Creature of habit

18 09 2011

Tomato Noodle Soup, Formosa Delights, foodrepublic, Nex Mall


“I LOVE this so much I could have it everyday!”

Sometimes we say things we don’t really mean, especially at the height of passion.  When the palate is tickled by interesting flavor sensations and the curiosity is piqued, we could profess fierce loyalty to just one dish only to realize later – like, the morning after – that it was a promise too hard to keep.

Like, as I opened, when you tell yourself you loved something so much that you could have it everyday.  It’s hard to keep.  But it’s something that, apparently, I could.

I’ve always been drawn to the allure of hand-pulled noodles.  Something about the twisting, stretching, folding, and pulling of the dough have made me gain a deeper level of appreciation for the skill required to make this edible work of art.  Quite artisanal and quite tasty.

Formosa Delights Handmade Noodles, 313@somerset


U-Mian, my noodle of choice!

That was the first thing I looked for when I went to the first foodrepublic I’ve ever been to here in Singapore.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t any.  But fortunately, there was Formosa Delights Handmade Noodles!  And when I saw that their wide variety offers “Tomato Noodle Soup” – the first time I ever did see a tomato-based broth in any Taiwanese or Chinese food outlet – I knew I would be hooked.  Tomato and noodles, two of my most favorite things in this world, together in one dish of Asian provenance.  What’s not to love?

Obviously, for me, nothing.  I’ve been having at least one huge bowl of this dish every single day for the past month and a half.  How much do I love it?  I’ve come to the point of re-arranging my “life” around it.  I would work my schedule out to allow me time to sneak to either Nex Mall in Serangoon or 313@somerset just so I could have my bowl of Tomato Noodle Soup.  If language were not a major barrier – I couldn’t speak an iota of Mandarin to save my life – I would definitely be on first name basis with the crew at both branches by now.  But they know me already.  They could spot me from a mile away and they would prepare my steaming hot bowl like clockwork.  I wouldn’t cut the long line but they sure save me time from having to actually place an order.

See how close my Tomato Noodle Soup is to the brim? I feel so loved.


I devour my steaming hot bowl of noodles with these condiments – the soy sauce with tons of chopped bird's eye chilies, and the crispy fried anchovy fillets (these are extra, they would put a couple heaping tablespoons directly in to my bowl!).


The achovy fillets look yummy, I wouldn't be surprised if I could finish them off as is!

Armed with a pair of chopsticks on my right hand, and a Chinese soup spoon on my left, I attack my bowl of noodles with so much passion just a tad shy of a raging animal’s.  The first that I concentrate on is the noodles, perfectly “half-cooked” every single time.  Then, I’d carefully pick the leafy greens together with the noodles for the next layer of flavor and texture sensation.  Slowly, I add in the crispy fried anchovy fillets and the rustic balls of minced pork meat.  I always save the huge wedges of tomato for last.  I let them soak – not just dip – in the fiery hot dipping sauce made of soy and bird’s eye chilies.

Beads of perspiration forming at my temples couldn’t belie the immense sense of satiation happening within.

I would always be careful not to get lost in the moment and slurp like crazy.  Lest I don’t care that a splatter of tomato broth would stain my shirt and give away that – yes – I have just had my Tomato Noodle Soup.  My gone-in-fifteen-minutes fix.


My bowl runneth over...


Sometimes, my work schedule isn't as easy to arrange. So it's still a challenge to make it to their stores before the 10:00 PM closing time. Last night, I made it, with six minutes to spare. Fierce loyalty can make people turn on the burner and turn over pots that have already been washed and set to dry. All the others who lined up after me had to be turned away. Sorry. By the time I settled on to my seat, foodrepublic was already almost empty.


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.