Last Updated: March 16, 2021
Give me anything that involves noodles and soup, and I’ll slurp it up at light speed. Top that with a seafood base and you basically won’t have to speak to me for the next twenty minutes because my mouth will just be busy chowing everything down. Yes, an oddly specific request, yet Mian Jia Noodle Bar delivers with their hearty noodle bowls that are just as comforting as a warm hug on a slow Monday afternoon.
At the cusp of Holland Village, the noodle bar is like a mighty chilli padi—humble in mere size, but what awaits will definitely catch you by surprise in the best way possible. Everything about the place screams modern seafood restaurant, and it takes everything in me not to order at least half the menu in one sitting.
A delicious Prawn in Lobster Supreme Broth Noodle (S$17.90) is the restaurant’s latest addition, but first, let me clarify. Before you go sleuthing around for the elusive lobster chunks, I’ll solve the mystery once and for all by letting you know that it’s incorporated well into the thick, umami broth that I still think about ‘til this very day.
Large, plump prawns, as well as succulent prawn balls, sit atop an already arresting bowl of noodle soup. For those who enjoy your shrimp just as much as a delightfully briny broth, this one has your name written all over it.
Luckily for you, Mian Jia Noodle Bar is running a 1-for-1 promotion on this very dish from 18 to 23 March 2021, so you can get your very first taste of the new kid in town then. My well-adored seafood broth is boiled for four hours on a daily basis, so that’s when you know the commitment is real.
You can also savour the charming prawn broth in all its glory by opting for the dry version—the Prawn in Lobster Supreme Broth With Special Sauce Dry Noodle (S$17.90). Here, you’ll get to segment the two experiences; gulping down spoonfuls of rich shrimp soup, while also hurriedly slurping up chewy, savoury noodles. It’s definitely a win-win if I’ve ever seen one.
If the brininess of seafood is too much for you to bear (though I can’t imagine why), a lighter version exists and is equally satisfying. The Handmade Pork Ball Tonkotsu Broth Noodle (S$9.90) isn’t just ‘Chinese ramen’, no—in fact, where effort and time are concerned, it beats its prawn counterpart flat, taking a whopping 10 hours of preparation time. And it shows.
Despite not having a trace of seafood in the tonkotsu broth, the pork-based soup still proves splendid bursts of aroma, with just a tinge of creaminess to supplement its full-bodied flavour.
Have it with Mian Jia’s scrumptious handmade meat balls as we did, or top it off with an opulent serving of their Special Stewed Iberico Pork.
Intersperse your bites with the perennial Spicy Chili Oil Homemade Wanton (S$5.90), a classic on any Chinese menu, and also one of my go-to’s whenever I’m craving more than just a lonesome main.
There’s almost everything to love about the unpretentious dumpling. It’s got juicy bouts of meat, a thin layer of skin to hold it all together, and is drenched in mouth-wateringly spicy oil. Only, Mian Jia Noodle Bar does it better, with wantons plumper than any others I’ve ever seen. And believe me, I’ve had a lot of dumplings in my year-long career as a food writer.
The Five Spice Crispy Pork Chop (S$6.90) also makes for an addictive side dish, seeing how it has my colleague, Corliss, reaching for seconds; and only a few things get her riled up and excited the way ketchup and white chocolate do (separately, of course, she’s not a monster). Lightly battered and adequately seasoned, the pork strips are great for snacking on just before your main courses arrive.
I want to declare that the lobster broth noodles are my favourite main here at Mian Jia, but it’s so difficult to say that definitively when the Preserved Vegetable Fish Fillet Tonkotsu Broth Noodle (S$14.90) exists. Don’t be fooled into shelving this as just another iteration of the sour-savoury dish—it’s got a balance of flavour that’s unparalleled; with umami notes coming in strong and accompanied by just a tinge of acidity from the preserved vegetables.
The fish slices, unsurprisingly, are also much to shout about. “Omg, it’s so soft”, exclaims Corliss, as her eyes go wide as marbles, and sis is exactly right. Tender, smooth slices of fish practically melt in your mouth the minute you spoon them in; and just like that, they’re depleting off the bowl quicker than you can say, “Meghan Markle’s reputation!”
To fulfil your quota of greens for the day, perhaps you’ll break your meat-and-noodles streak for the Chilled Baby Kai Lan in Roasted Sesame Sauce (S$4.90). Even if you’re one to shun anything that’s green and leafy, I reckon that the creamy sesame sauce will do an adequate job in turning drab to fab.
Finally, close off with the Mian Jia Famous Fried Chicken Wings (S$6.90) if you’ve still got the space for it—there’s no fanfare to this one, just reliable, well-seasoned wings that you can depend on. Though, I’ve also got my eye on the Crispy Golden Shrimp Cutlet (S$6.90), which I’ll make a beeline for the next time I swing by.
I’m tempted to give at least three items on the menu the pleasure of receiving this award, but I know that restraint is what I must practise in order to maintain the sanctity of the Chef’s Kiss Awards.
Even amidst all the great fare I’ve had at Mian Jia Noodle Bar, the lobster broth still rings true as this afternoon’s winner. And if me slurping everything up until the last drop isn’t testament enough to just how divine the soup was, then I don’t know what is. There are just simply very few things that cause me to tumble head over heels in love the way a great seafood-based broth does.
And even if you’re having only one item here at Mian Jia, and if your diet allows for it, please let a bowl of lobster broth noodles be it.
Everything that needs to be said has already been mentioned in this article that just doesn’t seem to end, but before I close, here’s a word of advice—bring a group of friends when you make the trip to Mian Jia Noodle Bar; it’s simply the only way you’ll get to try everything that your stomach desires.
Expected damage: S$10.40 – S$31.40 per pax
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Mian Jia Noodle Bar.
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 5 / 5
Mian Jia Noodle Bar 麺家料理
19 Lorong Liput, Holland Village, Singapore 277732
19 Lorong Liput, Holland Village, Singapore 277732