Saturday, July 10, 2010

Noodle Shop

164 W 25th Ave
San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 345-1277

Reviewed 9/23/2007

It was a carb-extravaganza at this place, and I felt like Totoro afterwards.

True, that is a common feeling I have after going out for a meal. But I really did feel like a sugar bomb having eaten all those white noodles and dumpling skins and sticky rice cakes. What me, watching my carbs?

On a five-star scale, I’d give this one four stars respectfully for:
  1. being inexpensive
  2. being convenient (e.g., parking is possible)
  3. as many others have commented--being "clean" (obviously noteworthy among certain Asian businesses)
  4. elastic noodles that hold up in steaming broth until the end
This place is no-frills, and basic, as in minimal and robotic, service. Walk another block past the more uppity Italian place and the hostess is smiling warmly thorough the tinted glass, but here you wonder if your order translated or got processed. That said, service was prompt and we got what we ordered.

Green veg dumplings were very moist and flavorful. Skins were satisfyingly chewy. The veg noodles were covered generously with ribbon tofu stuffed with shitake, and a small handful of of spinach. Since I dislike the texture of soggy noodles, I habitually inhale Asian soup, burning the inside of my mouth in process. I don't have to do this at this joint as the noodles remain al dente until chewed on.

The prob I have with a depthless bowl of soup is that I get bored with the taste after a while. But this is an aside, and that's my problem.

Noodle Soup gets applause for its soup portions.

My dining buddy was fine with her Sesame and Peanut Pork Noodles, though she said the meal was neither particularly spicy nor peanut-y. I eat like a Hindu, so I sampled neither her noodles nor her porky dumplings, which she also liked.

We did, however, share dessert, which we both loved and wished there was more of. It was the Black Bean Soft Rice Balls (or something like that).

These are like Japanese mochi, but milder in flavor with a filling that is viscous but not pasty. They were covered in a taro (I think) powder and they were soft and warm. We suspect they were hand-kneaded. They reminded me of miniature Hostess Snowball cupcakes--Chinese style. Great for a smile.

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