Despite its seemingly way out location on a side street off Gouger Street, Southern Noodle Bar is a popular place with the locals for enjoying a wide variety of noodle dishes. My mother was introduced to this restaurant by a colleague from China, which we feel is an indication of the authenticity of their food. Most of their dishes can be ordered as a regular or large sized dish, with some offering the option of having rice for those not in the mood for noodles.
One of their signature dishes is the Cross Bridge Noodles, so named from a story involving a scholar studying on a small island. His wife brought noodle soup to him but soon discovered the long distance across a bridge would cause the food to become cold. She found out that the soup stayed warm in a stone bowl and the ingredients could be cooked in the soup just before eating so she carried the ingredients in separate containers to mix together at her destination to ensure the scholar got a piping hot dish. To enjoy the dish, first put the meat ingredients into the hot soup before adding the vegetables, followed by the rice noodles. This method of preparation gave the dish its mild savoury flavour with the firmer bean sprouts adding a bit of contrast to the thinly sliced meats.
Cross Bridge Noodle Ingredients (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
(Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
(Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Cross Bridge Noodles (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Great for those that desire a dry noodle dish, the noodles in the Dry Rice Noodles with Pork Mince were cooked to al dente with the slightly spicy pork mince helping to lift their flavour. The inclusion of roasted peanuts added a delightful crunchy element to the dish. To best enjoy the dish, mix the noodles with the pork mince thoroughly before eating.
Dry Rice Noodles with Pork Mince (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Their Braised Beef Rice Noodle Soup had a good amount of tender beef complemented well by the firmer pieces of bok choy. The broth the noodles were cooked in tied everything together nicely without overwhelming the taste of any of the ingredients.
Braised Beef Rice Noodle Soup (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
For those wanting something a bit spicy, the Traditional Yuman Soup is a good choice. The soup broth had enough heat to deliver a spicy kick that was not too strong. The inclusion of what seems like minced chicken added a meaty texture to the dish.
Traditional Yuman Soup (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The Dry Rice Noodle with Pork Mince in Peking Sauce had pork mince cooked in Peking sauce to give it a slightly sweet flavour. The inclusion of shredded cucumber gave an element of freshness to the dish.
Dry Rice Noodle with Pork Mince in Peking Sauce (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Essentially a soup version of their Dry Rice Noodle with Pork Mince, the minced pork in the Braised Pork Mince Noodle Soup had a softer texture compared the dry version, while still having the slightly spicy flavour you would expect. Some spring onions in the soup broth gave the dish a bit of vibrant appearance.
Braised Pork Mince Noodle Soup (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
If you feel that mixing pork mince into dry noodle is a bit tedious, you could consider ordering the Teriyaki Chicken Dry Rice Noodles. The pieces of chicken were of a generous size with the sweet-savoury flavour of Teriyaki Chicken. The sauce used in the dish added to the teriyaki flavour and there is also little worry about the meat ingredients sinking to the bottom of the bowl.
Teriyaki Chicken Dry Rice Noodles (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
In addition to the noodle dishes, Southern Noodle Bar also offers a selection of side dishes. The Tofu Salad we chose had a delightful chewy texture and a bit of a spicy taste from the dressing.
Tofu Salad (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Ambience is what you expect from a small cafe. Off-street parking is conveniently located in the U-Park within distance from the restaurant. Southern Noodle Bar is a great place to enjoy a hot bowl of noodle soup on a cold winter night.