The husband and I were at City Square Mall over the weekend when we were attracted by this ‘row of shophouses’ on the 4th level of the mall that was filled with nostalgic charm.
Indeed, this was a new concept by Food Republic to recreate the New World’s good old days when street hawkers on mobile stalls were common then. All the stalls at this food atrium were replicas of vibrant Peranakan shophouses.
We explored the food court to seek out new lunch options but ended up at my favourite ban mian stall instead. A light and soupy meal was exactly what I needed.
Qiu Lian Ban Mian was set up in 1988 by Madam Ong Qiu Lian who inherited the family recipe from her grandmother. Every bowl of their noodles is homemade-style, straightforward and unpretentious. That’s why I’ve been patronising them (outlets are located island-wide) for years whenever I crave for ban mian.
So what exactly do I like about this? The soup is rich but not overly salty. It is not oily either and overall it’s pretty healthy. The ikan bilis (anchovies) and shallots are fried to crisp, making the soup more flavourful with a nice crunch. There are lots of crunchy chye sim – love it! The noodles are chewy and springy, exactly the way I like my noodles. The little clumps of minced pork are well marinated with a lot of flavour. Seriously, what’s not to like?
Qiu Lian Ban Mian has more than 20 outlets all over Singapore. Check out their facebook page (link below) for list of locations. While it’s convenient to have many outlets available, one downside is that food quality is not consistent across all the outlets. Expect hits and misses.
Qiu Lian Ban Mian @ Food Republic
#04-31, City Square Mall
180 Kitchener Road
Opening hours: 10.00am to 10.00pm daily