At the start of this term, we mourned the loss of our beloved Japanese store in the canteen while we eagerly awaited the arrival of the new noodles store on the shores of our school.
Hence due to popular demand, we will finally review the highly raved about Banmian stall as well as find out more about the stall owner, Aunty Fina.
The stall sells its noodles at an affordable $2 per bowl(soup) and $2.20 per bowl(dry). There is a range of noodles to choose from- it’s signature Banmian, U-mian, Bee Hoon as well as Maggie Mee, a healthier option. In addition to the regular noodles, one could opt for the Special Banmian, which consists of the regular bowl of noodles albeit topped with a choice of protein- Chicken, Pork, Grilled fish or even Black Pepper Smoked Duck!
Those who are not avid fans of noodles are also spoiled with rice options as the noodle store sells noodle substitutes such as the Chicken Katsu Don and the Grilled Fish Don.
We went for the signature Banmian, trying both the soup and dry versions.
The dishes certainly did not disappoint.
The clear broth proved to be extremely refreshing, a good option for those that may prefer soup bases that are not too heavy or robust. The addition of the crispy anchovy to the broth added a touch of saltiness to the soup, creating a good balance of flavours. The presence of a runny egg and a smattering of green vegetables enhanced the tastiness of the dish. It was definitely an irresistible bowl of goodness.
The dry noodles dish was very palatable too. The sauce for the noodles had a touch of sweetness and gave the noodles a unique taste. Furthermore, the accompanying condiments – dried chilli with light soya sauce complemented the flavours of the dish excellently.
When asked about whether she enjoyed the banmian, Gheslynn Gerard from 17S33 remarked that “everytime [she] eats the banmian, [she] keeps wanting to come back for more [noodles]”, expressing her love and loyalty for the store.
It seems that the TPJC students had also enjoyed the delectable noodles that were previously sold in their school. When interviewed, an anonymous student commented that they ‘miss the banmian store and the aunty’ and that ‘school [is] not the same without [the] store’
We decided to interview Aunty Fina, the bubbly and jovial stall owner to find out more about how it has been like setting up her stall in VJ.
Exclusive interview with Aunty Fina:
Why did you move your stall from Tampines Junior College to Victoria Junior College?
TPJC is going to merge with MJC next year so we were expecting to halt business around June. This led to us trying to find available spaces in schools to move our stall to. Thankfully VJC had a vacancy and we could move here.
How did you feel about leaving Tampines Junior College?
I felt sad to leave TPJC because it felt like one big family there. However, I am happy here too as the students and teachers are all very nice. I love children so I enjoy singing and joking with the students when they buy my food.
How long have you been selling Banmian for?
I started selling Banmian at TPJC about 6+ years ago. Before that I was selling fish, soup, rice and economic rice at Bedok Centre.
What is so special about your noodles?
The dried noodle sauce is very special. It is very different from the recipes outside. We have a secret recipe. *laughs*
Which dish on your menu is your favourite?
I don’t have a favourite, everything is good.
After tasting the noodles ourselves as well as gathering feedback from our fellow VJ schoolmates, we hereby declare the noodles worth the hype! If you have yet to try the food from the banmian store, do head down to give the food a try. We promise you will not regret it.
As a sidenote, if you wish to read about the saga of our Japanese stall, click here!
Article written by:
Isabel Joy Kua, 17A14