Hand-cut noodles at Legendary Noodle

A week or so ago, the plan was to check out Lin Chinese. Benzie, already there, called with the news that they were closed for two weeks. Grrrrr! On to Plan B…Thai Basil. Closed on Sunday. Double grrrrr! Whilst cruising down Denman on the way to our third option, Gyoza King, I called an audible and we wound up at Legendary Noodle.

Legendary Noodle has been on my wish list for some time. Any place that takes the time and effort to create their own noodles is always worth a visit or five. It turns out, at least in our case, that they make noodles to order!

We arrived to an empty, very decorative, small room. As soon as we ordered, the head chef/La Mian Master sprung into action.

It’s always fascinating to see hand-pulled noodles being created. Yes, a lot of it is about show, but seeing your noodles being made before your eyes is always a novelty…it never gets old. When a noodle-maker puts himself on display, you know right away he takes pride in his work. You’ve just got to admire that.

Before we got to the noodle section of the menu, we made a couple picks of the appetizer variety.

Not too sure what possessed us to go with the Spring Rolls. Weirdly, part of our reasoning was the rather high price-point ($6). We figured a pricier spring roll would be loaded with minced pork or have some interesting twist. Not these.

Just the plain old veg version. They were, however, a step up from the frozen variety. We think they were made in-house…not completely sure, though. The plum sauce was on the excessively sweet side but a lashing of chili oil balanced that out nicely.

On the other hand, the Green Onion Pancake was excellent. Light, flaky and crispy with just enough greasy goodness. Fantastic on their own but a dunk in the rich, peanutty sauce didn’t hurt neither.

Time to check out the Dumplings menu…

On a recommendation from our helpful server we went with the Chau Shou.

Chau Shou translates as “folded hands” referring to the shape of the dumpling. According to Peter Hessler of the New Yorker:

“In most parts of Sichuan, you can walk into a restaurant and order chaoshou without making a sound. Cross your arms and they will understand exactly what you want.”

Now that is a handy tip.

As for these dumplings, not bad. There was a hint of lemon but the “Spicy Peanut Sauce” needed some encouragement. Another one of those dishes toned down for the locals, methinks.

I am forever on the hunt for exceptional Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) . Legendary Noodle’s version were tasty but a little too tightly packed. This doesn’t leave much room for the requisite scalding splash of broth. It’s just not right unless you leave with a second-degree burn on the roof of your mouth!

On to the noodles!

From the Dao Xiao Miàn (knife-shaved noodles) list, we went with the Beef Brisket. A nice stir-fry, this was. A good assortment of fresh vegetables…hearty, thick and chewy noodles with very tender hunks of brisket.

The Lemon Garlic with Chicken Noodles perked things up. The noodles could of used a bit more char but, overall, this was a fantastic combo of flavor and texture. Crunchy veg, tender noodles bathed in a load of garlic, soy and just a hint of lemon. A very well-balanced dish.

After a series of so-so plates, the noodles saved this meal. It’s fairly obvious that’s where the effort goes. If you decide to come, go large on the noodles.


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