Saturday, April 9, 2011

Noodle Street, Westferry: A most welcomed addition

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Canary wharf may be the financial hub but it is lacking in terms of good places to eat. For such a concentrated area where all the £££ happens, you get the likes of Pret, Wagamama and Nandos to spend your lunch or even dinner money.

So I was quite excited when a friend suggested a place called Noodle St. Unfortunately there was a queue the first time we tried to eat there and we left as we didn't have the time. I did however make a mental note to come back.

Noodle St. opened in February 2010 which makes it quite a new child in the Wharf area. I can't believe that I didn’t find this place sooner. A few weeks later, I managed to get an opportunity to come and try out the food.

Browsing the menu, they offer a mix of Chinese, Vietnamese and even Thai dishes. This doesn't bode well and it is never a good sign when a restaurant tries to offer a few cuisines in one menu.

Nevertheless, we made our orders.

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How could I resist when there is bubble tea on the menu? The bubble or pearls were like gumballs that have lost their chewiness texture. I wouldn't recommend getting this here.

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Shanghai style buns or Xiao Long Bao £3.80

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Sugar cane prawn £4.25

For entrees, we ordered the XLB and sugar cane prawns. The XLB was decent enough but doesn't beat what is offered by Leongs Legend which in turn doesn't beat what you can get in the likes of Din Tai Fung.

Sugar cane prawn is a Vietnamese dish where minced prawn is made into a paste and coated in breadcrumbs with a stick of sugar cane in the middle. The prawn paste was juicy and delicious but the sugar cane was all dried and lost its juices. Part of the fun was chewing on the sugar cane for me you see.

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Noodle St special udon noodles £6

This is fried udon noodles with mixed meat, prawns and salad served with vinaigrette. The vinaigrette looks surprisingly similar to fish sauce. Hmm.. Is this meant to be a Vietnamese twist? In went the fish sauce and stirred and mix in with the udon noodles. The vinaigrette adds tanginess and lightens up the oiliness that usually comes with fried noodles used in the dish. A good mix of meat and vegetables and the udon noodles went down well, I really like it.

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Seafood Hor Fun £6

My friend ordered the seafood Hor Fun which bears a resemblance to Char Kway Teow. It was a little on the oily side but otherwise was enjoyable.

On a subsequent occasion, I came back and with a bigger party, we got to try more items on the menu.

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Dim sum platter £3.80

This comprises of a prawn Dumpling, scallop Siu Mai, Chinese chives Dumpling and vegetable Dumpling.

I was half expecting frozen supermarket bought types but was pleasantly wrong. Looking at the translucent skin wrapping each dim sum, this was definitely not the case. The fillings were fresh and tasty and the skin was the right consistency.

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Vietnamese prawn summer rolls £3.95

I have never been served such huge summer rolls before and we were beginning to wonder if we have perhaps over ordered. Unfortunately the summer rolls had too much noodles in it which drowned out everything else.

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Won ton soup £2.80

This was good. Full of flavour and the won tons were fresh, juicy and succulent.

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Malaysian Laksa £6

Taste wise, it hits the right top notes but the soup itself was too diluted such that it is a watered down version. You don't get the spicy heat after the first few bites.

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Crispy aromatic duck with noodles £5.50

I wasn't sure what to expect with this and when it came, it looks like a variation of Peking Duck but served with noodles. I will say that this is one of the better dishes. The shredded duck was moist; the egg noodles were cut such that each is only about 6cm. This slight change in the size makes it swirl and snap in the mouth. Smartly done and definitely elevated the entire dish.

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Salt and Pepper Pork Chop with Rice £6

The pork chop was fried perfectly; the combination of the oil mixed with the pork juices and touches of chilli, garlic and onions is just delicious. The egg fried rice was a little bland but complements the pork chop.

With such reasonable prices, your meal would average around £10 mark or less. Great value, better than what you can find in some of those dismal offerings in Chinatown, Noodle Street is definitely welcomed with open arms in the wharf.

Will I recommend: Yes
Will I come back: Yes
Have I had better: Yes

Noodle Street, 15–17 Pennyfields Docklands London E14 8HP

Noodle Street on Urbanspoon


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