We stumbled upon LeNu at the revamped food basement of Bugis Junction, not realising that the Taiwanese beef noodles outlet is part of the Paradise Group.
The decor is simple but attractive with cool graffiti art. They try to recreate in air-conditioned comfort the feel of the Taipei street food store complete with the small wooden tables and, rather uncomfortable, chairs. Like street stores, LeNu is a place for enjoying good food but not some much for lounging or chit-chatting over a slow meal.
The somewhat taciturn waiting staff were attentive and efficient. They proffered no fuss excellent service.
The menu offers a choice of braised beef, beef shank, beef brisket, beef tendon, wagyu beef or some combination of the items. You then choose the soup and decide if you want thin or broad noodles or rice noodles. There are a few side dishes like chilled tofu and chilled pickled tomatoes. For non-beef eaters, they offer a LeNu special dry noodles and Noodles with Chicken Chop in Tomato Soup.
On each table, there is a pot of dipping sauce, which is said to be “homemade”, “prepared fresh every morning” and which would “elevate the taste and richness of the beef”. They also emphasise that they do not use MSG.
We ordered the Braised Beef Shank broad noodles with the “Authentic braised beef soup” ($8.90), the Braised Beef Tendon & Brisket thin noodles with “braised beef soup with pickled cabbage” ($12.90) as well as the Beef Combination noodles ($13.90). We also ordered the steamed Tang-O ($4.90) and, as appetisers, the chilled crunchy cucumbers and sugarcoated whitebait ($2.90 each).
The food was served promptly. The vegetables and appetisers were fine but not something to write home about. We were a little disappointed when the Taiwan soybean milk we ordered arrived in the form of canned drinks; though, it must be said that it tasted a tad better than the usual canned soya milk from the supermarket.
The portions for the beef noodles were generous with thick slices or chunks of beef. The beef was well-seasoned and tender. The soups were rich and flavourful but not overpowering. The soup with pickled cabbage has an interesting sour twist to it. Both the broad noodles and thin noodles had nice texture with the right springiness.
On the whole, LeNu would be a place we would return to if we want beef noodles.
Average price per person for lunch – $17.
Lenu at Bugis Junction
200 Victoria Street #B1-22
Tel : +65 6336 7965
Open Daily from 11.00 am to 10.00 pm
Nearby MRT Stations: Bugis