Last Updated: September 24, 2019
Craving noodles but sick and tired of your usual wanton noodles? Switch it up a little, and check out this unique twist on chilli ban mian.
Banting Traditional Cuisine sells you a plethora of dishes, with ban mian as its star.
I was lucky enough to try two specialties—Hot & Spicy Handmade Noodle (S$5) and Thai Style Noodle (S$5.50). Here is a disclaimer: both dishes may seem simple, but the chilli really packs a punch. If you are a fan of spicy noodles, do not underestimate this chilli. It is a home-made sambal belacan chilli, which was on the (much) spicier side.
This is a fair warning to you; prepare an iced drink or two before digging into this. Trust me, you will need it!
Commonly known as chilli ban mian, they put their own twist on the dish and created Hot & Spicy Handmade Noodle. Although it looked like an ordinary bowl of noodles, do not underestimate it.
The key difference between their dish and other similar chilli ban mian dishes out there was the addition of fish bean curd卜卜脆, generally known as tau kee. This added a touch of fishiness which actually enhanced the flavour of the minced meat in the dish.
Something different about their dish was also the noodles. Unlike usual chilli ban mian, which uses a thicker and flatter kind of noodles, they used a thinner alternative. The owners realised this noodle complemented the ingredients best, and I feel it was definitely a wise decision.
Braised pork minced 肉碎, is a key ingredient of a chilli ban mian dish too. I loved the fact that the minced meat was braised, which showcases the authenticity and effort that the owners put in while creating the dish. Slightly salted, I didn’t mind pairing this with a bowl of rice.
Meatball 贡丸 is a mandatory component of any chilli ban mian dish, or in my opinion, any noodle dish. I adored the fact that the meatball did not have the-sometimes unappealing stench that some meatballs give off.
A special dish that they have on the menu is Thai Spicy Noodle (S$5.50). Only available on Fridays and Saturdays, this is a twist on tom yum ban mian.
Before we dug into this, we added zest of lime to the dish and it felt like we were instantly teleported to Thailand. Like magic, the touch of lime just perfumed the entire dish. Take a closer look and you can even smell the familiar tom yum aroma greeting you.
Let us start with the prawns. There is only one word to describe them—succulent! These prawns were so fresh and juicy that I wanted more. The best part? The prawns were deveined which is a rarity in a hawker setting.
I enjoyed the tender braised pork meat in the Thai Style Noodle.
Here lies the holy grail—the noodles. There were the customary flat noodles, like in most ban mian dishes. The noodles absorbed every spice and seasoning, and had an ideal balance of sourness and spiciness.
Don’t miss out on their soup either! It contains an unusual ingredient—mani leaf 树仔菜, an ingredient native to Southeast Asia, particularly, Malaysia. Paired with anchovies, the soup had a decent mellow fishiness, which completed the dish.
Both dishes also had a poached egg 温泉蛋. The egg gave the noodles a creamier mouthfeel. Mix them all together and you will undoubtedly see yourself slurping these noodles in a heartbeat.
You can get additional ingredients like stewed mushrooms 香菇 and crispy anchovies 江鱼仔 for S$0.50 more per ingredient.
I managed to speak to the owners, Mr Elvin Lee and Ms Ivy Pang, before the peak lunch crowd arrived. Fun fact, the couple has no prior experience to cooking apart from cooking at home, and were not working in the food industry before starting their own business.
All they brought to the business was their passion for food.
What really surprised me was the fact that there was no family recipe. Unlike second or third generation hawkers, they did not have a hand-me-down recipe. Through trial and error, they were able to come up with a recipe for their noodle dishes.
I have true admiration for the pair. Starting from scratch is never easy, but they made it on their own.
Without a doubt, I can foresee myself craving this bowl on a cold rainy day. It is definitely a dish that warms your heart, but will also leave a memorable burn in your mouth that’ll actually make you want to return.
Expected Damage: $5 – S10 per pax
Our Rating: 3 / 5
Banting Traditional Cuisine
85 Dawson Road, #01-02, Singapore 141085
85 Dawson Road, #01-02, Singapore 141085