Little bowls a big success for noodle chain

Eight Boat Noodle’s interior is clean and contemporary.
Eight Boat Noodle’s interior is clean and contemporary. Kimberley McCosker

Little bowls a big success for noodle chain

At the Eight Boat Noodle chain of restaurants, the tables pile high with empty soup noodle bowls. The bowls are small – each holding just a few spoonfuls of soup, a mouthful of thin rice noodles, a single meatball and a tiny morsel of beef or pork – so it can take half a dozen or more to satisfy a healthy appetite.

The founder of the stylish chain, Boun “Peter” Yousrin, 29, said he had adopted the small bowls concept from Malaysia after seeing it prove wildly popular there.

“The Thai boat noodle trend is booming over there,” he said.

Because each bowl is quite cheap – only 2,500 riel – customers with smaller appetites only have to pay for as much as they want.

However, Yousrin said the novelty factor was the main draw.

The dishwashers have their work cut out for them at Eight Boat Noodle.
The dishwashers have their work cut out for them at Eight Boat Noodle. Kimberley McCosker

“People challenge each other how many bowls they can eat and post photos of all of them on Instagram,” he said, adding that he had plans to hold an eating challenge at some point in the future.

The Thai-style boat noodle soup – originally served from boats on Bangkok’s canals – is tasty too. It’s soy sauce-based, darker and stronger in flavour than traditional Cambodian noodle soup but still quite sweet. Cow or pig’s blood can be added as a seasoning on request.

“We use only natural ingredients – star anise, galangal, lemongrass. No MSG,” said Yousrin.

At the moment, Eight Boat Noodles’ menu consists solely of the boat noodle soup with pork or beef, but Yousrin has plans to add more dishes.

“We’re going to introduce tom yum soup and maybe a meatball salad,” he said.

Even with just two noodle soup varieties, the small bowls are already proving extremely popular.

Seven Eight Boat Noodle outlets – most run by franchisees – have opened since April and more are planned to open in the coming months.

How many restaurants will Yousrin want before he’s had enough?

“In total, we want to open about 20 Eight Boat Noodle restaurants – including in other provinces,” he said.

Eight Boat Noodle has outlets at BKK1, Koh Pich, Mao Tse Toung Boulevard, Teuk Thla, Kromourn Sor, Stung Meanchey and Santhormuk Tel: 017 888 003. Web: facebook.com/eightboatnoodle.

MOST VIEWED

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Actress’s NGO takes heat for promoting the ruling party

    An actress’s NGO which participated in an election campaign event contrary to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) has been slammed. Chorn Chanleakena, a celebrity and the president of the Association of Artists Volunteering to Help Society, allegedly led its members in

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not