Last Updated: August 13, 2020
Have you ever experienced a gastronomic déjà vu where you are suddenly taken back in time after a bite of a particular food or dish? Well, I recently did.
All thanks to Noodle Star K, I got to relive my days studying in Korea, rushing down the street after class to my favourite sik dang (cafeteria) for a piping hot bowl of kalguksu (Korean noodles) or a refreshing bowl of naengmyeon (cold noodles).
Located in Tanjong Pagar—home to a slew of Korean restaurants and eateries—Noodle Star K is the new kid on the block. Opened by the same brains behind Singapore’s Korean BBQ pioneer, Super Star K, the eatery primes itself as the first and only Korean noodles speciality restaurant in Singapore.
As the biggest fan of all things long and slurp-able, I just couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to check this place out. Braving the weekend crowd, I made my way to the neighbourhood of Tanjong Pagar for a long-awaited noodle feast.
With the blazing heat of the sun shining through, all I could think of walking towards the restaurant was cooling myself over a bowl of icy cold noodles. Thankfully, the wait for a seat didn’t take long and within a few minutes, I found myself nestled comfortably in the corner of the minimalist decorated restaurant.
Spanning over two stories of the shophouse it was situated in, Noodle Star K is able to comfortably house more than 50 diners under its roof. Decked in whites and accents of browns, the interior is simply decorated for a comfortable and homely dining experience.
The very first bowl of naengmyeon I had was during the summer months while I was in Korea. Coming back home, I have always wondered why haven’t we caught onto this food trend as it is the perfect dish made for our year-round hot and humid weather.
Between the Mul Naengmyeon (S$15.80) and the Bibim Naengmyeon (S$13.80), I never fail to choose the latter. Made with a mixture of potato starch and buckwheat, the greyish-brown slender noodles is one unlike no other. Its distinct chewy and springy texture might feel unfamiliar at first but it has a certain charm that lures you back for more after your first bite.
Working together making this dish truly unforgettable was the spicy sauce, thinly sliced white radish kimchi, boiled pork, and cucumber, topped off with half a hard-boiled egg. Mix everything together and you will get a fun melange of flavours and textures all in a bowl.
Cool, refreshing, yet subtly spicy and tangy; this has got to be one of the best ways to work up an appetite, even under the scorching heat!
Moving on to my next bowl, Jjajangmyeon (S$12), it is probably the only food in the world that is black in colour. Yet, I will willingly shove it greedily into my mouth. As much as I was expecting to be blown away just like the Bibim Naengmyeon, Noodle Star K’s Jjajangmyeon sadly lacked in flavour. Mediocre, I would say.
Despite having a balance of sweet and savoury notes from the use of onions and the bits of pork and potatoes fried into the black bean sauce, the gravy, in my opinion, was a tad bit too watery. And as such, it failed to capture the “taste of fire” which I usually enjoy in my bowl of Jjajangmyeon.
If naengmyeon is the go-to summer dish, then you will find comfort in a bowl of guksu on sweater weathers. Seafood lovers will enjoy the Seafood Kalguksu (S$13.80), Korean knife-cut noodles served smokin’ hot alongside an array of prawns, clams, squid, and mussels.
At first, the broth tasted slightly salty. However, it later dissolved into a satisfying blend of umami with hints of the ocean attributed to hours of toil over the stove. The generous addition of seaweed flakes further contributed the briny flavours, resulting in a flavourful concoction bursting with sweetness from the sea.
A bowl of noodles alone might not be satisfying enough and that’s where the Gogi Mandu (S$9.80) comes to play. Steamed upon order, the dumplings were packed with minced pork and chives.
Each bite retained whiffs of garlic that packed a punch. Yet, it was not too overpowering. The only complaint I have about these packets of goodness was that the skin dried out pretty fast in the air-conditioned room. Thus, try to eat them while they are still warm to avoid having to bite into the outer layer when it hardens.
There might be hits and misses at Noodle Star K, but I thoroughly enjoyed the overall experience. Will I ever go back again? Yes, definitely. If nothing else, it would be for their Bibim Naengmyeon.
Expected Damage: S$16 – S$25 per pax
Our Rating: 3 / 5
Noodle Star K
58 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088479
58 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088479