Much has been written about A Noodle Story at Amoy Street Food Centre, a hawker stall listed on the Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide since 2016. Recently, it caused a storm in a noodle bowl when it published a post on its Facebook page with the heading “I’m Going Totally Naked With You！” After that Facebook post was published, we went to eat the famed Singapore styled ramen of A Noodle Story. We would say that both the story about their noodles and the Facebook post are worth retelling.
A Noodle Story 超好面 is co-founded by young ‘hawkerpreneurs’ Gwern Khoo and Ben Tham, who are Shatec graduates and chefs with working experience in fine dining restaurants like Waku Ghin, Iggy’s, Jaan par Andre and Saint Pierre. Their one-dish-only stall in Amoy Street Food Centre offers a premium rendition of wanton mee and prawn mee with a Japanese ramen twist.
A Hard Work Story
Amoy Street Food Centre is an old school hawker centre built in the 80s. It is naturally ventilated and sometimes you get birds coming in to peck on leftover food. A Noodle Story 超好面 is located right inside the food centre next to the wall murals. There is almost always a queue at the stall. Part of the reason for the queue is that each bowl of noodle is carefully prepared to order. Standing in line to wait for our noodles, we could see for ourselves the hard work and dedication of the chefs. That brings us to the story about “I’m Going Totally Naked With You” Facebook post.
Since they first started business, the higher than normal prices charged by A Noodle Story at Amoy Street Food Centre had been a talking point. Thus, any price increase would be a hard sell. A Noodle Story put up a Facebook Post on 21 February 2018 to announce that their prices would be adjusted to S$8 for a small bowl and S$11 for the medium one. What was unusual was that the announcement also explained the rationale for the price increase with a detailed breakdown of the retail price of each the individual ingredient that would go into a bowl of noodles. The post also highlighted the long hours of tiring work of hawkers and hawker assistants. You can read their “I’m Going Totally Naked With You” Facebook post in full here.
Not surprisingly, the announcement invited typical Singaporean comments such as “...sing song so much just to sell overpriced hawker food. For $11 I rather go an actual restaurant“. Fans and supporters of A Noodle Story responded with comments like “I ate their food before and can tell these people really put in a lot effort in their food and their food cost is not as low as you guys think”. The interesting announcement and the contentious exchange of comments that ensued were picked up by social media.
So that was the little storm in a noodle bowl caused by the Facebook post, which certainly generated more publicity for A Noodle Story. Judging by the long queue at the stall when we visited after the post appeared, the price increase did not seem to affect demand one bit.
$8 Wanton Mee
When we saw how Gwern Khoo and Ben Tham carefully prepared each of the two bowls of noodles we had ordered and the end results, we had no doubt in our minds that the price of $8 was not unreasonable.
The presentation was as good as those you will find in fancy restaurants where a bottle of still water would cost more than $8. Tender slices of 36-hour sous vide char siew, large succulent wantons, deep fried potato-wrapped prawn, onsen egg, freshly sliced scallions, thin strips of red pepper and other ingredients adorned the bowl of noodles.
The dish looked good and was delicious. The thin wanton noodles had a springy texture. The sauce used and the homemade sambal chilli tantalized the tastebuds when all the flavours come together in the mouth. Perhaps the most underrated part of A Noodle Story at Amoy Street would be the simple bowl of soup that was served with the noodles. We thought it was very tasty.
We have no issue at all about paying $8 for a small bowl of wanton noodles. We appreciate the skill and hard work of the chefs and we enjoyed their noodles. We believe we are getting good value for our money. The story of A Noodle Story at Amoy Street is a story about good food as well as talent and spirit. It is a story worth retelling.
A Noodle Story
Amoy Street Food Centre
#01-39 7 Maxwell Road
A Noodle Story Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri : 11.15 am – 2.30 pm
5.30 pm – 7.30 pm
Sat : 10.30 am – 1.30 pm
Closed on Sunday
Nearby MRT Station: Tanjong Pagar
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog