May 26, 2015

Boat Noodle @ Empire Damansara

9 New Dishes to Tempt You!

Our culinary industry has really been boosted by many international cuisine around the world in this era. With many being able to travel and with let’s not forget the speed and power of social media, the choices of cuisine available in our country is really mind-boggling. I am not complaining, in fact, I am happy as can be as one really need not travel far to get a taste of other cuisines in the world.

When Boat Noodle hit the F&B scene, the founder Mr. Tony Lim, also Executive Director, didn’t expect such a big welcome by Malaysians’ taking a huge interest in boat noodles or kuai tiao ruea. It is certainly not new to our country as these noodles are a national dish in our neighboring country Thailand.

The Thais also shares the same passion as we Malaysians in the food scene. Said to be have been served since 1942 according to Wikipedia, these noodles were served from vendors who lives along the Bangkok canals and uses their boat as their vehicle to travel. It is indeed a challenging task to sell noodles in a boat but I think the Thais have years of practice and has mastered the art of single handedly maneuvering the river currents and whipping up bowls after bowls of noodles.

Getting back to Boat Noodle, the menu started with basics of the boat noodles served in mini proportions. The concept to dare Malaysians on how many bowls of noodles one can eat seemed to have taken the nation by storm. Eager foodies like me would queue in long queues when Boat Noodles first open its first outlet Empire Damansara. As one waited in queue, the aromatic spices of meaty soups are tempting foodies and convincing them it’s worth the wait.

After more than a year, Boat Noodle still has it going for many. Visiting the original outlet in Empire Damansara, the place was still packed. Though the queue is not as long as before, business is still really buzzing. Wait staff scurrying around balancing trays of boat noodles as many are seen eagerly waiting and chatting. The air in the restaurant smells wonderfully comforting. We were here for a taste of their new menu. After months of sorting out the operations of Boat Noodles, this eatery has now grown to a staggering 9 outlets within a year’s operations and is also now able to offer diners more choices of Thai dishes.

As Boat Noodle import quite a fair ingredients from Thailand for authenticity, I was told that quite a few items were not available in their drink menu. I was still pleased though as there is a new beverage of Iced Blended Coconut added to the menu recently. The icy creamy smoothie is pretty amazing with its rich aromatic coconut flavour. It can be filling but I am not complaining… yum!

Before we hit the new dishes, we savored the signature boat noodles of course! Basically there are four variations of boat noodles served with two main soup broths of Pathumthani and Ayutthaya.

If asked to choose between beef or chicken, I seemed to gravitate more towards the beef for its richer and robust beef notes of the beef and its spices. I also prefer the Ayutthaya for its extra creaminess in the broth. I don’t mind the rest as I think they were all good on their own flavours.

A bowl of noodle is barely two mouthfuls but it is indeed fun to see how many bowls can one slurp up! I heard the record of the most bowls of noodles consumed at one go was 77 bowls for men and 74 bowls for women. That’s insane… especially for the women… whoever you both may be, my utter respect and salute to you!

The Pathumthani Beef Thai Rice Noodle (RM1.90) and Ayutthaya Beef Thai Rice Noodle (RM1.90) is a bowl bursting with earthy rich notes of beefy flavours spiced up. The broths are both laced with aromatics such as star anise and cinnamon and one is creamy while the other is not. There is an edge of tangy flavours in the broth as well. The noodles are thin and smooth so slurping them is delicious. There bits of minced beef and half a beef ball in the noodles too. Chopped water spinach stalks and fried garlic added textures.

The Pathumthani Chicken Thai Rice Noodle (RM1.90) and Ayutthaya Chicken Thai Rice Noodle (RM1.90) was also good but the broth was lighter since its chicken. It still has got a good kick of the spices. There are some shredded chicken meat on the noodles together with the water spinach stalks and fried garlic.

Besides slurping bowls after bowls of noodles, one can now order other new dishes such as Thai Popeye’s Tempura (RM6.90), its water spinach leaves or kangkung in a light tempura batter fried till golden and served with Soot-Yot dip. Soot-Yot means awesome and indeed the sauce is pretty fabulous. It’s got a good hit of heat and is lightly tangy and moreish. I love the sauce so much I actually put it on my other dishes.

Next up, Kra-Pow Chicken Rice (RM11.90) is my all-time-favorite Thai comfort food. Its minced chicken stir fried with Thai Basil leaves and is served with rice and fried egg. It’s very common and can be seen almost everywhere in the streets of Thailand. The version here is pretty yum. It has a nice balance of savory flavours but it is the unique basil leaves that makes this dish unique.

I like simplicity in food because flavours tend to be more distinctive from its ingredients. Do try the Bangkok Ommelette with Sood Yot Sauce Rice (RM11.90) as it is a basic dish of fluffy golden ommelette enveloping steamed rice and served with the fabulous spicy piquant Soot-Yot sauce again. Simple but satisfying for me…

The skinny Chicken Wings (RM4.90) that arrive may look a bit sad in portion but it is delicious in flavours. It is well-seasoned and crispy. I didn’t think it needed any sauce and this is great for snacking… now give me 10 bowls of this lah…

Grilled Beef Meat Ball (RM5.90) and Grilled Chicken Meatball (RM4.90) are decent but nothing to shout about. Its good as fillers and great for those who loves meatballs.

Yum Mama (RM8.50), Yum Woon Sen (RM13.00) and Yum Meatball (RM8.90) are three new Thai salads introduced recently. Yum Mama features the classic Thai instant noodles salad studded with chicken sausage, crab sticks, onions and green vegetables dressing in lime dressing. Yum Woon Sen very spicy and has vermicelli noodles tossed with shrimp, crab stick, lots of onions and vegetable in the similar tangy dressing. Yum Meatball has meatball as the main ingredient of the salad in the same tangy dressing.

I really love their Thai Fruit Salad (RM6.90). The fruit salad is super spicy and is a vibrant bowl of fresh fruity flavours. Grapes, cherry tomatoes, corn and peanuts are some of the ingredients in the salad. It was so good, we had to order a second bowl!

If you are hankering for something sweet and light then the new dish of Sangkaya may be your cake. Steamed fluffy bread is served with Boat Noodle’s kaya, a thinner consistency egg custard that the Thais enjoy.

Another Thai dessert available at Boat Noodle is Ka Num Tuay (RM1 for 2 pieces), a lightly sweet and cream custard made from rice flour, coconut milk, pandan leaves and sugar.

It’s a nice touch to introduce more dishes to Boat Noodle fans as I am sure many will appreciate the more variety concept here. Malaysians do love varieties and the more choices the better for us I guess.

Boat Noodle has 9 locations now in Empire Damansara, The School at Jaya One, Ikon Cheras, Berjaya Times Square, Publika, Sutera Mall (JB), Gamuda Walk (Kota Kemuning), Klang Parade and D’Pulze Cyberjaya.

G3A, Heritage Lane,
Empire Damansara,
Damansara Perdana,
47820 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +6019-477 3119 / +6016-330 4762 / +6019-675 6138

Business Hours:
Daily 11.00am till 9.00pm


  1. The bowls are chipped!!! :(

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