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Monday, 27 April 2015

Boat Noodles @ ikon Connaught

Boat noodles became one of the latest food fads of 2014, but I still had not tried any.....call me outdated if you want...until now! ;D  Boat Noodles (I think) was the first to open shop before other similar-type boat noodle restaurants started sprouting up all over Klang Valley.  It became such an instant hit that there were insanely long queues at their restaurants (especially at its first outlet in Empire Damansara).

Boat Noodles have since gone on to open a few more outlets.  Now that the queues are a thing of the past (or, at least, have died down somewhat), I finally succumbed to my curiosity and decided to try the Boat Noodles @ Ikon Connaught for dinner one day.

When you visit Boat Noodles, the one dish you must try is none other than their signature boat noodles, of course, and so I ordered 2 of each to start with...chicken (dry and wet) and beef (dry and wet).  When the noodles arrived (however), you can't really differentiate the dry from the wet as they all looked similar to me (which was wet).  I tried asking the server which is which but it was like "a duck talking to a chicken" (these foreign workers can hardly speak English and you end up not understanding them and they don't understand you either).

No matter though because, whether wet or dry, they all had a pleasant enough flavour with an undertone of savoury-sour and a hint of spice.  These are the Chicken Noodles (Wet & Dry) @ RM1.90 a bowl. 

Each bowl of noodles is topped with a whole chicken ball, shredded chicken, "kangkung" (water spinach, stalks only), chopped coriander and fried garlic bits.

And these are the Beef Noodles (Wet & Dry) also @ RM1.90 a bowl.  The bowl of beef noodles came with only half a beef ball, some minced beef, water spinach (stalks again) and chopped coriander.

The texture of the noodles is a bit similar to those Pad Thai noodles, probably a bit thinner and softer.  Of the two, the beef noodles were definitely more savoury and flavourful.  As these noodles come in small servings, which you can slurp up in one or two mouthfuls, one needs 5 bowls (or more) to fill one up.

Of course, once we're done with our bowls of noodles, I just had to stack 'em up!  And, so I did...it's like a gimmick or trend here...plus there's actually no place on your table for your empty bowls...kekeke! ;D  As my family wasn't that into these noodles, our stack looked miserable (I ate 5).  The bowls (chipped and all) have obviously seen better days!

I ordered a number of snacks for sharing, starting off with Thai Popeye's Tempura @ RM6.90  and I found the portion very generous for the price paid.  The tempura battered spinach leaves turned out super crispy! *Popeye would approve*

I was amazed at just how crispy it was and how it stayed that way throughout our dinner.  Although the tempura served in Japanese restaurants may still be a notch lighter...but this is still a darn good tempura.  On its own, it may seem a bit bland as it needed the distinctive dip that was served with it.

The dip tasted like a rich Thai curry, with a heavy dose of coconut cream flavour, but fresher due to the addition of raw ingredients of finely chopped garlic, onions and bird's eye chillies.  I'd call this a Thai (orange) curry since it looks like a cross between a Thai red curry and a yellow one....kekeke ;p  I wouldn't say that it tasted like tom yum as the sourness was almost non-existent.

The Chicken Wings @ RM4.90 (wingette + wing tip) may look thin and dry but, let me assure you, they were not.  They turned out totally crispy, fragrant and an utter delight to eat =)  I could definitely smell and taste the lemongrass marinade in the wings which made them so fragrant and truly addictive.  I absolutely loved it...I think I can eat a few plates of these!

It was served with a typical Thai sweet-and-sour chilli sauce.

Another appetiser was the Grilled Chicken Meatballs @ RM4.90 for 2 sticks of 3.  The tender chicken meatballs on a stick had a sweet glaze on it, much like the taste of the sweet-and-sour sauce served with the chicken wings.

The Grilled Beef Meatballs @ RM5.90 were less tender than their chicken counterpart.  What else can you say...it's meatballs on a stick!

My spouse ordered the Kra-Pow Chicken Rice @ RM11.90 which was a new item on the menu.  It was made up of small chunks of chicken fried with fragrant basil leaves and fresh chillies although I found the dish to be over salted.  Even when eaten with rice, it was still too salty, so those with a low tolerance for salty food...beware!

To end our meal, I ordered the "Ka Num Tuay" @ RM1 which was 2 pcs of chilled pandan-coconut dessert served in a small sauce dish.  This resembled the taste of our very own "kuih talam" (also a pandan and coconut layered dessert) or "tepung pelita" (another local kuih that's very similar to kuih talam but this one uses banana leaves as its vessel).

The sweet bottom green layer (which gets its fragrance from the juice extracted from the pandan leaves) is a good contrast to the top (slightly) salty layer of thick coconut cream.  There's no doubt that these snacks are a good way to end our meal on a sweet note.

We settled for these Thai drinks for the evening:

"Kaffe Yen" (Thai Iced Coffee) @ RM6.90
(I found the Thai Iced Coffee to be really good, I liked it a lot)

"Cha-Manao-Yen" (Thai Iced Lemon Tea) @ RM6.90
(these drinks came in pretty tall plastic glasses, well worth the price)

#Footnote: 
Funny thing was, I received a media invite to do a review at their Empire Damansara branch (on 11 April) but invited reviews just ain't my thing!  I'm not into eating with a bunch of people I don't know (even though we're allowed to bring a +1).  Maybe if I get a one-on-one invite *wink wink*, I might just consider but I don't think I have to worry about that coz it's not gonna happen unless you're really 'famous'...kekeke)! ;D  Anyway, in the end, I still wanted to try boat noodles, so, this is still a paid post....I paid myself! :D :D

My Personal Opinion


If you have yet to try this, go on and give it a try....at least once for the novelty!  But, if you're a big-eater who needs 10 bowls (or more) to fill you up, RM19 may not seem that worthwhile in the end.

For me, it's a place for snacking in between meals.  I wouldn't mind coming back here and snacking happily on the spinach tempura and chicken wings....with a tall glass of Thai Iced Coffee!  But, as far as the boat noodles go...once the novelty wears off, so will your desire!

Restoran Boat Noodle
G-09 Ground Floor
ikon Mall Connaught
Taman Connaught Jalan Cerdas
Cheras
56100 Kuala Lumpur

18 comments:

  1. I was also waiting for the queues to die down before I try the one near my place, but unfortunately, once the crowd died down, the shop closed down too! So nope, I have not tasted boat noodles in a shop yet. :(

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    1. I guess my last sentence said it all! Right now, there are so many boat noodles shops opening up that the competition is stiff. They have to reinvent their menu if they want to stay in the game.

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    2. can i get any tel. no. for reservation during ramadhan?

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    3. According to their website, they don't take reservations unless it's for a large group...and for that you have to email them (go to their website www.boatnoodle.com.my for further details).

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  2. I'd pass, thank you very much. Don't mind trying if it is a whole lot in one bowl - I don't understand why they must serve so little in a big bowl like that, such a waste of water washing all those bowls. They may have a reason to do that at the Floating Market in Thailand - easier to handle in the boat to pass to customers to eat...without the thumb sticking into the noodles or worse, the soup perhaps...and when it is not full, it will not spill.

    And see! See! The bowls are all badly chipped!!! Those cracks will harbour germs - my father took an American business associate to dinner here once and he just threw the chipped plate onto the floor to break it when served in one like that. He was so disgusted.

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    1. It's the concept...if they gave it to you in one big bowl, they're not called boat noodles anymore...and you know the history of it being served just like that from boats in Thailand.

      I don't think anyone of us would like to see chipped bowls but, more often than not, this is the case in many coffee shops serving noodles. And at RM1.90, I think replacing the bowl would cost more than the noodles. As to your father's guest who threw the chipped plate onto the floor, I don't think it was a very nice thing to do. The right thing would be to complain to the management and just walk away. Even if the restaurant didn't deserve respect for serving food on chipped plates, your father certainly deserved more respect than that!

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    2. I did tell the boss at a place here about their chipped plates and remarked that he should tell his workers to be more careful when washing the crockery and he apologised and ever since then, I never had anything served in a chipped plate again. That's the way it should be...for the good of all.

      RM1.90 a bowl, how many bowls each person would have per visit? Many! It seems like some kind of competition, who can eat more. Well, they want to blindly follow other people's practice then they would have to face the mammoth task of washing so many bowls and with careless workers...and maybe poor quality bowls, of course, they will end up all chipped...and they have to be replaced. So many chipped, even some cheap coffee shop has crockery in better shape. I really don't see why people must follow people blindly, cashing on on a trend that somebody started here and it caught on...like wild fire. Can't they be more original than that?

      As for the guest - that was the 50's/60's, the colonial days, when the whites acted that they were superior, scoffing at our primitive ways. Yes, that was uncalled for, very ill-mannered. He could have just pointed it out and my father could have asked for a change of plate. That certainly is a more civil thing to do.

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    3. I don't think it's a case of wanting to following blindly, Arthur. These people want to sell authentic boat noodles and they want to serve it the original way. I guess they just have to conscientiously replace the chipped bowls...and not stinge on the replacements!

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  3. Maybe that's the whole idea of serving the noodles in such small portions - so that you have room for the snacks. I may need a whole stack of bowls to fill me up hah..hah...

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    1. My dear, I think you would need more than 10 bowls....wakakaka!! :D

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  4. are you sure ducks can't talk to chickens? heheh :D speaking of chicken, i love your description of the wings :D

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    1. That 'chicken and duck talk' is actually a Chinese saying....and the last time I checked....chickens chirp and ducks quack! :D :D And yeah, those chicken wings turned out to be the best thing ;)

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  5. Hah, so you finally tried. I heard that their iced tea is to die for too, just like their ice coffee. Too bad they do not serve pork. I think you would have preferred the pork balls version in their competitor outlets.

    So you do not fancy eating with strangers to do food review. Good! I like your principle.

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    1. Yeah, I heard that their iced tea is very good too...I'll try that the next time I'm there.

      It's difficult for me to do invited reviews coz I like to tell it as it is and I won't feel nice if I had to say something negative after they've paid for my meal. So, unless I truly believe in the food they put out, it would be better not to accept the invitation, I guess.

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  6. Seems to be a few of these spots opening.

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    1. Yes, there are many competitors now.

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  7. boat noodle trend's in full swing isn't it? wonder how long it'll last tho.

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    1. I wonder also...I think too much competition and the smaller ones will probably not survive.

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