Toronto based blog of true stories by johorkaki@gmail about best food, places, people & overSixty lifestyle around the world

Thursday, 24 May 2018

A Noodle Story @ Amoy Street Proves Singaporeans will Pay for Good Food

Act 1, Scene1: A Noodle Story stall at Amoy Street Hawker Centre.

Auntie: Small, medium, large?

Me (in level headed Singaporean mode): Medium.

Auntie: $11.

Me (silently as I dug deeper into my skinny wallet): What? For $3 more, I can have ramen served at my table in air con comfort. Here, it is so hot, I have to find my own table with food in hand and fight tissue packs, umbrellas, yesterday's newspapers etc for a seat at a barely cleaned, sticky, greasy table.

Amoy Street Food Centre is located in Singapore's Central Business District. There are many famous and popular food stalls in this food centre. It is a food haven for financial district workers for tasty and affordable meals.

A Noodle Story bucks the trend a little. Prices start at $8 for small, $11 for medium and $15 for large serving. But, the queue is always long at A Noodle Story, debunking the notion that Singaporeans are not willing to pay the true value of good food at hawker centres.

Ben and Gwern, and A Noodle Story really needs no introduction. The humble noodle stall snagged a Bib Gourmand in the inaugural Singapore Michelin Guide 2016 and the partners were featured in so much media, I wonder if they feel any media fatigue. Still, they obliged my don't-know-who-is-this uncle in berms' request for a quick snap during lunch peak hour - really genuine nice guys, these youthful towkays.

Ben and Gwern are SHATEC graduates and had worked in fine restaurants like Iggy’s, Waku Ghin, St Pierre and Jaan par Andre before striking out on their own with A Noodle Story in 2013. This was my first time tasting Ben and Gwern's creation, so I am really a late comer 😂

I see in this bowl of new Singapore style noodles, the brainchild of Ben and Gwern, the same kind of innovative flare and pioneering spirit of our early hawkers who created a whole genre of Singapore hawker food. It looked appetising and I couldn't wait to dig in.

Fortunately, despite the lunch time crush, I found a seat quite quickly.

First things, first. I love these egg noodles. They were done soft al dente with a distinct gentle springy crunch. Ben and Gwern were generous with the flavourful blended sauce made with dried shrimps and kelp. The brown sauce heavily soaked and enveloped the noodles with its delicious layered robust savouriness. I also folded in the dollop of mildly savoury spicy sambal chili which further boosted the flavours. There was no alkaline taste at all. These noodles were my favourite things in the bowl.

Prawn wrapped in potato noodle - the most eye catching thing in the bowl. Freshly fried in vegetable oil on order, the potato-wrapped prawn added interesting crisp and crunch to the dish though the savoury sweet flavour was relatively mild.

Pork belly chashu with meat, skin and a thick layer of fat that I like. It was slow-braised for 36 hours till it was melt-in-the-mouth soft and deeply infused with layered savouriness which complemented the pork's subtle underlying natural sweetness.

The wantons were the traditional type but larger and meatier. It's a small prawn bundled with fresh minced pork from Indonesia and wrapped in smooth wanton skin.

Whole lava egg made with USA-patented pasteurised egg. Soft white, runny yolk with eggy taste.

Ben and Gwern garnished their noodles with loads of chopped scallion and thin threads of red chili pepper.

The noodle set is served with a mild savoury soup with subtle underlying sweetness.

4-Stars (out of 5). I enjoyed A Noodle Story's deliciously bold re-interpretation of wanton mee and ramen. The wanton mee and ramen fusion is cohesive both in looks and taste, so it is easy to like. Proudly invented in Singapore, may I say.

Pro-tip: Just get the "small" $8 serving as the best thing here is their crunchy noodles and flavourful sauce. Go for medium and large, only if you like more chashu, ajitsuke tamago egg and wanton.

Restaurant name: A Noodle Story 超好面

Address: Amoy Street Food Centre, 7 Maxwell Rd, stall #01-39, Singapore
GPS1°16'45.5"N 103°50'48.4"E | 1.279317, 103.846774
Hours: 11:15am - 2:30pm | 5:30pm - 7:30pm (Sat 10:30am - 1:30pm) (Sunday off)

Non Halal

Date visited: 24 May 2018

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