Truth be told, we were more than a tad bit sceptical when we made our way to WANTON Seng’s Noodle Bar at Amoy Street. After all, we all had THE plate of best wonton noodles in a grubby hawker centre or kopitiam, didn’t we?
A popular hawker stall that began dishing out wonton mee at Dunman Food Centre since 1968, Seng’s has inspired this collaboration between the new Chef-Owner of Seng’s, Benson Ng and Head Chef of :pluck, Brandon Teo. Remodelling a well-loved local dish was always going to prove tough, but after trying them out, we have to admit that these guys did it with aplomb.
From left: Benson Ng and Brandon Teo
A nifty open kitchen-bar is the heart of the restaurant in the small shophouse space. Most of the seating is around the bar so diners get an eyeful of the food preparation process.
To kickstart our night, we had the signature Ju Hua cocktail, a simple concoction of vodka and chrysanthemum tea. The alcohol bite was well concealed within the sweet chrysanthemum flavour, so you don’t get the nasty aftertaste some vodka cocktails present.
Signature Ju Hua Cocktail
And then came the moment we were all waiting for – our virgin bespoke wonton mee experience. By deconstructing the popular local dish, plain Seng’s noodles ($2) are separated from the standard wonton mee ingredients, and customers will be allowed to come up with their own funky combinations.
The base noodles themselves were springy yet delicate, and more importantly, had the right amount of oil mixed in. Our first side dish, the Slow Braised Pig Trotters ($16), was slightly salty but the chunks of savoury, deboned pork was cooked to an optimum tenderness, and the gelatinous skin was gummy enough without being too overwhelming.
Slow Braised Pig Trotters
Being a wonton noodle restaurant, we were obviously excited for the boiled and fried Wontons ($8) that were to follow. Suffice to say, it was not as awe-inspiring as we had hoped for in terms of flavour and portion. The delicate wonton fillings were still pretty well-prepared however, and managed to save the dumplings some face.
Meat lovers will absolutely adore the Roasted Pork Belly ($13). The crispy skin was like an umbrella of crackling goodness, while the juicy and sublime flesh was a joy to munch on. Other note-worthy items include the Japanese Cucumbers topped with Amoy Dressing and Dou Miao ($8), BBQ Char Siew ($12), and the 5-minute Egg ($2).
Roasted Pork Belly
While the prices might seem exorbitant for local food at first glance, they are, in truth, quite reasonable considering that one side dish is large enough to share between two people. For those who work in the vicinity, head down for their affordable lunch sets – Wonton Noodles with Char Siew ($5.50 & $6.50), and Wanton Noodles with Roasted Pork Belly ($6 & $7).
BBQ Char Siew
The first of its kind, WANTON Seng’s Noodles Bar appears to be a winner. Their quality artisanal ingredients are mostly well-prepared, and we think that jazzing up your standard bowl of wonton mee is an excellent idea – ’cause serving it in a hawker centre is so 1968.