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Food

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle: Tasty Thai Boat Noodles From S$1.80 Hidden In Hougang

Last Updated: April 2, 2019

Written by Tiffany Tan

Located in the heart of Hougang is Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle, a hidden treasure that serves tantalising and very affordable bowls of Thai boat noodles.

Hougang has definitely been given a new lease of life since its pig-rearing days. Today, there are numerous notable eateries in the area that you’ll want to check out.

You’ve probably walked right past this unassuming restaurant, since it’s nestled amongst dozens of beauty salons. For those of you who remember the now-closed Nung Len Thai Restaurant along Mackenzie Road, Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle is actually helmed by the same team.

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle 1

Structured like a shophouse, diners place their orders on the first floor before dining on level two. The dining area isn’t exactly the most spacious, so pop by a little earlier to ensure you get a seat.

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle 2

Surprisingly,  Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle does not offer the usual rice option on the menu.

Diners can instead choose from three types of noodle dishes: Pork, Beef and Tom Yum. They’re each priced at S$1.80 for the small bowl and S$6 for the regular bowl.

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle 3 2

Although there were only two broths to choose from, their option of smaller bowls gives diners the luxury of trying almost all the mains. Being someone who always struggles with settling for just one thing on the menu, their concept of small tasting bowls really appealed to me.

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle 4

We tried their Tom Yum Boran (S$6.50) with glass noodles. If you’re an avid fan of tom yum, this is an interesting rendition of the spicy noodles.

Tom Yum Boran literally translates to ‘traditional tom yum’. Their version was served in a mildly spicy and sour broth with crushed dried chillies, chopped peanuts, bean sprouts and minced meat.

We felt that while the broth was undoubtedly tasty, it was leaning towards the sour side and tasted rather similar to mee siam. If your spice tolerance is low, you can still enjoy this dish.

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle 5

The soup also came with several pieces of squid, prawn and a handful of crispy wanton skin. The seafood didn’t really beef up the dish, but it was a rather hearty bowl of tom yum overall.

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle 6

We ordered mini bowls of the Thai Pork and Beef Noodles with Thai noodles and thick noodles respectively (S$1.80 each). The beef broth was flavourful and sweet, while the pork broth had a stronger herbal taste, reminding me vaguely of a less garlicky and peppery bak kut teh.

Both mini bowls were accompanied by half a meatball and a slice of meat. For the pork bowl, there was also an addition of a slice of liver. The mini bowls were great for tasting and though there was a substantial amount, we finished them quickly in a few mouthfuls.

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle 7

I particularly liked how the noodles in both bowls were still springy. They weren’t soggy at all, even after soaking in the broth for quite a while.

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle 8

I would definitely recommend the mini bowls if you’re keen on trying the different broth and noodle combinations. Sadly, the Tom Yum Boran is only available in regular size.

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle 9

They offer a good selection of sides as well. As I’m a huge fan of fish sauce despite its infamously pungent smell, we opted for the Fish Sauce Winglet (S$4).

The fish sauce marinade really did wonders. It gave the winglets a savoury umami flavour, making it a satisfying and addictive snack.

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle 10

The place also serves up classic Thai drinks, but we wanted something different and milder, so we went for their Butterfly Pea With Milk Tea (S$2.80). The addition of milk made the usually earthy tea taste much like regular unsweetened milk tea.

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle 11

Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the drink, I’d still order it again just because it looks pretty. If you’re into mesmerising pretty drinks like I am, you should give their Butterfly Pea With Milk Tea a try too.


If you’re thai-erd of your usual Thai food haunts, Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle is definitely a place worth visiting. The regular bowls make a hearty meal any time of the day and you no longer have to steal your friend’s food for samples, given that they have small-bowl servings available.

I wouldn’t say that the food here sent me to the streets of Thailand, though they were nevertheless worth the price. I certainly enjoyed my meal, and I’m sure you’ll find that the Thai boat noodles here have a unique edge to them.

Be sure to drop by this hidden Thai restaurant next time you’re in the ‘hood!

Expected Damage: S$1.80 – S$10 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodles

1187 Upper Serangoon Road, The Midtown, #01-22, Singapore 533971

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodles

1187 Upper Serangoon Road, The Midtown, #01-22, Singapore 533971

Operating Hours: 12.30pm - 10.30pm (Mon - Fri), 12.30pm - 4pm & 6pm - 10.30pm (Sat & Sun)

Operating Hours: 12.30pm - 10.30pm (Mon - Fri), 12.30pm - 4pm & 6pm - 10.30pm (Sat & Sun)

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