I was shopping in NTUC when I passed an entire refrigerator of semi fresh Qiu Lian noodles for sale. I was very surprised to see that Qiu Lian is now selling their famous ban mian in NTUC individually packed. The noodles are still considered fresh so it has a pretty short expiry date and each pack comes with the individual soup broth sachet or dry condiments sachet. My friend who was with me said she has tried them and it was good. As a Qiu Lian ban mian fan, I definitely had to purchase them to try.
The noodles came in 3 different flavours; soup, dry and dry with chilli. I bought all 3 to try them out. The dry and dry with chilli noodles look like the flattened mee pok version while the soup one resembles the you mian sold in the actual noodle stalls.
Out of the pack, you get a vacuumed packed tray of fresh flour noodles and a sachet of either the sauce for the dry noodles or broth base for the soup version.
Out of the vacuumed pack, the noodles are quite compressed together. The instructions mentioned that you need to let the noodles defrost completely before cooking. I actually left the noodles out for 5mins but they remained the same. So i just dropped them into the boiling to cook and it went downhill from there. The noodles stayed clumped together and cooked into a large lump of flour/noodles. I had to throw them away.
On my 2nd packet, I tried to loosen the noodles before cooking them and from experience, do let them stay outside for at least 8 mins before you try to loosen them as it is much easier and the noodles remain intact in a long strand.
You can see from one of my attempts at separating the noodles ended with torn short noodles which I feel is not ideal. The cooking itself is fairly easy as it takes about 10 mins to fully cook the noodles.
This is the dry with spicy version and the sauce is sufficient for every noodle to be nicely coated with the sauce.
Personally, the texture of the noodle is nice as it is soft and quite springy but the flavour of the noodle itself is not very obvious as I do not think it is egg noodles. So it depends on the sauce itself to make it very flavourful. The sauce has a nice spicy flavour to it.
The dry version has a darker colour and has a pretty nice soy flavour to it. The sauce is slightly sweet and complements the noodle well. The flat noodles has a more al dente bite to it so I actually prefers this flat noodles better
Lastly, I found the soup a little too bland and flat for my liking and it tasted quite similar to artificial soup flavouring which I dislike. Overall, the flavours of the sauces are nice but the noodles are not easy to handle when cooking so I probably will not get more of their noodles.