In the nondescript Equus Arcade there’s a window looking onto a strange sight: Noodle Forum’s chef vigorously riding a fat bamboo pole like a seesaw. With the pole wedged firmly between his legs, he repeatedly sits down, squashing a square block of dough.
It looks weird, but this age-old kneading technique develops the gluten in the dough and makes for light, chewy noodles. In fact, Kuala Lumpur-born chef Erich Wong is one of only a handful of people around the world still making noodles with this method. With 40 years’ experience (he started when he was 11), Wong’s noodles are as authentic as they come – smooth, supple and springy.
Under the watchful eye of a striking Chinese opera mural, the restaurant is a bright and efficient operation. Orders are placed at the counter and bowls fly out of the kitchen with speed.
There’s no shortage of noodle options with wonton soup, crispy chicken and laksa on the menu. But do as the regulars do and order the barbecue-pork noodles. Splashed with dark soy sauce, garnished with a crispy wonton cracker and topped with sweet, charred fatty pork, it’s a lunch break that could happen anywhere in South East Asia.
There’s often a queue – but don’t despair, it moves quickly.