Address: G/F, 2 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan 上環文咸東街2號地下
Telephone: 2253 1113
Thank you Duyen for preparing the wonderful Vietnamese food!
Vietnamese food is a fail-safe choice whenever I crave something with taste. Unfortunately, we don’t always know what chemicals have gone into the delicious, flavourful broth in our beef pho. Noodlemi, a small restaurant serving MSG-free, wheat-free and gluten-free Vietnamese cuisine is our solution. Conveniently located on Bonham Strand, this new, non-fussy eatery is a popular haunt for Hong Kong’s increasingly health conscious office crowd.
Helmed by Duyen Hackett (previously running the Vietnamese restaurant Song) and French-Korean Jeremie Gougenheim, Noodlemi offers a delightful selection of Pho, baguettes and other snacks in a bright, clean setting. With an upbeat and lively vibe and quick and assured service, you would be very tempted to sit down for a casual meal to catch up with friends, but in fact, customers are as fond of buying takeaway as they are of eating in. After all, how often do you find a restaurant that offers a healthy and tasty lunch to-go at an affordable price?
(1) We started off with the Steamed Chicken Salad with Crunchy Cabbage & Herbs ($55), and the thinly sliced cabbage was attractively crisp, and tasted natural and refreshing. The lean strands of chicken added more substance to the salad, without making it too meaty or heavy.
(2) The Green Papaya Salad with Prawn ($60) was also well received at our table. Moistly dressed in a sweet and sour sauce, the fresh, crunchy green papaya was a fantastic match with the tender prawns. I would have wished for more prawns in this salad, if there weren’t so many more dishes to come!
(3) The Crispy Chicken Spring Rolls, Lettuce & Mint ($48), fried to a delightful golden brown colour, was snappy and crunchy, and the mint was a pleasing counterpoint to the chicken.
(4) The Soft Shell Crab Summer Roll ($65) was moreish and satisfying. Wrapped in a thin, smooth rice paper roll, the soft shell crab was fabulously crispy and packed with flavours.
(5) The Grilled Five Spiced Pork Scallion and Crispy Shallot Rice Vermicelli ($55) was my favourite dish. Sliced in an appropriate thickness, the scrumptiously marinated pork scallion had the perfect amount of fat and was a beautiful match with the plain rice vermicelli.
(6) Even without any MSG or other nasty chemicals, the Turmeric White Fish, Scallion and Dill Rice Vermicelli ($58) definitely packed a punch. The white fish flaked delicately, and the distinctive taste of turmeric gave the noodles an extra edge.
(7) The Aromatic Crab & Shrimp Tomato Soup with Vermicelli ($68) left deeply favourable impressions. Unlike the strongly flavoured crab soup at some restaurants which verge on the overwhelming, this crab and shrimp tomato soup was deep and mellow, and the sea-fresh taste of crabs hit all the right notes. The vermicelli was decadently soft and was perfect to soak up the delicious broth.
(8) Needing a break from the noodle extravaganza, we went for the Noodlemi Special Vietnamese Salami Sandwich ($42). The Vietnamese salami was lean and flavourful, but the real gem was found in the baguette, which was almost ethereal, and quickly melted and dissolved in the mouth.
(9) Somewhat defeated by the generous portions at this eatery, we decided to share one Vanilla Terrine with Fresh Berries ($40) amongst the four of us. There was a bit too much syrup on top, but the vanilla terrine had a lovely taste of yoghurt, and the creaminess was skilfully broken up by the crunch of berry seeds.
(10) The coconut juice in this Fresh Coconut ($35) was thirst-quenching and energizing.
(11) I also ordered a Fresh Ginger Tea (hot, $28) to wash down the delicious food, and the ginger’s hotness gave me a post-lunch boost!
Conclusion: This modernistic, no-nonsense eatery has given timeless Vietnamese cuisine a nudge forward. With its great location and simple yet enticing dishes, I am sure Noodlemi will be able to maintain its deserved popularity.