Jun’s courageous Bowls of Steel
Long before he became the god of noodles, Jun Chan was a mechanical engineer who couldn’t even cook rice to save his life when he was studying in America. But his grandmother, the amazing cook that he remembers, honed his taste buds for good food since he was young and was his sole inspiration. He later embarked on a Le Cordon Bleu course in London to get his cooking basics right, leaving his career as an engineer. His ultimate dream – to open his own ‘noodle bar’.
Fast forward to 2020, the boutique noodle bar Bowls of Steel (BOS) is testimony to just how far Jun’s passion has taken him. Every bowl of handmade artisan noodles here is a culmination of artful experimenting and innovative marriage of ingredients like no other.
A bowl of Four Garlic Mazemen (RM24), for instance, isn’t just a bowl comfort homestyle garlic noodles. The mushroom dashi paired with garlic done four ways, confit mushroom, an egg, burnt miso butter and toasted flounder right down to the smoked mushroom salt is a guilty pleasure that seduces your entire being with every mouthful of goodness. I’m bowled over (pun intended) by the amount of work that goes into a simple bowl of noodles!
The menu has dwindled down to a staple few due to the many MCOs and other issues during these trying times. But I’m so thankful BOS managed to weather the hard times, coming back stronger than ever. Hopefully, Jun will slowly be able to grow the menu to showcase his repertoire.
2021 is a hearty 36-hour sous vide beef short ribs and brisket noodles (RM30), that also has handrolled meat balls, caramelised mushrooms and onions and a shot of umami beef jus. Oh, it also has chili jam but I promise you this is 10 times better than Jamie Olicer’s fried rice! 2021 has since been revamped for 2022 and it’s even better!
I love everything here, but if I had to choose, it would be Nameless (RM25), a unique creation with toasted wholemeal noodles, pucuk manis, mushroom dumplings, tempe, Kimchi puree, kewpie-tare dressing, toasted cuttlefish salt, kale dust, and spicy mushroom dashi shot. The taste is sublime, I can’t put my finger on it, kinda strange but it works and every bite seems to give off a different layer of flavour.
Laksa Lemak BOS (RM25) is also wonderful, familiar yet given a diff spin by chef Jun – ‘Kak Rose-inspired laksa’ with tenggiri, mushroom, cucumber, bunga kantan and a host of other ingredients. There was also a recent collaboration with Kadei where Jun came up with a divine lamb noodles complete with bone marrow, which stayed on as a special on the menu.
There are a few choices for starters – make sure to try Kay Eff Si (RM18), a Korean inspired fried cauliflower. Truly finger licking good, so much so that you forget it’s just vegetable and not fried chicken. We also tried Mushroom and Corn croquettes (RM18) which was good but I still prefer KFSi.
The establishment is pork-free, Jun tries to use local produce to go with his handcrafted noodles as much as possible.
I have immense respect for the sheer amount of effort and ingredients Jun puts into every single bowl of noodles. I’ve jested – how do you make money if you give so much stuff? And Jun just laughs and says, he cannot imagine giving anything less to his customers as he wants them to enjoy every bowl to the max.
Add: 94a, Jalan SS 21/62, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya. tel: 03-7733 1002