The Great Noodle Chase

One man’s quest for the perfect noodle dish

By Ariz Hoque

My sisters-from-other-misters Gundi and Moo have allegedly been gate-keeping their favorite noodle place, and after weeks of playing it cool, I decided to do a little independent investigation and see if I can find the best noodle place in town. While the search continues, here are some amazing noodle dishes I’ve enjoyed recently.

ABSOLUTE KOREAN’S STIR-FRIED CHICKEN NOODLE

Chef’s Table Gulshan is very close to my workplace, so I tend to visit frequently. While Absolute Korean’s seafood rice bowl is my go-to, I decided to try something simpler, and this is what I went with. Sometimes, a well-made dish is all you need, and that’s what I got – nice, chewy noodles, and a generous ratio of shredded egg, veggies and chicken.

ABSOLUTE KOREAN’S SPICY SEAFOOD NOODLE SOUP

If you like your noodles with a little taste of the sea, this is a great one to try. Packed with mouthfuls of crab, octopus, and prawn, it is a beautifully textured dish. The seafood broth had a light kimchi flavor, which added a kick. The noodles were slightly overcooked, but the overall experience was a good one.

FRIED BEEF NOODLE BOWL FROM I LOVE MY HOME

 Another joint I like to visit when I go to Chefs Table is I love my Home. The Fried Beef Noodle Bowl is served on a plate. The noodles are stir fried with handfuls of cabbage, seasoning and soya. This is served with thinly sliced beef sauteed with capsicum, onion, green chilli and dried red chilli. A spicy, crunchy, salty dish without much fuss is a satisfying experience. 

BITTERSWEET’S BEEF YAKI UDON

Udon is a thick noodle made from wheat flour, used in Japanese cuisine. Beef yaki udon is mainly a stir-fried noodle dish, with various veggies and sliced beef. Bittersweet’s version had a nice balance of heat and sweetness. All over a hearty dish indeed. 

BITTERSWEET’S SEAFOOD LAKSA

Laksa is a popular spicy Asian noodle dish, made with a variety of noodles. Bittersweet’s version contains tofu, prawn, battered fish, boiled egg, bean sprouts and noodle served in rich and spicy coconut curry or broth. While I’m not very fussy about presentation, I was really impressed with the elegant way this dish was plated. 

I had opted for the medium-spicy laksa, and the main hero of this dish was the curry-based broth, which was thick, spicy, and packed with flavors. There was more than a hint of coconut in there, and when you squeeze in the lemon wedge that comes with the dish, it’s a winner. The chunks of tofu soaking in the broth had a great mouthfeel.   The thick noodles absorbed the flavors of the broth without losing texture, and the prawns, boiled egg and battered fish added to the fullness of the dish.

TOKYO KITCHEN’S TANTANMEN RAMEN

Tokyo Kitchen’s ramen features a thick and creamy, mildly spicy peanut butter-based chicken broth that is a treat to the tastebuds. The ramen noodles are incorporated with the broth perfectly. Soft boiled eggs, sea weed, corn and spring onions add layers of texture. The chicken chashu absorbs the peanut butter base broth so well that the combination was unparalleled.

NORI’S SPECIAL BEEF RAMEN

Ramen often gets an unfair rep for being a cheap noodle dish, but done right, it’s a hearty treat. Nori’s beef version is spicy, seasoned perfectly and has generous portions of sliced beef and shiitake mushroom along with chewy noodles. A great comfort meal.

SAMDADO’S YAKI UDON

Samdado has been around for a long time, and still a reliable Asian food hotspot. Their Yaki udon is basically a stir fry with a beef component. The chewy noodles were incorporated very nicely with the other components, and also works well as a complement to their beef bulgogi item.  

KFD’S EXPRESS CHOWMEN

KFD is known for their delicious budget noodles, so I thought this was a good candidate for a favorite noodle place. The express chowmein is a quick flat noodle dish, stir fried with sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, julienned vegetables and cubed chicken. It’s a very popular dish amongst noodle lovers with strained wallets. 

THAI GARDEN’S MIXED SZECHWAN CHOWMEIN

After seven outlets, I was still no closer to figuring out where my sisters go for their noodle dates, so I decided to hit up my own go-to – a place called Thai Garden, located in Kochukhet Bazaar. As a diehard deshi Chinese fan, their food has seen me through all my happiest and saddest times. The Szechwan chowmein is a hearty, no-frills meal advertised as a sharable dish for 2-3 people. I. however, finish it all by myself, in one sitting.

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