(https://johorkaki.blogspot.com/) We weren’t planning to eat here at first, just wanting to say hello to the boss 黄成辉 as buddy is a regular at Noodle Man. After chatting with the boss, hearing his story, we decided to drop our dinner plans (for chili crabs) and go straight for master 黄’s la mian instead.
Master 黄 started working at age 16. In the 1970s, when he was working in a hotel kitchen, a la mian master from China joined the crew. Master 黄 learnt the craft from his China master, and later started his own la mian stall in Lau Pa Sat. He moved to 19 Smith Street in Chinatown in the 1990s and is a stalwart there. Over the years, he developed his own style of la mian which has a bouncy spring.
Master 黄 runs the simple little eatery with his wife. It was packed with regulars from locals to expatriates on this Thursday evening.
The menu all on one page – there’s noodles, rice, dumplings, soups, and traditional Chinese desserts. Master 黄 prepares and cooks everything himself. Prices are very reasonable.
We had two baskets of xiao long bao 小笼汤包 (steamed dumpling). The savoury sweet minced pork and soup inside were nice but the most memorable thing about Master 黄’s xiao long bao was the tenderly chewy skin. (Price: $8.80 a basket of 8 dumplings.)
The sourish savoury Sichuan soup with subtle spicy heat was served in a cup suitable for one person. Lots of crunchy julienned bamboo shoot in the starch thicken soup. (Price: $2 a cup of hot and sour soup 四川酸辣汤.)
Master 黄’s Singapore Hokkien Mee 福建虾拉面 caught me by surprise as I haven’t had such a good one for a long time. The noodles were well infused with robust and rich prawny savoury sweet and eggy flavours. The rich stock was reduced by simmering till all its flavours were infused into the la mian without turning them soggy. The strands of thick la mian noodles had a nice tender firm spring which Italians call al dente in spaghetti speak.
The good size prawns were fresh, sweet and juicy crunchy. Master 黄 doesn’t provide sambal chili with his Hokkien Mee. Bring your own sambal chili or ask for cut red chili, and you will have perfect Hokkien Mee 😋 (Price: $6.80 a serving.)
I was never a big fan of zha jiang mian 炸酱拉面 (minced pork with bean paste sauce noodles) as I don’t enjoy limp noodles and often flat tasting sauce.
Master 黄’s la mian had nice bouncy spring and was well enveloped by the well balanced tasty savoury sweet sauce. At last, a zha jiang mian that I really liked. (Price: $6.80 a serving.)
Buddy’s diced chicken fried rice. I didn’t taste it but I heard them said it was good. It does looked good too from what I can see and smell. (Price: $6.80 a serving.)
Recommended for you 👍 Outstanding hand pulled la mian dishes with nice spongy springy chew to the bite. One of my top favourite Singapore Hokkien mee now. Love their zha jiang mian too. I shall be back (because I am hooked on Master 黄’s addictive hand pulled la mian Singapore Hokkien mee).
Four of us, our total bill was about $90+ (drinks included).
Restaurant name: Noodle Man (Lan Zhou La Mian) 兰州拉面
Address: 19 Smith St, Singapore 058933
GPS: 1°16’55.7″N 103°50’39.7″E 🌐 1.282147, 103.844368
Nearest MRT: Chinatown
Tel: 6327 1286
Hours: 12:00 noon to 3:30pm | 6:00pm – 10:00pm