Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Boat Noodle @ Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya

There has been so much talk on the internet about this restaurant called Boat Noodle. Everyone seems so crazy about the place. Curious, I decided to check them out this evening at their latest outlet in Empire Damansara. 

Boat Noodle in Empire Damansara

The Place Was Crowded When We Arrived

The Restaurant In Empire Damansara
This outlet is located on the Ground Floor of Empire Damansara. It's a weekday and the place was still so crowded. I remember reading somewhere that on weekends, the queue can take up to 2 hours before being able to get a place to sit. That's seriously crazy. Seeing the crowd made me even more curious about the food here. I have tried the Boat Noodle in Bangkok that is sold along those floating markets and typically this is a poor man's food costing merely under RM 1 per bowl. Being Halal certified, the majority of customers here seemed to be Malay students and it was interesting to observe how they were willing to wait just to get a place to sit. Having done this dish in Bangkok which honestly was just okay, I am going to use that taste as a yardstick to measure the food here. 

Crowded It Was

Interior Of The Restaurant

The Counter

The Counter
Fortunately we were able to get a place to sit. No, not a table to ourselves but we had to share a long table with some Malay girls. They were very nice and invited us to share the table. The decoration at this restaurant was very simple, probably to showcase that this is in fact a poor man's food and as such, they were trying to portray the feel to be so. 

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

Order Guide For Newbies

Order Chit
Having taken our place, one of the waiter's handed us the menu and an ordering chit. The prices were definitely a premium. For some, RM 1.90 per bowl may seem like cheap but do note that the portions here are mega small and hence one is advised to have a minimum of 4 bowls which would equal a similar bowl of noodles elsewhere. And that too is for a small eater. Since we were not really hungry and basically came here just for tasting purposes, it was fine. After having filled the order chit, I then flagged down a waiter and passed the chit over to him. With that, he went over to the counter and registered the orders. Interesting to see the number of bowls that were being churned out. Seemed like a typical production line to me.



Mineral Water @ RM 2.50
Each table was provided with some additional spices and sauces. These are for those who would like to spice up their noodles. I did not want to order their specialty drinks as they seemed very expensive to me. And so, we ordered a bottle of Mineral Water which my Dad and I shared. This small bottle of water was priced at RM 2.50 and it came with a small tumbler filled with ice. The service levels of the staffs were amazing to see. They were all highly trained to handle crowd and every one of them was so efficient. Amazing to just watch them work. 

Grilled Chicken Meat Balls @ RM 4.90

Grilled Chicken Meat Balls @ RM 4.90

Grilled Chicken Meat Balls @ RM 4.90
They only had two different meats here, chicken and beef. And so, that left me with no choice but chicken only for all my dishes. The first to arrive was the Grilled Chicken Meat Balls and this was priced at RM 4.90 for two skewers with three balls each. Well, this is actually the very same Grilled Chicken Balls that is sold at all roadside stalls in Thailand which the common man would have as snacks. There, this could be purchased for less than 5 Bahts each and here it was a whopping RM 4.90 for two. That's very expensive. Preparation wise, it was nothing much. The Chicken Balls were grilled and then some Thai sweet chili sauce was added. Just that. The Chicken Balls however were soft and nice but that does not justify the price. I would rate this at 6/10 . Pretty mediocre stuff.  

Pathunthani Chicken Thai Rice Noodles @ RM 1.90

Pathunthani Chicken Thai Rice Noodles @ RM 1.90

Some Shredded Chicken, 1 Chicken Balls and some Rice Noodles

That Was All There Was In A Bowl

We Had A Good Laugh Looking At The Volume
Previously they used to have the Soup and Dry Noodle versions but nowadays, the Dry Noodles had been removed from the menu and instead, they offer two varieties of the Soup Noodles. This one is called Pathumthani Chicken Thai Rice Noodles and that refers to the locality where the flavours originated. Once again, this too comes in a choice of Chicken or Beef and we went for Chicken. As for the portion size, it was a joke. That is good for just one scoop and if I were to have a proper meal, I could easily do 20 bowls of this. Now, imagine how much that would have costed me. This is seriously pathetic but it is a highly successful marketing effort. For that, I must congratulate them as I am a marketing guy myself. Taste wise, it was nothing great at all. The only plus point was the noodles itself which was soft. But it did not taste any good. Not something that I would possibly think of eating again. When comparing this to the one that I had in Bangkok, the gap was huge. I would only rate this at 2.5/10 .

Ayutthaya Chicken Thai Rice Noodles @ RM 1.90

Ayutthaya Chicken Thai Rice Noodles @ RM 1.90

Slightly Spicy

That's It And The Bowl Is Done
This tasted slightly different from the earlier one. The difference may not be easily identifiable but it should be noticed without too much effort. This was slightly on the sweet and spicy side. Better than the earlier one but once again a so so dish. Once again, the portions were pathetic. Taste wise, I would rate this at 3.5/10 .

Ka Num Tuay @ RM 1.00

For The Price, You Get Two Small Bowls Of This Desert

Thai Pandan Desert

Rich With Coconut Milk

Pandan At The Base

And Yes....The Spoon Was Larger Than The Bowl
This Ka Num Tuay was actually the Thai Pandan Desert. For RM 1.00 , you would get two small containers filled with the desert. The top is coconut milk and the lower section is Pandan. Did you observe the size of the spoon being larger than the container itself? That's really funny and it's still expensive for the price. I can buy a large 'kuih' for 50 cents out there. The taste however was nice and it can be somewhat addictive. For the taste and for the taste only, I would rate this at 8/10 . Nevertheless, I would still say that it's pricey. 

5 Bowls Done

Our Bill For The Day
On the whole, I would say that this was just an experience and not a meal. For those who have never tasted the Thai Boat Noodles, then this would be a place that would give you an idea as to how that would have tasted. For those who have, my suggestion would be to just pass. I loved the staffs' attitude towards work along with their efficiency. Also loved their marketing efforts as it was highly successful. But, I did not like the food and in all possibility, would not be returning for more. Initially I thought that I was the only one who was feeling so (and this was based on the daily crowd) but after seeing my friends comments on Facebook (and that's coming from people who have dined here), I'm definitely not alone.

Address: G3A, Empire Damansara, Jalan PJU 8/8, Damansara Perdana,
                47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1100 - 2100 Daily

Telephone: +6019 477 3119 



  1. Hi,
    I have been a silent reader. I enjoy your postings on simple everyday restaurants. Keep up the good work. Great to see your dad being adventurous too.

    1. Hello there!
      Thank you very much for your kind support.It is readers like your goodself that keep me going. Thank's again. :)