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拉面 La Mian World

the quest for the perfect noodle

Tag Archives: Marina Square

The best La Mian in 2012!

The time around New Year’s is the time of new year’s resolutions, bucket lists, reviews, best-off’s etc. Here at La Mian World we also sat down to look back on the past year of 2012 and collected some statistical facts. This is it:

I ate La Mian in four different countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand.

I consumed approximately 50 bowls of La Mian, of these 47 were consumed in Singapore.

I betrayed the cause of La Mian World by eating Japanese Ramen, Vietnamese Phở and Italian Pasta an uncounted number of times.

Running through the list of places I patronized I decided to nominate the top five best La Mian stalls, restaurants, shops and hawkers in Singapore. Just to remember, the La Mian World criteria for excellency in La Mian are

1. Freshness: The noodles have to be hand pulled freshly for every dish served,

2. Craftsmanship: When you look at the noodles you must utter: ‘wow, that is amazing how evenly sized they are, although he just pulled them in front of my eyes’ (bonus points for front-of-the-eye-open-kitchen-la-mian-expert-chef-pulling),

3. Experience: In your mouth the La Mian are blowing you away with their balanced composition of texture, al-dente-ness and flavour of the dough,

4. Composition: Neither the sauce, soup, meat or whatever it is the dish consists of, can dominate over the noodle. The La Mian speak for themself but are complemented with superior sides.

This is the La Mian top five billboard chart hit list:

Which is your favorite La Mian outlet in Singapore or any place around the world?

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After a series of disappointing visits to some places that did not fulfill the very strict criteria established by La Mian World, I took a break from experimenting and had the real deal at Imperial Treasure La Mian Xiao Long Bao located at Marina Square mall. Yes, it is a bit tiring, that you end up in another shopping center and sit in the middle of the buzz of shoppers around. But also, yes, they do have excellent, fresh and expert made, hand pulled noodles here.

With this soothing experience giving me peace of (noodle) mind, I was excited to travel to Taipei. The capital city of Taiwan must hold some La Mian secrets for me to discover as it is, for starters, the home of Din Tai Fung. Their La Mian is decent and we don’t have to talk about the quality of the Xiao Long Bao.

I started searching the web (as Apple’s Siri would say: “I don’t know what you mean by La Mian. May I search the web for you?”). To my surprise it proved to be more challenging to find a La Mian place in Taipei than I expected. It seems that, first of all, the Taipeinese are not as food blog crazy as the Singaporeans. Or, if they are, they may write in Mandarin, which I happen to neither speak nor read.

After endless crawling through web searches and hours of walking through the fascinating streets of Taipei I ended up at Xiao Liu La Mian located close to the Technology Building metro station.

I must have been the first customer of the day as I entered the small restaurant shortly after 11 in the morning already hungry for some carbs infusion. The interior looked more than promising with an open, glass window kitchen with space for the chef pulling the noodles in view of the patrons. The walls were decked out with murals depicting the art of La Mian pulling. The friendly lady and only staff in the entire place seemed to me as if she would be the one pulling it off here. However, to my great disappointment, she was pulling no dough nor was any other chef appearing miraculously.

My beef La Mian was prepared with already pre-pulled noodles. The soup and noodles were good. But after all the effort and time I put into searching and finding this one place I was utterly disappointed about the missing pull here.

I shall come back to Taipei and get some professional help next time to find the right place!

Imperial Treasure La Mian Xiao Long Bao, 6 Raffles Boulevard, #02-138J Marina Square, Singapore (up-date March 2013: this restaurant is closed)

Xiao Liu La Mian, 223 Heping E Rd, Sec 2, Taipei City, Taiwan

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