Saturday, 30 January 2016

Mak's Noodles & Ice Lab

December, January, February has always been intensive months for my stomach every year. There's a lot of feasting due to the festive mix of Christmas, Birthday and Chinese New Year. And thanks to my Hong Kong trip this year, I quite reached my quota with the body insisting on light food like porridge. Hence the trip to Mak's Noodles was done with the intention of having some good authentic porridge like they do in Hong Kong at other Michelin starred wonton mee outlets like Ho Hung Kee. Ironically, I would only return to Ho Hung Kee for their porridge. As it turns out, I went to the Centrepoint outlet and was disappointed to find out that congee is only available at the West Gate outlet.

I have never eaten Mak's Noodles before despite visiting Hong Kong 4 times. Hence this meal is really to find out what all the fuss is really about. Given that Mak's Noodles originated from Hong Kong and that Hong Kong wonton mee is more popular for their soup base version, we pretty much picked all the soup dishes.

We settled for Wonton & Dumpling Noodle Soup ($8.50) and Wonton & Beef Tendon Noodle Soup ($9.50). My conclusion after my third attempt trying Hong Kong wonton mee is that it's not my thing. I still prefer the local dry version tossed with chilli or sweet sauce, garnished with char siew and vegetables. To be fair, the wonton are big and the prawns are fresh and crunchy. The dumplings are also rich in flavour and Mak's Noodles spared no expense on the ingredients. The beef tendons based on fussy pot's feedback is really tender. (I don't really eat beef so I didn't try) Above all, the noodles were springy and crispy. That said, I didn't like the soup base which I feel is an acquired taste. Besides the noodles, we also ordered a double boiled soup with shrimp roe ($3.50). While the soup is light and the shrimp taste is present, I just feel the soup didn't measure up to other type of better tasting soups in Hong Kong. Being a strong advocate that one of the wins Hong Kong have over Singapore is their boiled soup, this one left us thirsty after the meal which leaves me to question how much MSG was added. 

Mak's Noodles is worth a go if you wish to try authentic Hong Kong wonton mee without the aeroplane. I can attest that their rendition is exactly how Hong Kong Michelin star wonton mee taste. While I probably won't be back for wonton mee, I will be sure to pop by Westgate to try authentic Hong Kong congee which I so sorely miss. 

Mak's Noodles
176 Orchard Road Centrepoint #01-63/64
(The Westgate outlet has a wider menu)

Today feels like try foreign food day. Mak's Noodles offer really small portions, so it's almost certain there will be room for desserts. I picked Ice Lab, which is opened by Korean actor Shin Jung Hwan. It was impeccably decorated and you feel like you are in Korea because of the Korean staff serving you. 

We picked Mango Bingsoo ($19.30) as it is one of the recommended flavours and I've eaten Mango Bingsu at Nunsaram at Orchard Central and Snowman Desserts (the one who started my love for Bingsu) at Nex thus it'll be easy to compare. This one is by far the worst! In my view, whether a bingsu tastes great is based on the milkiness of the milk shavings, if the fruits and ice cream blend in with the milk shavings and the sauce that goes with it. The one at Ice Lab tasted like mango ice kachang with kiwi randomly added into the mix. The milk shavings was sweet ice with nothing that give me indication they are milk shavings if I never ate bingsu before. To top it off, the kiwi tasted sour and fussy pot totally didn't touch them after one bite.

I probably won't be back again if I want my bingsu fix. I'd rather walk a few more steps and satisfy my bingsu craving at Nunsaram where I first convinced Fussy Pot what the fuss over bingsu was about. Please please please don't make this your virgin bingsu experience if you haven't eaten Bingsu before. It's not a good representation of good bingsu. 

Ice Lab
#01-01/02 321 Orchard Road