Madam Leong Ban Mian – Authentic Hakka-styled Ban Mian
Have you heard of the saying “when life throws you lemons, make lemonade”? The story of Madam Leong Ban Mian models that closely. As a single parent, Vivian Leong’s grit and perseverance through tough times is an exemplar of a mother. Inspired by her mum’s very own hakka-style ban mian, Vivian, 42, decided to take up the mantle of a hawker to support herself and her daughter. Vivian shared with me that the jump from being a housewife to a hawker was a big and risky one, but it definitely is worth it.
Situated just a 10-minute walk from Commonwealth MRT, Madam Leong Ban Mian offers healthy yet tasty comfort food which is especially apt for rainy days. Vivian has high regard for the quality of food that she dishes out, and you’ll definitely taste it in her ban mian. Her ban mian is made by hand daily using egg, flour and water without any preservatives or MSG. She told me that her ban mian is a tad more yellow than others because there is a higher egg content as it gives the noodles a springier texture. If you love QQ noodles, she recommends opting for the ban mian instead of you mian or other thinner variations. All her sauces and broth are also made by her daily based on her mum’s recipe. Vivian also told me that the broth can make or break the ban mian and it is essential that she gets it right. She simmers the broth, which is made from yellow beans and anchovies, for 2 hours before it is ready to be served.
For her, good ban mian must comprise springy noodles, fiery chili and a flavorful homemade sauce (or soup). Vivian’s ban mian definitely checks all the boxes. To stand out from everyone else, Vivian has come up with dishes like Tom Yum Ban Mian, Curry Chicken Ban Mian (available only on Mondays) and a Braised Pork with Black Fungus Ban Mian! We decided to get the regular Ban Mian (she recommends the dry one) and the Braised Pork with Black Fungus Ban Mian. Vivian explained that Ban Mian isn’t usually served with eggs in Malaysia, unlike in Singapore. Being a Malaysian, she has decided to not serve eggs with the noodles by default(she’ll ask when you order). She hopes that her food can help to bring a taste of home to Malaysians working here in Singapore.
The regular Ban Mian (dry) comes with a small bowl of soup with a poached egg swimming inside. The soup is a little milder than what I’d expected but it was still tasty nonetheless. The noodles were springy but not as QQ as I would have liked (I like those thick and chewy ones). I was told that I could request for thinner or thicker noodles, so I’ll probably request for thicker noodles the next time round. I used to like the soup versions but the dry ban mian is starting to appeal to me more these days. For me, the sauce is paramount. Vivian uses her very own concoction so you probably won’t be able to find this anywhere else. The sauce is sweeter than others but what I liked most about it was that it wasn’t clumpy or watery. We took out the egg from the soup and mixed it with the noodles and the result was just shiok! Another thing that stood out was the braised mushroom slices. While her ban mian is priced slightly higher at 4 bucks, she ensures that you get a lot of 料 so that you’re getting bang for your buck.
If you’re looking for something a little different, you can opt for the Braised Pork and Black Fungus Ban Mian ($5)! For now, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a braised pork and black fungus ban mian sold elsewhere in Singapore, so it was definitely worth a try. Instead of a poached egg, you get a sunny side up! If you prefer other kinds of eggs, just let Vivian know and she’ll be more than happy to change it for you. While a little sparse, the braised pork was thick and fatty. Vivian shared that it takes more than a day to prepare the juicy and flavorful braised pork chunks and mushrooms, . Remember to add in her homemade chilli for an extra kick. Be warned that it’s extremely spicy.
Vivian has also ventured into Thai food by opening another stall beside her Ban Mian stall. t’s not easy committing to such high standards whilst shouldering heavy responsibilities at home. If you’re in the vicinity, come down and show some love; I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
Madam Leong Ban Mian
Address: 31 Holland Close #01-241, Singapore 270031
Phone: 9221 7303
Opening Hours: 10am to 8pm from Monday to Saturday
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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