Auntie behind me asked, “Oh, only sell two noodles… Beef noodles and Assam Laska. What can I eat here?” I was amused, also wondering if this is what most customers feel.
GRUB after setting up FIX Café has made a bold foray into setting up a modern noodle bar, something I feel much lacking in the Singapore market. Sure, we can pay $15-25 for ramen, but would we be willing pay that for Beef Noodles (‘Gu Bak Mee’ lah), especially one cooked with quality 150-day grainfed Angus ribeye.
GRUB Noodle Bar is no Wagamama yet, but one can see its potential.
The number of noodles here – Two. Just two for the moment. One Beef Noodles and One Assam Laksa. If you don’t take beef, it’s highly likely a sayonara.
Side dishes such as Kang Kang Salad ($7), Chicken Drumlets ($9), Tiger Prawns ($15) and Venus Clams ($13) are available.
The Beef Noodles come in variety of “pasture-fed brisket” ($12), rump ($15), angus sirloin ($17), and I-think-they-need-to-emphasize-this “100% Hormone & Antibiotic Free 150 Days Grainfed Angus Ribeye” ($19).
Auntie probably didn’t care much about that. “Hao bu hao chi?” (Nice or not), she continued.
Noodles are freshly made daily, which had texture similar to the Chinese la-mian – chewy and floury. Topped with minced beef and mushroom stew, the experience almost felt like having zha-jiang mian. Add some of their awesome chinchalok for flavours.
A pity the beef balls, all dry and shriveled, were a let-down.
The best part was its soup, light but comforting, flavours coming beef bones and slight sweetness of vegetables. Beef was thinly sliced and tender, generous in portions, including the weightage used was almost half of a regular steak.
We did feel that the regular customers might have preferred a soup base with more intensity. Then, we realised what could have been missing… Ah, MSG. Healthier better lah!
Many local stalls dabble with authentic Penang food but cannot quite get the flavours right. We thought GRUB’s Assam Laksa ($13) all sweet, tangy and spicy together with its fish gravy and pineapple chunks, was a decent attempt and we could return for this.
On my wish-list, a greater variety in its menu such as pork rib prawn noodle and handmade fishball soup (Is it a lot to wish for?). And they should really consider selling their chinchalok in bottles.
[Updated Feb 2015] Oh yes, GRUB Noodle Bar is now opened for lunch too. The bosses probably read this post and have included Bak Chorizo Pork Noodles or Grilled Sea Prawn Noodles into their menu. Yeah.
GRUB Noodle Bar
221 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218459
Tel: 6341 5631
Opening hours: Lunch: 11am to 3pm, Dinner 7pm – 12:30am (Tues-Sun), Closed Mon & last Tuesday of the month