Most people associate ban mian with comfort and warmth— and for good reason! These Chinese handmade noodles are in almost every hawker centre and food court, ready to give you the fulfilling meal you need on a rainy day.
If you’re like me and prefer your noodles dry, don’t fret! Most ban mian stalls offer a dry version where the silky broth is served on the side. Go all out with the chilli and sauces for a heavier flavour that packs a punch.
1. Xiang Xiang Mian Jia 香香面家
With a sweet broth with a light mix of ikan bilis, this soup boasts of a subtle fragrance sans MSG. Their noodles were of the softer variety, but definitely not overly ‘nua’, hence those who prefer their noodles to be chewy can probably request for it. The minced meat has a chewy chopped texture, and every mouthful’s a stellar experience. Nice roughly chopped texture to the minced meat.
I like that they use spinach instead of cabbage but they could definitely use more of it. For S$3.50 at a kopitiam, it would be better if they were more generous with their other ingredients though their soup is pretty decent.
155 Bukit Batok Street 11,#01-01, Singapore 650155
Daily: 9am – 9pm
2. Hock Chiew Handmade Noodle
The ban mian stall in this kopitiam is what every ravenous eater dreams of—undoubtedly generous with the ingredients. Most times you’ll find your bowl overflowing with noodles, soup and minced meat. They have a lightly seasoned broth with great flavour, making it oh so easy to just slurp up all the soup.
The minced meat isn’t too overcooked or over seasoned. The dry version is pretty decent too, although their soup version outshines this, lightly seasoned, with a generous amount of ingredients, it’s also of the dark sauce variety that I enjoy.
Overall pretty decent, and sufficiently good to satisfy your cravings when you just need that bowl of comfort.
J99 kopitiam, Block 186, Toa Payoh Central, Singapore 310186
Mon to Sat: 9am – 8.30pm
3. Xin Mei 新美 Hand-made Noodles
North Spine Food Court’s Xin Mei Ban Mian soup is one of the tastiest I’ve ever had; I guarantee it is totally slurp-worthy, and worth a visit if you’re making the long journey to the west.
It has a nice balance of sweet and salty with the minced meat tight yet soft with none of the overpowering gamey smell that might turn some away.
The noodles here are of the soft variety if you want it chewier, it is possible to request for it. Their mee hoon kuay is impeccably silky without losing any chewiness, making it so worth it whenever the queue’s long.
North Spine Food Court, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798
Daily: 8.30am – 10.30pm
4. Ban Mian / Fish Soup @ NUS
From the Zha Jiang Mian, to Tomato Egg Soup to the usual ban mian varieties, this is one of Utown food court’s popular stall. During lunch hour, you can expect a queue but that’s because these noodles are just worth all the wait.
The serving here is not only generous, they are value for money as well. With each bowl of noodles, you have an additional side of either 2 pieces of guo tie (pot stickers), fried fish fingers or a plate of fresh mushrooms. Feast to your heart’s content, we won’t judge!
Of course being NUS Students would entail discounts on the food there, so the public has to pay a tad bit more.
Flavours @ NUS, NUS University Town, Singapore 138607
Daily: 7.30am – 9pm
5. Qiu Lan Ban Mian 秋莲板面
The noodles were made excellently with a seemingly light eggy flavour, cooked till a nice doneness that had the noodles soft yet chewy on the inside, while the ikan bilis were crispy but tended to be too salty.
Their little dollops of minced meat were seasoned well with hints of pepper and sesame oil, making it a bummer that I gobbled up the small portion in a few bites and sat there contemplating on getting a second bowl.
They’ve got plenty of outlets scattered on our sunny island, making it convenient and easy to get yourself some comforting noodles wherever you are.
Daily: 10am – 8pm
6. Face Ban Mian 非板面
A light broth that’s soothing and doesn’t make you feel too overwhelmed with flavour — can your day get any better? There is a satisfying natural sweetness coming out from the cabbage and minced meat.
Seeing the cook expertly scooping out minced meat with swift precise strokes, relief washed over me as I knew my ban mian was in good hands but I wished that they’d been more generous with their ingredients, especially since everything tasted so good.
Their chili sauce is definitely unique, having higher viscosity and sweetness than the usual ban mian chili sauce. Face Ban Mian has pretty decent handmade noodles generally so it’s a good place to sufficiently assuage your Handmade noodles craving. It’s also especially convenient since they have multiple outlets.
7. L32 Hand Made Noodles 手工面
You probably already knew L32 Hand Made noodles was going to be on the list.
Hailed as the handmade noodle stall with the best soup and the longest queue, you can go in with sky high expectations and leave knowing that they have exceeded it without fail.
The broth is a wonderful balance between sweet and salty, brewed from quality ikan bilis and probably pork bones. One can tell from the lightness and natural sweetness of the soup that there is hardly or even no artificial flavouring added.
As for the dry version, al dente hand-made noodles are tossed expertly in rich dark sauce and other seasonings, with the still runny egg served in your small bowl of soup. Writing about this now is making my stomach growl, if I have to be honest.
With that much praise, be prepared to queue for a long time.
558 Geylang Road Jln Geylang Lorong 32, Singapore 389509
+65 9770 2829
Tue to Sat: 11.30am – 9.30pm, Closed on Mon
8. China Whampoa Home Made Noodle
Boasting a robust seafood broth that captures the essence of the bulbous prawns, meatballs and vegetables, this is one Ban Mian I could, and would, eat all day. Every day.
Their mee hoon kway here is on the thicker and denser side, which may be off-putting to some, but I absolutely loved it with the sweet and umami-rich soup, which, with is boosted with spice and a peppery kick with chilli. Topping it off with the crunchy and salty ikan bilis was perfect.
258 Lor 12 Geylang, Nam Wah Coffeeshop, Singapore 389314
+65 8782 4298
Daily: 24 hours
9. TOP 1 Home Made Noodles
Top 1 Home Made Noodles is number 1 in my heart, and thus, is no stranger to the best ban mian list. Many many have continuously extolled Home Made Noodles goodness and I absolutely agree.
Other than the standard of their noodles, what sets them apart is the wide variety in their menu. Think seafood, tom yum soup, dry, big prawns, fish slices, and more. You could literally eat ban mian every day for a week and not get sick of it.
Their original broth is always hot and tasty, with sufficient saltiness and subtle pork flavour. The noodles are consistently and masterly cooked to that degree where it is soft yet chewy. Their minced meat does not have that off-putting gamey pork odour – Instead it is soft, and lightly seasoned.
When you order your noodles with fish slices, you’d most probably get really generous slices!
Because they’re so popular, you might want to avoid meal time peak hours or avoid going too late to prevent long waiting time and the unfortunate case of everything-is-sold-out, respectively.
Beauty World Food Centre, 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Level 4, #04-44, Singapore 588177
+65 8448 8450
Thu to Tue: 11.30am – 5pm, Closed on Wed
10. Green View 翠苑
Dry Mee Hoon Kuay (S$4.50) holds a special place in my heart, what’s not to love about the dark sauce seasoning that is intoxicatingly sweet with light saltiness? The minced meat and vegetables are given in generous quantities; I sometimes find myself with more meat leftover than my noodles.
Their minced meat is well-marinated with no gamey odour or anything of that sort. If you don’t fancy minced meat, you can opt for the prawn version instead. Their ikan bilis are usually thick and crispy but occasionally overly salty.
Don’t let its incongruent, ugly exterior fool you. These little handmade and hand-pulled kuehs are thick with a softer side and a wonderfully chewy centre.
Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road, #04-95B/96, Singapore 228213
+65 6734 2312
Mon to Sat: 10am – 8pm (Closed on Sun)
11. 海鲜煮粥 (可口面) Ke Kou Mian
I don’t reckon Ke Kou Mian needs any introduction. They’ve got an undeniably delicious soup base, filled with thick, chewy slices of mee hoon kuay.
KKM is very very well-known and queues can go over 20 bowls with at least 1 hour waiting time during supper hours. They’ve definitely won the hearts of many a ravenous Singaporean, and it’s no doubt that they’re at the top of their game.
Block 163, Gangsa Road, Singapore 670163
Fri to Wed: 4am – 2pm, Closed on Thu
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