Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Boat noodles: Who's docking and sailing away?

The boat noodle rage is still ongoing but with so many restaurants popping up and selling the same dish, will this competition help them thrive or will they go out one by one? I think only a few can reign supreme in this battle.

Boat Noodle , Jaya One (I guess it is Malaysia's pioneer and the first branch was famous, located in Empire Damansara) 
It was my first time there and I'm sorry to say it will be my last. I also apologize but I forgot to take pictures of the noodles there! The good thing about this chain is that it is halal so many people can have a taste of boat noodles, service is good too!

But I think that if you are not going for the authentic route, you have make it taste just as good too but sadly, the soup base is really lacking of flavour like there's no depth or something's just missing. There are two kinds of broth where you can pick the normal or spicier base in either soup or dry form with but you won't be able to tell the difference between the non-spicy and spicy because both taste the same. I expected some tomyam soup for the spicy version but nope, it ain't tomyam.

The desserts were mediocre too, I remember I had the bite-sized kuihs and a fruit salad which was nothing special.

KL rates:
Food- 4/10
Price- RM1.90 per bowl 
Service- 6/10 
Variety- 5/10

Kuey Tiew Reua Authentic Thai Boat Noodles , Kuchai Lama (Non-halal)
This is where I had my first bowl of boat noodles and I wouldn't mind going back here if the service was better. Although the manager was there, he did not bother to come and greet his customers who were waiting to be seated. For me, that just shows how much he 'cares' for his business. Call me a critical person but I know they just opened and everything is still not well-prepared but giving a good first impression is key, in my books.

This is their menu. 

The fish sauce and salt, chilli powder and green chilli sambal sauce you can add to your noodles.

The beau and I had to wait for an hour just for these small bowls. We ordered 2 dry and 2 soup of thai kuey teow noodles.

I like the soup base, it was sweet and packed with flavour. I would add a bit of the green chilli sambal sauce to give it a kick!

Pork boat noodles
I like that they gave a decent amount of pork meat. Would have ordered more but we couldn't wait another hour for more bowls to come so we left.

KL rates:
Food- 6/10
Price- RM1.90 per bowl 
Service- 3/10
Variety- 4/10

Zab Zab Boat Noodle , Kuchai Lama
My cousin told me about this other boat noodle restaurant that's in the same vicinity as Kuey Tiew Reua. First thing that's better? The prompt service! They were fast and polite. It's air-conditioned which is tres important on hot afternoons! You can choose to vermicelli or thai kuey teow with their two different broths:

Thai style pork soup. I like how it's not too rich and with additional condiments, it can be as spicy or more salty if you're into that. I wish the amount of crispy pork lard is more consistent though.

Tomyam soup. The first boat noodle place I found that has a tomyam based soup and I love it! It's not too spicy so you can still add more chilli powder to make the spiciness to your liking. Also, you can order a plate of pork chips to add more crunch to your meal!

I had 7 bowls of noodles which just fills me up nicely but I could eat more. :P

KL rates:
Food- 7/10
Price- RM1.90 per bowl 
Service- 7/10 
Variety- 7/10

Sawadee Boat Noodle , Sri Petaling
Yes, you can finally get boat noodles in Sri Petaling! It's about time too, with the new shop lots that's about to turn this area into a foodie destination. This recently opened establishment is located at the new shop lots opposite The Store, same row with a chicken restaurant.

Their old menu. The owner told us that they will start selling street food such as BBQ skewers, mango sticky rice and coconut jelly on the next day when we went last week so if you go now, you'll be able to try their new items!

The beau and I ordered 2 bowls for each category of noodles in the traditional boat noodles and the original boat noodles. This here is the original broth. Also my Samsung S3 camera went cray after I took this picture, hence, the distorted picture.

Kuey Tiew.

Thai instant noodles. The owner taught us to add a bit of chilli powder and red chilli sauce to eat boat noodles the right way. Be warned about the green chilli that's also on your table because that one is really spicy!

Vermicelli noodles. I think I prefer to have the original broth with this noodles. It absorbs more soup so there's more flavour!

Pork chips!!! Also RM1.90 per bowl for a decent amount.

In traditional boat noodle soup. The difference? The broth was made with coconut milk.

I think this version is not bad but not many people will be fans of the creamy and a little sweet aftertaste from the coconut milk, like the beau. But he loves the original soup and to him this place serves the best.

KL rates:
Food- 6/10
Price- RM1.90 per bowl 
Service- 6/10 
Variety- 6/10

Overall, I like Zab Zab Boat Noodle and Sawadee Boat Noodle. Both places offer different broths and the service is great. In Zab Zab's case, you have to go early to avoid the long queues while at Sawadee, you won't have queues. However, both places have parking issues so may the force be with you if you're planning to go during peak timings.

So which is your favourite boat noodles restaurant? Let me know in the comments below so I can check out the ones I have not tried! :)

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