[Updated 29 July 2015] My foodie friend blamed me for my original post “Mak’s Noodle Is Underwhelming and Salty”, because when she went, “The noodles were bland! Your fault lah.”
I actually went back again, because I DO LIKE Mak’s Noodle in Hong Kong. This time round, they got the saltiness level about right, and the after-alkaline taste has been vastly reduced.
There is still a queue though not as long, service staff were better able able to handle the customers with friendliness. Chat with them in Cantonese if you can.
[Original Post] The famous Hong Kong Mak’s Noodle has opened in Singapore at Centrepoint. I am a fan of Mak’s Noodle 麥奀雲吞麵世家, so much so that I have pretty much tried almost all of their other branches from Wellington Street Central, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui to Jordan. (Read: Best Wonton Noodles In Hong Kong)
For those who has yet to try Mak’s Noodle, and wonder what the fuss over this tiny-bowled wanton noodles, history plays a part.
The shop at Central is run by direct descendants of Mak Woon-chi, the ‘wonton master’ who brought the dish from Guangzhou to Hong Kong.
Now the irony.
Disciple’s Ho Hung Kee retains its one Michelin star in 2015, while Mak’s Noodle is nowhere to be found on the current Michelin Guide (the copy is right in my hands). It is not even listed under the “Big Gourmand Restaurants” – an un-starred but recommended list that Mak’s Noodle used to be in. So what happened?
Mak’s Noodle at Centrepoint was small and buzzing, with friendly polite ‘uncle and auntie’ type Cantonese speaking staff who added to the authenticity and vibes.
The menu is clearly divided into sections – tossed noodle, soup dishes, side dishes and beverages. Prices are slightly higher than Hong Kong’s, but this is inevitable. A Wonton Noodle Soup is priced $6.90 here, while in Hong Kong a bowl would be about HK$36 (SGD$6.30).
Verdict? If I could summarise in a word – salty.
Its noodle retained that same stupendously thin springy quality, but the soup was almost to the point of unbearably salty.
The customers next to me (tables were so close you could hear everything) complained about the strong alkaline taste, “Hong Kong not so strong leh!”.
Have to agree.
So eat the noodles and leave the soup alone.
The dry noodles fared better. The Tossed Noodle with Beef Tendon and Brisket ($10) did give us a hint of Hong Kong’s version – slippery smooth tender tendon, but if only they were less salty.
Even the Kai Lan in Oyster Sauce ($4.90) which I remember to be neatly chopped up and fresh sweet tasting, was lingering in bitterness.
Mak’s Noodle seemed to be off to a shaky start taste-wise. Fans will definitely still go for a try (I will actually again too), but do not go expecting that same experience as Hong Kong’s.
No. 176 Orchard Road #01-63/64 The Centrepoint Singapore 238843 (Somerset MRT)
Tel: +65 6235 5778
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (last order at 9:30pm)
Westgate outlet: 3 Gateway Drive #02-06 Westgate Shopping Mall, Singapore 608532