The standard bowl of dry Ban Mian, Pan Mee or Mee Hoon Kueh is usually topped with seasoned minced pork, crispy ikan bilis (it’s a must) and vegetables, while some comes with meatballs, prawns, slices of braised mushroom, fried shallots, poached egg or even black fungus, and others uses the sweet sayur manis (马尼菜) vegetable or even cabbage, instead of chye sim. But one thing that all bowls of dry ban mian have in common is the all important sweet and savoury homemade black sauce (together with some form of chilli sauce or paste).
If the sauce mix is the soul, then handmade noodles must be the heart, the center a good bowl of ban mian, be it ‘dry’ or in soup form. Firm, springy, and sometimes eggy, soaking up all that appetizing sauce. It must have a good bite and texture to it without bunching into a lumpy mess or being overly raw and doughy. Be it QQ (al-dente) like the hand-torn mee hoon kueh, chewy like the ban mian (flat noodle) or slurping good like the you mian (thin noodles) – it’s the Asian pasta that deserves more recognition.
Check out these 12 dry Ban Mian stalls, in no particular order, and where you can find them. (Notable mentions goes out to Soon Ji Ban Mian at Chinatown Complex, Liang Kee Ban Mian at Sims Drive Market & Food Centre, and Wang Jiao Ban Mian at Timbre+.)
TWO BONUS ENTRIES: For those who likes the style of dry ban mian that Grandma Ban Mee 老妈子板面 offers, consider the following two Malaysian noodle chains which are known for Chilli Pan Mee:
We hope you like this list of dry Ban Mian. Which one is your favourite? Did we miss out any of your go-to? Please share them with us in the comments below!