How much are you willing to pay for a bowl of noodles?
Eateries with artisanal or fusion takes on local cuisine have been popping up all over Singapore, giving an atas twist to humble dishes strongly associated with hurried morning and afternooon meals at our neighbourhood hawker centres. One such place is the aptly named I Want My Noodle, which styles itself as a craft noodle shop with contemporary twists on the ubiquitous Chinese noodle.
Newly opened, the Shaw Centre-based joint is relatively quiet, sandwiched between boutiques and another restaurant. I Want My Noodle’s classic meets contemporary style is very much evident in its decor, with distressed urban interior and familiar, old-school decor like a drink powder can turned tip jar and even the ol’ soya sauce and pepper bottles complete with red plastic basket. A nifty glimpse for tourists into Singapore’s hawker life minus the crowds, sweat and heat.
Plain, simple dishes start at $4+, with heartier offerings going at $10 and up, like the My Lor Bah Noodle I had. Looks wise, it’s not different from standard hawker fare, but don’t let appearances fool you: egg noodles topped with Japanese style cha-shu, braised Chinese mushrooms, bok choy, cracker, and semi hard boiled egg. And not forgetting, fried spring onions and lard – lots of it.
You can really tell that the noodles are made from scratch – curly, Indonesian style strands that were exceptionally bouncy. ‘Em noodles far exceeded my expectations and it was impossible not to slurp up the entire bowl at one go. The cha-shu was the winner though, as it had that melt-in-your-mouth quality that’s hard to find even among Japanese ramen joints (time to up your game, people!). The rest of the ingredients were well-prepared, with the egg having a runny consistency that was just nice.
$12.90 does seem steep a price for a local dish that we’re used to having for much less, but remember that this is no ordinary bowl of noodles. And it includes a bowl of radish soup, minus the nasty MSG that gives it its unwarranted heaviness in most places. Though simple and small in quantity, the soup ranks high on the comfort food meter for me.
Though its claim to fame is in noodle dishes, I Want My Noodle also whips up a mean couple of sides, drinks and desserts if you’re craving for more (I’ve heard feedback that the portions are too small for its price). Presenting the very cute Pebbles, which consists of sweet and purple potato balls deep fried and sprinkled with powder. Only get this if you’re really feeling sinful.
I was surprised at the taste too – not overly sweet, orange coloured balls were chewy and sticky while the purple ones crunchy.
I Want My Noodle is like a modernised rendition of the classic hit, replicating every success of the yesteryears with so much more. Atmosphere might have been lacking but the food was a pass with flying colours. I’m definitely keeping my eyes peeled to see what other innovations they’re headed for next. 😉
Address: Shaw Centre Singapore 03-14/15
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm daily
Contact: 9758 3037
Payment: Cash only
Additional charges: None
Directions: Alight at Orchard (NS22) MRT Station and exit via the ION Patterson Link. Head toward Shaw House; Shaw Centre is the building adjacent to it.