Introducing the Mee Tai Mak with Century Egg at NOW Noodles. This is something you won't commonly get elsewhere. I'll have to say I was at first curious about this adventurous combination - mee tai mak or bee tai mak stir-fried with century egg? Some people might have reservations. But give it a go.
I was wowed by its wok hei, its garlicky aroma, prawns, mushrooms, crispy fried egg, fragrant chives and the mellow bits of century egg - there's more "liao" (ingredients) than noodles! Tastewise, it's almost like a carrot cake but with extra character and complexity. I am so coming back for this, and next time I am not sharing!
Photo by SUPERADRIANME; from Kevin Khoo's Facebook
You may have seen the many Instagram and blog posts on NOW Noodles. This casual noodle eatery is set up by Kevin Khoo who wanted to showcase his family's treasured recipes that they have been enjoying for a long time.
All the rempah (spice pastes) are meticulously handmade at the shop, and the family members often come to inspect and make sure the quality is consistent and ingredients used are up to their standards.
The spices are certainly plentiful and intense. Portions are generous and hearty, just like how a zealous motherly figure would serve. I'm just amazed at how Kevin manages to keep the price at a friendly S$9.80 for all the noodle dishes.
Just look at the signature Dry Laksa, with all the fresh sea prawns. I like how beautifully spicy they have made this - this level of spiciness is perfect. The laksa paste is addictive; you just can't stop eating. The only thing I would add (because my tastebuds love the strong and umami) is a dash of fish sauce.
Each strand of the Dry Mee Siam is also well-coated with spices. The rice vermicelli actually is quite moist, not dry. Add some of the housemade sambal and squeeze the calamansi lime over it. Mix well and enjoy.
Most of the dishes are quite spicy but the Heng Hwa Noodle Soup is delightfully different. The broth is rich and so homey with a tinge of ginger and soy, and the mee sua surprisingly holds itself well even after absorbing soup and flavours. It's certainly suitable for kids and adults who can't take spicy food.
Lily bulbs, pak choy, black ear fungus, ribbons of omelette, sugar snap peas, and a huge piece of chicken make this look like a soupy bibimbap too!
The Vegetarian Mee Goreng came looking much better than the picture on the menu. It isn't something I would have ordered just by looking at the name, but oh man, this was so delicious. Don't miss out on this. It's lightly sweet and spicy, just like the Chinese style mee goreng. Love that they use cherry tomatoes instead of the bigger variety that's usually more watery and bland.
For desserts, we have the Portuguese Malasada (S$3.80 for two pieces, one flavour) which some have described as resembling fried mantous. They are like pillowy soft yet dense donuts filled with Kaya Curd (my favourite), Milk Tea Cream (quite mild) and Orange Marmalade (very pleasant).
I like that they are not too sweet. My kids who were already stuffed after so many noodle dishes suddenly found new stomach space for these. They totally LOVED and devoured these.
We also had Spanish Churros (S$3.80) with the same dips as the filling for the Malasada. These churros have hard crispy edges, unlike the normal soft churros we are used to. I thought they were fun to eat even if different. #melikecrunchy
NOW Noodles is cosy and casual. It's good for a quick lunch or leisurely dinner with groups. I recommend coming with a group so you can try ALL the noodles, because the dishes are excellent in their own way. Right now they have started with just five, but might add more later on.
#02-65 Square 2 (Novena MRT)
10 Sinaran Drive
Tel: +65 6251-0177
Open daily 11am to 9pm
Many thanks to Kevin and NOW Noodles for the treat!
Photos (except where indicated) taken with the Canon EOS M10 kindly loaned by Canon Singapore