SINGAPORE - Considered one of the first few automatic noodle makers to hit the market, the Philips Avance Collection Noodle Maker HR2365 looks set to be the next hot household gadget.
The machine, which churns out noodles in under 15 minutes, is selling for $299 at major department stores, which is lower than the recommended retail price of $329.
At many retailers in Orchard Road that carry the noodle maker, booths with product demonstrations drew many interested shoppers and promoters were informing them the machines were being snapped up quickly.
However, Philips is unable to reveal sales figures for the machine, which was launched three weeks ago.
The model on sale in Singapore is the second version of the machine which was launched in China last year and six months ago in Japan.
It allows users to customise the "bounciness" of the noodles - the longer the dough is kneaded, the chewier the noodles become.
The 7.8kg machine, which comes with measuring cups, a cleaning kit and a recipe book, was created in collaboration with Temasek Polytechnic.
The noodle maker is easy to use: Just plug in, pour flour and water into the mixing chamber and let the machine do the kneading of dough and extruding of noodles.
An Italian pasta-maker (which cost under $100), on the other hand, requires the tedious process of cranking out your own noodles.
You can make four types of noodles with the noodle shaping discs - angel hair pasta/mee kia, fettucine/ban mian, spaghetti/yellow noodles and penne.
Water can also be substituted with vegetable juice or an egg-and-water mixture (to make egg noodles).
Other household gadgets released in the market over the years included bread and soya milk makers to ice-cream machines.
And more of such noodle makers will make their way here soon.
SundayLife! understands that kitchen appliance company Happiness, the sole distributor of the Joyoung brand, will launch the Joyoung Noodle Maker in Singapore by the end of the year.
Two years ago, the Joyoung Multifunction Soymilk Maker entered the local market here.
To tailor the machine to the local palate, Philips worked with a group of students from Temasek Polytechnic to test the equipment as well as develop recipes to match the types of noodles.
Ms Petrina Lim, course manager for the diploma in baking and culinary science for the school of applied science at the polytechnic, says:
"The students were initially experimenting with a prototype machine, where we found some difficulties in cleaning the appliance. Philips then came up with the cleaning caps to make the cleaning process simpler.
"We also shared feedback on the possible types of noodle moulds that would more likely suit the Singapore market."
So far, it has been relatively fuss-free for those who have used the machine.
Accountant Linda Quek, 48, who bought the noodle maker a week ago, says: "The machine is easy to use and I like that there are different moulds to choose from.
"Cleaning can get a bit messy, but I realised it's better to leave the dough to dry so it is easier to remove. I hope they can have more moulds in future as I would like to make my own udon."
A shopper who is eyeing the machine is retiree Irene Lee, 74, who makes her own noodles at home with an Italian pasta-maker.
Madam Lee says: "With this automatic machine, I don't have to buy noodles from the supermarkets and I don't have to knead everything by hand. Just throw everything in - so simple."
The Philips Avance Collection Noodle Maker HR2365 retails at major department and electronics stores for $329. For more information, go to www.philips.com.sg.
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