Earlier this week in my review of Big El, I promised a mix of half price discount eateries as well as hidden gems. Here is the first. This is the Rice Noodle House in Shelly. It seems to have garnered many “likes” on Urbanspoon and through word of mouth, it is simply a suburban favourite. Hidden amongst a small complex of shops, I would not blame you for not stopping for a bite as even I felt like my life was at stake coming in on a gloomy Friday afternoon. I had absolutely no expectations of the interior looking posh and true enough, it was bare as hell. But through my eating experience in Asian countries like Bali, Hong Kong, and Malaysia, it is these places that packs a punch. The Rice Noodle House in Shelly is famous for a few things including its super smooth Hainan Chicken or its Ipoh Hor Fun (rice noodle). In fact, some people claimed that the Chicken Rice here rivals the famous one from Boon Tong Kee in Singapore. True or not, only a Singaporean can decide. Fortunately we had one with us that day.His comments were little and murmured along the lines of “Boon Tong Kee in Singapore is overrated” as well as “It’s just chicken rice”. But it ended with an agreement that the chicken here is indeed very smooth. But so smooth that it stole our money for so little on the plate. For
$10 $9 bucks, one would expect a lot more chicken. This has got to be one of the smallest serves of Chicken Rice that I have seen in a long time. In fact, it was as flat as the plate. But fortunately where taste was concerned, the chicken rice was spot on.
Next up was a serve of the Rice Noodle House’s famous Dry Ipoh Hor Fun.Least to say, Fishman and Nee founded it appealing to their tastes buds. Fishman liked the flavor and when I tried it, I found that it easily rivals the one made by Ipoh Garden although its sauce felt not as thick. In fact it felt less sweet and more salty typical for an Asian palate.
For me who has been craving for some wanton noodles since a week ago, I ordered the Rice Noodle House’s Dry Wanton Noodles. Not one of their specialty, but this is what a taste test is all about. Experimenting.The noodles for starters were cooked spot on. Not too soft or hard whilst still being springy. Easy to understand why this place is famous for their noodles. As for the wantons, they were pretty decent although nowhere near the standard of the ones I have had in Hong Kong. I like the seasoning of the noodles which had enough flavor from the concoction of essential Chinese sauces with a good hint of pepper. This one though felt a little sweet, possibly from the use of sugar/kicap manis.
At the end of the meal, we were all satisfied with the taste and quality in the food. But where size was concerned, it was pretty obvious that this was not your typical Australian serve where there was always going to be an abundance of meat and carbs. Really quite surprising considering I have seen photos of the Nasi Lemak served here that looks absolutely huge. Nonetheless, the Rice Noodle House in Shelly is definitely worth coming for the Malaysian classics it makes. But if you are hungry, definitely ask for extra noodles. In the end, putting its price (<$10), the quality and it’s location, this is definitely a hidden gem ;)!