Established in 1920, “麥奀” means Skinny Mak because Mak was a skinny man, and because wonton noodles are meant to be “skinny” in portions but large in flavors; each bowl of wanton mee, which was originally intended as a snack and not a main meal, is true to Hong Kong’s style, small with two wontons. The Singapore branch aims to be similar in taste to Hong Kong’s 6 outlets. Some ingredients, including wonton skin and noodles, are imported from Hong Kong.
Tossed noodles with shrimp roe and oyster sauce ($8.30)
Someone at my table quipped, “Wah, they have salt sponsor, is it? Everything so salty.” And true enough, the wontons were super salty, so were the tossed noodles. But the tender beef brisket was very salty in an interesting way that I liked: the surface was mild, graduating into a salty center.
Beef brisket and tendon ($16.50)
Wonton soup ($6.90)
The tossed noodles were way too undercooked, very tough, dry, hard to tear. The wonton noodle soup ($6.90) was nicer: chewy. Both noodles were alkaline, but that’s just the way Hongkongers like their noodles. Just wash the noodles in red vinegar; that’s how Hong Kongers get rid of the alkaline taste.
Wonton noodle soup ($6.90)
Someone at my table concluded, “I don’t eat vegetables and sad to say, the best dish today is the kailan ($4.90).” I think Mak’s Noodle serves a different kind of sensibility, the Hong Konger type. Singaporeans like sweet and tender food, with some complexity but without much pungency. I can see how Mak’s Noodle may taste good to Hong Kongers, but for me, the noodles were lost in translation. Perhaps I came with too high expectations for “the best wonton noodles in Hong Kong.”
Mak’s Noodle Singapore
176 Orchard Road, Centrepoint #01-63/64 Singapore 238843
T: +65 6235 5778
Daily 11am – 10pm
Service: NA (tasting)
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
This is an invited tasting.