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拉面 La Mian World

the quest for the perfect noodle

Just as I realized my lack of commitment over the past weeks towards the ultimate goal of finding the best La Mian in the world I stumbled upon this article in the Epicure magazine titled Best La Mian in Singapore. This is their list:

ZI YEAN RESTAURANT, which I heard about. But not so much for noodles as more for dim sum,

SHANGHAI REN JIA, which I only knew as the name of a restaurant in Geylang serving very good Beijing duck,

JING HUA RESTAURANT, who‘s noodles did not convince me entirely,

SWEE CHOON DIM SUM RESTAURANT, I have not heard about,

IMPERIAL TREASURE LA MIAN XIAO LONG BAO, to which I never went so far,

LAN ZHOU LA MIAN, which was last on La Mian World’s 2011 Singapore La Mian ranking,

CRYSTAL JADE LA MIAN XIAO LONG BAO, which I love but find the Great World City branch the best,

LAO BEIJING, which has a lot of great northern Chinese food,

SAVOR REY LA MIAN XIAO LONG BAO RESTAURANT, I don’t know,

SHOU LA SHOU BEIJING RESTAURANT, and another one that I did not know.

Shockingly I had not even heard about or visited half of the places on this list. Time for some serious carbs infusion!

I started with Zi Yean Restaurant. It is a short walk from Redhill MRT station on the ground floor of a HDB block. It is quite sizable with an outdoor and an indoor air-conditioned section. I ordered some dumplings, dim sum and of course a bowl of stewed beef La Mian. It comes in a small bowl and is the perfect size to go with a selection of other dishes. The noodles were nice and good tasting. However, I am not entirely sure if they were made fresh on the spot. I did not manage to see or find the La Mian chef pulling the dough. I will have to review La Mian World last year’s list of the top La Mian places in Singapore. I am not convinced yet that the Zi Yean will make it in the 10 best. However, it would make it in my dim sum list for sure, if I would start one.

To compare against last year’s number one champion, I went to Noodlestar’s outlet in Bugis. It has a minimalistic, casual dining restaurant flair. But to my disappointment there is no open kitchen with the La Mian chef visibly performing his noodle pulling art. However, the La Mian of my bowl with in-house stewed pork rib were as amazing as in the food court stall of the Noodlestar in The Shoppes and in their Jalan Sultan restaurant. The pork was, wow!, quite fatty, but still I loved the dish.

The La Mian with minced pork and mushroom sauce was found to be fairly oily and the overall taste not up to the minced-pork-sauce-mark found in other places around Singapore. Still, the Noodelstar noodles outshone it all.

Now it is off to the gym again before heading to the next joint on Epicure’s list!

Zi Yean Restaurant, Blk 56 Lengkok Bahru, #01-443, Singapore

Noodlestar, 233 Victoria Street, Bugis Village, Singapore

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