Flying Noodles

Flying Noodles

Category : Food

Sometimes a meal looks so spectacular that you don’t want to spoil it by eating it. Like these flying noodles, the piece de resistance on the menu at Hana restaurant in Singapore.

Cold noodles served with dipping sauce are a staple on Japanese menus, and very refreshing in hot weather, but here they have (quite literally) been taken to new heights.

The slim white somen noodles arrive draped over chopsticks seemingly suspended in mid-air above a handled wooden bowl. You know it is just an optical illusion, and the chopsticks are fixed by a hidden post, but it looks amazing. There is also a point – it’s not just a fun way to present the dish, but also means that the noodles do not go soggy as they sit in the sauce.

And being cold already, the food is not going to spoil whilst you spend ages admiring it and taking pictures!

There are several variations of this dish, and we tried it with both the salted egg yolk and the truffle oil sauces variations. The verdict? Messy but delicious, and great value for $20!

Diet Noodles

Category : Food

Instant noodles may be quick, cheap and filling – they certainly seem to merit their status as a student staple – but they are also pretty high in calories. The average packet, which weighs in at around 85g and contains nothing more than the noodles and a sachet of powdered flavouring, costs a whopping 400 calories. That’s almost half the number you need per day if you are trying to lose weight.

Daughters #1 and #2 eat a lot of noodles, so I was interested to see these low fat, low sodium alternatives from Indonesian brand Tropicana Slim, which at 230 calories per 80g packet, compare very well with the usual version.

The packet is bigger and better illustrated, then there are 4 sachets of spices and sauce inside, all presumably to justify a price that would probably buy you a bundle pack of own-name brand noodles in the same store.

Otherwise it is all very much the same. Add boiling water and leave the noodles to soften and cook, empty in the contents of all the sachets, stir and enjoy.

Except I swiftly discovered what is probably the real reason these are diet noodles – they taste very dull despite the spices, and they have a stringy texture which makes them a chore to eat. I gave up and had something else instead.

Long Life Noodle(s)

It’s a typical Asian quirk that eating noodles is supposed to be lucky, especially at the Lunar New Year or on your birthday – the longer the noodles, the longer you will live. So try not to cut them up, whatever the time of year!

One place in Singapore has elevated this tradition into something of an art form, with lunch dishes that are comprised of a single noodle.

But what a noodle. This Yi Gen Mian (1 strand noodle) is hand made fresh daily, in limited numbers, and is fully 10 metres long. As it takes the chef 30 minutes to knead the dough before rolling it, then it needs to rest for several hours before being teased out to its full length, you can see why this is the house speciality. The finished noodle, should you arrive in time to order one before they are all sold out, comes coiled neatly in the bowl with spicy meat sauce on top. I suppose at that point it is alright to bite lengths off because I don’t know anyone who can slurp down 10 metres of noodle in one go…

From Dingi at Plaza Singapura. Go early and be prepared to queue.

DMZ Noodles

Category : Food

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The demilitarized zone between the 2 Koreas is something of a tourist attraction, although one which you have to approach cautiously – tours can be cancelled at a moment’s notice when tensions between the 2 sides rise, and visitors are scrutinised and their documents checked very carefully indeed.

Once you are in the zone, however, it is all a more reassuring experience, with soldiers happy to pose for pictures, and souvenir stands doing a brisk trade in the likes of fake dog tags and bits of authentic barbed wire mounted on special plaques.

My personal preference was for something we could eat, and this ticked all the boxes. Instant noodles are fairly popular in our house, and with daughter #2’s boyfriend currently in the army, camo is also a hit.

So here we are – instant noodles packaged in Korean Army camouflage patterned pouches, a perfect Christmas stocking filler!