Network-on-Chip (NoC)-based communication represents a promising solution to complex on-chip communication problems. Due to their regular structure, mesh-like NoC architectures have become very popular recently. However, they have poor topological properties such as long inter-node distances. In this paper, the authors address this very issue and explore the potential of partial NoC customization to improve both static and dynamic properties of the network significantly, while minimally affecting its regularity. Precise energy measurements on an FPGA prototype show that the improvement in network properties is achieved without a significant penalty in area and communication energy consumption.