Though Xuan Miao Vegetarian is one of the newer kids on the block at Circuit Food Centre, it has already emerged as the most popular stall. Years ago, I was having lunch at the Old Airport Food Centre. Besides the vegetarian stall was a Wanton Mee stall which has culinary awards plastered all over the stall. Customers need a queue number to get the food. At that time, I wondered when a vegetarian stall will be as popular as the Wanton Mee stall. Now it has finally happened at Miao Xuan.
The success of Xuan Miao lies in the simplicity of its menu. Xuan Miao only sells Ban Mian. No economical vegetable rice and mee hoon. Period. The Ban Mian from Miao Xuan comes in two flavours, dry and soup (normal or Tom Yam). Whatever you order, the dish will always come with generous amount of Amaranth leaves, mock fish slices and seaweed in the soup. If you order the dry noodles, the sliced mushroom will be placed with noodles instead of the soup. I usually order the dry Ban Mian mainly because it is really not easy to find good quality vegetarian dry mee in Singapore.
Xuan Miao manages to balance the sauce for the noodles very well as it is neither salty nor bland. Xuan Miao used to make the noodles by themselves in the early days of its operations. However, its popularity dictated that the manufacturing of the noodles be outsourced. Thus there is nothing extraordinary to speak of the noodles texture.
The soup has this slight sweet corn taste which I like. Again, it is not salty at all so it is definitely for all people. The Amaranth leaves are soft and tender which elder folks will appreciate. The mock fish slices is not the same as the usual mock seaweed fish. Xuan Miao does sell them separately in packages if you like them a lot. The Tom Yam soup is no push over as it is really sour and spicy.
Xuan Miao is a good sign of a maturing vegetarian food scene in Singapore. I hope current and future vegetarian operators can emulate Xuan Miao and focus on one or two signature dishes. There are more vegetarians than there were in the past. Certainly they will not be contented with just economical vegetable rice and mee hoon.
We strongly recommend the Ban Mian from Xuan Miao Vegetarian.
Circuit Road Food Centre is quite far away from major public transport hubs. The quickest way is to take a bus from the nearby Macpherson MRT along the Circle Line or Aljunied MRT along the East-West Line. Do take note that almost all of its vegetarian hawker stalls (except for Choo Zai Zhai Vegetarian and Tang Leng Chay Vegetarian Food) open from late afternoon onwards.