10/20 – 10 Questions, Answered in 20 Words or Less!
Duyen Hackett, Owner and Chef of Noodlemi
Opened in October this year, Noodlemi is the latest venture from founder and chef Duyen Hackett, who serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine but with a twist – all the menu items (except the baguette) at Noodlemi are MSG-free, wheat-free and gluten-free.
1. What was the inspiration for you to open Noodlemi, and why now?
HK needed a good Vietnamese noodle bar concept with quality food and reasonable prices, especially in this economic downturn.
2. Your restaurant is famously MSG-, Gluten-, and Wheat-free. Can you tell us more and
We’re all conscious about what we eat, and many are allergic to MSG, gluten and wheat. Plus, it’s healthy!
3. How do you manage to stay true to traditional Vietnamese tastes with these alternatives? Are the flavours different as a result?
Our ingredients and spices are the same as traditional dishes, but without any flavour enhancement, and added herbs and vegetables.
4. How is Noodlemi different from your other Vietnamese restaurant, Song?
Noodlemi is a fast-service noodle bar, heavily concentrated during lunch and relaxed with wine and beer during dinner service.
5. What is your favourite dish on the Noodlemi menu? What do you recommend for first-timers to your restaurant?
The crab & shrimp vermicelli is my favourite, but I recommend the soft-shell crab rolls and five-spiced grilled pork too!
6. As for your ingredients, where do they come from? Do you source locally or import?
We purchase our ingredients from Vietnam and local suppliers. We source both locally and from Ho Chi Minh City.
7. Tell us more about your desserts, which are not so traditional compared to the rest of your menu?
Our dessert, the Vanilla Terrine with Raspberry Coulis, is sumptuously light and refreshing – to match with our food!
8. Noodlemi follows a growing trend in Hong Kong of not auto-adding 10% service charge. What's the appeal?
We do not believe in 10% service charge. We simply believe in good service and making our customers happy.
9. When you're not on the job, where do you go to eat out in Hong Kong and why?
I like exploring different cuisines and new restaurants - Robuchon and Otto are my favourites, and I like 22 Ships.
10. Anything special on the books for the upcoming holiday season?
We will host special-request private events at Noodlemi over Christmas, but I might surprise our customers with something festive later!