When it comes to instant noodles, no one has created quite a stir in recent years as the Taiwanese brand Kiki Noodles. Originally a chain of restaurants in Taiwan serving Sichuanese food, Kiki has grown wildly popular thanks to food bloggers, influencers and celebrity endorsements, leading the brand to start retailing their noodles in 2016, followed by launching Kiki Tea and Kiki Noodle Bar concepts.
The latter has just landed in Hong Kong at IFC Mall, which comes as good news for those of us who prefer to grab a quick noodle fix while out and about rather than fumbling with a packet at home (for home cooks, you can still order the packs online here).
Kiki Noodle Bar at IFC comes hot on the heels of successful noodle bar launches in Taiwan and Shanghai, as well as the popular Kiki Tea shop adjacent to Sun’s Bazaar in Pacific Place, which serves up a selection of Taiwanese-style teas and milk teas. Continuing its collaboration with Lai Sun Group, Kiki has tapped renowned chef Albert Au Kwok Keung (from Michelin-starred establishments Island Tang and The Eight) to create two exclusive noodle options at the IFC branch: the first is the Kiki meat dumpling mixed noodles with scallion oil (HK$98); and the second is the abalone and fish maw noodle in chicken soup (HK$138), a twist on a classic Chinese dish.
The remainder of the 15-item menu embraces the brand’s ethos of low-oil and low-sodium, ranging from stir-fried minced pork mixed noodles with chive flowers and fermented black bean (HK$98); to Sichuan spicy tofu noodles in soup, with duck blood and sliced pork (HK$98); and a comforting Kiki dan dan noodle ramped up with Sichuan peppercorns (HK$98). To pair, diners can choose sides from spicy pork knuckle to sliced pork with garlic, along with a selection of rice dishes, congees and rice rolls.
For an extra HK$18, you can tack on a special tea drink: Two new summer coolers to coincide with the launch include peach oolong tea with mango cream mousse, and winter melon tea with Aiyu jelly and coconut jelly. For sweet tooths, top off your meal with tea-style desserts from earl grey chiffon cake with brown sugar pearls to a chestnut mont blanc.
The chic noodle bar seats 32: designed as a sleek and contemporary noodle bar, it offers a calming respite from the buzz of the city’s busiest shopping centre. Shades of grey and light wood evoke the feel of a minimalist Japanese-style courtyard, with communal oak tables offering a chance for guests to bump elbows over a savoury bowl of noodles.
Endorsed by many a celebrity (including superstar actress Shu Qi), the cult brand is most beloved for its original green scallion and Sichuan pepper instant noodle packs. The noodles itself are touted as being healthier than instant ramen, due to being sun-dried rather than fried (each strand must be dried outside for two days and flipped every two hours). Made from just flour and water, the noodles are completely MSG- and preservative-free.
Kiki Noodle Bar is now open daily from 11am–10pm at Shop 2017, Podium Level Two, IFC Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong.