Food Hunter

NamNam Noodle Bar @ Wheelock Place

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On days when I get a craving for something hot and soupy, I often find myself hankering after a steaming hot bowl of pho. The herbal, meaty broth and flat rice noodles are soothing, homey and not to mention, pretty healthy as well. Authentic Vietnamese food can be a little tricky to find in Singapore, and although NamNam Noodle Bar is opened by the Les Amis group, it serves up a good version of the classic Vietnamese dish.

Sam and I headed down to the Wheelock Place outlet for lunch on a weekday and were pleased to find that they were offering a set lunch consisting of a choice of Chicken or Sliced Beef Steak Pho, a side of Vietnamese Spring Rolls and a choice of a Vietnamese Iced Coffee or Iced Lotus Tea. Naturally, we both picked the beef and iced coffee.

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls | Fresh Southern rolls with sweet shrimps, egg and fresh herbs

It could be a matter of personal taste, but I felt that the spring rolls were abit too bland for my liking. The dipping sauce did help to give it a sweet-savoury flavour packed with shallots and garlic – and the sauce eventually did make this a very likable dish- but the spring rolls alone were clean tasting and seemed like it could do with abit of seasoning. Despite that, I must point out that the shrimp was fresh and the amount of fresh herbs, egg and vermicelli wrapped inside made a good combination of natural flavours and textures, making it a great dish for the health conscious.

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Pho Beef Steak Slices

The noodles were a joy to eat: smooth, slippery and light, cooked to perfection. They carried the flavour of the broth well, unlike how noodles sometimes don’t soak up the flavours of the soup they swim in. There was a good amount of noodles and a surprisingly large number of beef slices. We had thought that they might stinge on the meat but were proven otherwise. The meat was done medium well, with the centres still a rosy shade of pink. Thinly sliced and tender, we enjoyed every bit of it. The herbal, lightly salted soup was satisfying and light. For those who prefer their soup with a bit more punch, sauces such as fish sauce, hoi sin sauce, chilli sauce and soy sauce are available. Just add them straight to your noodles and slurp up every last bit.

namnam4Assorted sauces

It was a great deal, considering the central location and the fact that the meal filled us up very nicely. When asked about her opinion of NamNam, my Vietnamese friend put it across best. ‘Authentic or not, if it’s good, it’s good. Who cares.’ Well said!

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Food Hunter

Li Xin Teochew Fishball Noodles @ Ion Orchard

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Nowadays it is hard to find handmade fishballs being sold at hawker centres or food courts. The cost efficiency and consistency of factory-made ones – although differing slightly in taste and texture – trumps tradition and it is no wonder you see many places selling that instead.

I was introduced to this by a friend and was told it was previously from Old Airport Road Food Centre (which has other famous eats!). I found it overpriced at $5 but the taste of the fresh and bouncy fishballs were a good change from the common manufactured types.

Not to forget the noodles (mee pok) that need to come with a good sauce! Their sauce was mixed with a special blend of chilli sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar and lard. I did not find the chilli sauce too overpowering; it had the right balance and was not very oily.

On a side note, this food court gave a 10% discount to Safra and Passion card members! Plus points for that!

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Food Hunter

Keisuke Tokyo @ Millenia Walk

ramen1Tonkotsu Ramen with Egg ($13) | The seasoned bean sprouts taste so good on its own and it’s free flow!

ramen4 Tokyo Shio Ramen (Original) with egg ($13) | I decided to add the bean sprouts for decorative purposes.

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The chicken broth was originally clear until I added the bean sprouts!

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I read that Keisuke Tokyo is one of the places in Singapore with really good ramen and broth. My friend and I decided to give it a shot and have something soupy, warm and nice. Once you are at your seat, you have to order using a form and can customise how much oil, the saltiness level or noodle texture you prefer. Their free flow seasoned bean sprouts placed on the table was really good, and we made it into an appetiser of sorts because we were just too hungry.

Majority of the ramens that I have tried are always served in a pork based broth (tonkotsu: pork bone). My friend decided to give the rich and thick base a try and found it really delicious. On the other hand, I decided to try their “shio” broth which is a lighter and clearer base made from chicken. At first sip, I felt like I was drinking home-made soup that I would have at home, and that felt refreshing. In general, I would say it is one of the better tasting broths I have tried.

By the time we finished our meal, there was a long queue waiting outside for lunch. Phew! Had we reached the place at a later time, we might not even get seats! If you do not mind the distance, try going to Milliena Walk for food! They do have an enclave of some pretty nice Japanese food places and coffee there.

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Food Hunter

George of Georgetown @ West Coast

  assam2Assam Laska

Mackerel Soup | Assam (Tamarind) | Fish flakes | Lemongrass | Mint | Pineapple slices | Torch ginger flower | Prawn Paste | Sliced onion and chillies

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Shaved ice| Coconut milk | Rice flour with green food colouring | Palm sugar | Red Beans

Sour x Sweet x Salty. Rich flavours and textures are what Penang cuisine does best.

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