food

MEET Noodles, Clementi: Signature Beef Noodles with an addictively moreish broth

Last Updated: November 22, 2020

Written by Ping Er

Planted on the corner of Grantral Mall, Clementi, is a beef noodle soup diner called MEET Noodles. They’ve been there for as long as memory allows, witnessing the blur of change as the building renamed from CityVibe to Grantral Mall.

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Despite that bit of rebranding, the building has always come across as forgotten glory to me. After my stint here, MEET Noodles sits like a beacon against its neighbours, giving me a reason to return to the mall anyway.

Beef noodles may sound like such a commitment to make, with the heavy meat taking up centrepiece in the entire noodle dish. If you’re not a fan of gamey meat, having beef noodles might feel like a bit of a gamble. 

Nevertheless, MEET Noodles specialises in Lan Zhou style beef noodles, which is a clear broth beef noodle dish iconic of the Chinese city of Lan Zhou. Credited to the Chinese-Muslim Hui people, their beef noodles are a herbier variation of beef noodle soup. If you’re looking for more recommendations on this cultural favourite, this is your next option to try.

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MEET Noodles’ passion and intentionality shows in every springy strand of their hand-pulled noodles. If the chef’s kind insistence to give me a new bowl of noodle soup to replace my camera-cold one is any indication, there is an admirable pride that runs behind this establishment. 

For all its seeming obliquity, expect a warm welcome the moment you enter. 

What I tried

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I’m given the happy news that there’s a ‘buy one get 1 free’ promotion going on for selected items, which reminds me that this sign has been up on their window for as long as I can remember.

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A row of little dishes line up on the counter, with noodle samples for customers to indicate their preference. Options include Normal, Thick, Thin, Leak Leap, Flat and Triangle.

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There’s really no way around it for someone as basic as me—I see the word ‘signature’ on the menu and have to get it. Swimming in a peppery broth, the stately Signature Beef Noodles (S$7.90 a la carte) is the bulwark of this menu. In times of hesitation, its balance of plain Thick noodles and flavourful beef is a good initiation for first-timers.

The peppery broth leaves its stain on the chewy noodles that make them moreishly addictive even if you outgrow the beef, which can get too gelatinous with the fat.

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Here’s a hot tip: have twice the amount of coriander you’d usually go for with every mouthful. You’ll know what I mean when you taste the fresh twang against the pleasantly pungent meat.

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To qualify for the ‘buy one get 1 free’ promotion, you need to make one of your noodle orders part of a value set at a S$4 top-up. This includes a Braised Egg, Side Dish, and Homemade Drink. Hell, yeah. You’re going to want the drink when you parch yourself on the savoury meal.

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Smooth Leak Leap noodles show off their silky glory as they glisten in the aftereffects of a toss in light brown sauce. 

Without the peppery soup to neutralise it, the beef in the Dry Beef Noodles (S$7.90 a la carte) comes off much gamier in this bowl than in the Signature Beef Noodles.

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For a mandatory contrast of flavour, suan cai (Chinese sauerkraut) adds an acerbic sharpness to the rich Dry Beef Noodles. Crunchy and piercing, there’s nothing to say that its sour standoffishness is unwelcome.

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Served alongside the Dry Beef Noodles is a soup with tinges of sweet and savoury that is as delicious drizzled over the noodles as when guzzled alone. 

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Perhaps the least expected star in the oblique MEET Noodles is the Egg & Veg Burger (S$4), with its unassuming dissimilarity from the whole Lan Zhou beef noodle speciality here. It’s simple, but it pleases. As I munch, it strikes me as the kind of food ideal for an eat-and-run type of situation.

Pressed in a Chinese-style crispy bun is a fried egg with green onions speckled throughout the omelette. It’s fried to a lacy edge while the middle remains soft and firm. Though the egg errs on the saltier side, the fried bun entices me back for more with its fluffy dough encased in a sesame seed studded crust. With this dish, I’m convinced that MEET Noodles knows their carbs well. 

Final thoughts

MEET Noodles has been a faithful fixture in the Clementi scene for as long as I remember. It’s a humble establishment that stands firm in its speciality, creating dishes to be proud of. 

With their blue-patterned crockery and straightforward menu, they’ve established their commitment to do tradition justice.

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Love them or hate them, the noodles are undeniably skilfully prepared. I’d recommend MEET Noodles to diners who enjoy strong and peppery flavours. My favourite dish oscillated between all three throughout the meal. That, to me, marks MEET Noodles’ full effort in each dish. 

Come here with a friend—the food is the only ca-noodling you’ll need, but extra stomach space is an advantage. 

ChopeDeals: Save 50% at Meet Noodles >

Expected Damage: S$4 – S$11.90 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

MEET Noodles

3151 Commonwealth Avenue West, Grantral Mall, #01-15 , Singapore 129581

Price
Our Rating 4/5

MEET Noodles

3151 Commonwealth Avenue West, Grantral Mall, #01-15 , Singapore 129581

Operating Hours: 10.30am - 10pm (Daily)

Operating Hours: 10.30am - 10pm (Daily)

Mentai-Ya: Afffordable Mentaiko donsn

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