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拉面 La Mian World

the quest for the perfect noodle

I love everything handmade. In our universe of plastic artificiality, pre-processed food, air conditioning, long distance air travel and the online world, it is great to see someone prepare food by hand in front of your eyes.

Recently I stopped by the huge glass window of one of the basement restaurants in Paragon shopping mall in Singapore’s Orchard Road. Some chef was rolling out dough on a massive marble table with a wooden broom stick. I was standing in front of the Shimbashi Soba restaurant. Here they serve an extensive variety of Soba noodle dishes. And the best thing: the Soba noodles are freshly made every day by the Soba noodle chef I was watching in the shop window in front of me.

I had to control my hunger and watch first: The dough had to be rolled out and then rolled up around the broomstick again, many, many times and many times more. Finally the chef rolled it out to an almost perfect square filling the whole marble table. Throwing a lot of white flour on the even surface of future soba noodles, he now folded it up like a bed sheet. The rectangular bed sheet was now cut with a big knife into thin slices and thus becoming the noodles itself. It was almost as fascinating to watch as the pulling of La Mian.

Finally I settled in the restaurant to have my Soba noodles served. Pronto! The lunch bento sets are not exactly cheap ranging from 17 to 29 Singapore Dollars but you are served a great selection of Japanese Tapas and a bowl of excellent Soba noodles either chilled or in a hot broth. I recommend to try the cold ones as the noodles tend to get soft very fast in the hot soup. By the way, they do Udon noodles as well. I will come back to try those next time.

Shimbashi Soba,  #B1-41 The Paragon,  290 Orchard Road, Singapore 238859

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