Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle is one of the newer tenants that have moved into The Midtown Residences, especially with more tenants now occupying the shop units in the building.
Opened by the same folks behind now-defunct Nung Len at MacKenzie Road in Little India, Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle serves up a more focused menu of Thai boat noodles instead of communal Thai dishes that Nung Len used to serve. Being situated in The Midtown Residences, the space is largely similar to Foxhole Cafe in layout consisting of two levels — the first level serves as the counter and kitchen, while a flight of stairs situated beside leads to the second level where the dine-in section is. The menu consists of three types of noodles (Pork/Beef/Tom Yum) coming in two sizes — one being the smaller bowl that is standard with Thai boat noodles while the other being a larger bowl that works as an individual portion for a meal. There is a small list of add-ons for the boat noodles, while there also a small list of sides and desserts to choose from.
(Fried Wanton with Pork)
Going for a snack to share while we wait for the noodles, we went for the Fried Wanton with Pork. These were thin, golden and crisp pockets encasing a thin layer of pork filling and rice vermicelli — sure, we would probably have wanted more of that meatiness, but these were light and easy to snack on especially when dipped in the sweet Thai chilli sauce that comes on the side.
(Pork Thai Boat Noodles)
The Pork Thai Boat Noodle here come with various condiments such as pork slices, pork balls and pork liver; Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle allow patrons to choose between various types of noodles such as thin/thick noodles, rice vermicelli, egg noodles and glass noodles — we opted for the egg noodles for our order. We were pretty impressed with the pork slices in particular; flavourful, tender and savoury — good enough even on their own, while the pork balls were pretty decent. The pork liver, though a little grainy, was free from any undesirable stench. While the broth was pretty garlicky and savoury being decently thick, we were not particularly impressed with the overcooked noodles — extremely soft and mushy, it lacked a bite; probably the only item that really affected the entire dish somehow.
(Beef Thai Boat Noodles)
We also ordered the Beef Thai Boat Noodle — we opted for the glass noodles for this bowl; while we thought the noodles could be done a little softer, the overall execution was definitely more palatable than the egg noodles. The Beef Thai Boat Noodle come with beef slices and beef balls — the former was more impressive being flavorful and tender. The broth is notably lighter tasting here as compared to the Pork Thai Boat Noodle’s broth, though it carries a light beefiness at the end.
(Grass Jelly Caramel with Milk)
Listed as one of the few desserts available here is the Grass Jelly Caramel with Milk; rather satisfying but pedestrian overall — the milk helps to add a bit more depth to the caramel.
Overall, Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle does seem to have the potential especially given that the Thai boat noodles here have more hits than misses. That being said, they do need to improve on their execution of the noodles; being one of the main star of the dishes here, the noodles play a very large role in every bowl and thus should not be a miss — the lacklustre execution does kill the offerings here by quite a bit. Being a new establishment, we do hope that our experience with the noodles is just a teething problem that would be improved in the long run; otherwise, Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle might be one of the few F&B establishments worth keeping an eye out for within the Hougang Central neighbourhood.
Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodle
The Midtown Residences
1187 Upper Serangoon Road