Friday, October 17, 2014

GRUB Noodle Bar - More Than Just Noodles

Formerly a cooking studio/school, the newly minted GRUB Noodle Bar at Rangoon Road is a fresh new take on noodle gastronomy in Singapore.

It is situated just opposite the popular Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh, and walking in, you get a sense of a white, cosy chic ambience that is both pleasing and comforting.

Despite the noodle monicker found in their name, this eatery actually serves a fascinating selection of appetisers that will pair well with some of the beer that are on offer here.

Infusing some local touches into their tapas like appetisers, it is both inventive and refreshing. The catch among these appetisers is a large assortment of seafood that taste really fresh and I was informed that they have a very reliable seafood supplier.

Hokkaido Scallop Tataki

This beautifully plated dish consisted of sashimi sliced Hokkaido scallops that have been torched lightly to elicit the tataki touch. Garnished with some zesty mandarin slices and drizzled with a sweet mustard glaze, it made for the perfect appetiser. Pretty and refreshing, it is definitely an ideal way to get your evening off on a great note.

Venus Clams

The idea behind this clam dish is a great one. Beer braised with a touch of lemongrass and ginger that is all oriental inclined, the slight flaw is the final execution. It could have done with a bit more reduction to get the sauce more balanced and intense, and to give it a better punch. I would have liked to have a bit of buttery finish to have a bit more richness to the other flavours as well.

Kang Kong Salad

This fusion of kang kong and achar was just about my favourite dish of the night. Simple but beautifully executed, it showed a giddy mixture of texture and crunch. Freshly made achar also gave it a zing and a sharpness that will pull any diner out of his/her stupor. It was one heck of an addictive dish.

Chicken Drumlets

The curry leaves and garlic sesame marinate that coated the batter for the drumlets could not be faulted. Despite using regular frozen chicken, the chicken still had a good, moist interior and the spicy, savoury and crispy batter made it the perfect beer companion.

Signature Beef Noodles

The much anticipated beef noodles proved to be a surprise. It was certainly unlike any beef noodles that I have had eaten before. Using a specially selected egg noodle, the initial impression came across more as a Chinese Ja Jiang Noodle (Shanghai styled minced pork) noodles.

But the minced pork was substituted by beef instead, and it had a very pleasing charred and smoky tone to it. Compounded by a sweet tasting sauce, the bowl of dry noodles were accompanied by a number of handmade beef balls. Unfortunately, the beef balls were not properly seasoned and had a very dry texture, despite being cooked to a pink perfection. Otherwise, the minced beef egg noodles was very delectable and easy to eat.

Each bowl of dry noodles here is also paired with a rather large bowl of fresh beef broth and you can choose from a variety of beef cuts to go along. The beef slices were all thinly sliced, and cooked only when the broth is poured into the bowl, thus ensuring that the beef will be nicely medium cooked when you eat it.

I had the Angus Ribeye grain fed beef slices and it was magnificent. Each piece was shabu shabu thin, and had a luscious layer of fat within. Cooked so beautifully, it literally melted into my mouth without a single hint of resistance, and yet it had a presence of tantalising beef intensity within each slice of beef.

As for the broth, it was light and subtle and because it was cooked in a more European style via a mirepoix, there was a hint of a slight herbal perfume from the presence of celery. My only complaint was that it needed a bit more savouriness to compensate the somewhat heightened sense of sweetness encased in the soup.

For a bowl of beef noodles, it may not come across as super affordable, but bearing in mind the labor and the ingredients used in each bowl, it is quite an exciting and new way to savour beef noodles. Whether a larger audience will take to it, however, remains to be seen.

GRUB Noodle Bar may be new, but it has opened with guns a-blazing and is set to be the talk of the town in the coming months.

GRUB Noodle Bar
221 Rangoon Road

1 comment:

  1. Very balanced review. This place is great for expats i must say. On the other hand, if you are an expat and plan on moving to Singapore, do check out I found it to be very useful in finding a place.