These twins aren’t identical
Noodlies spreads the Chinese noodle and dumplings love
Do you know of families where one child is smarter or prettier or more popular than the other? It’s like that at the Prince Centre; facing off each other are two remarkably similar restaurants, in name, look and cuisine – Chinese Noodle Restaurant and Chinese Noodle House, heck they even have artificial grapes hanging from the ceiling. But one is more popular; Chinese Noodle Restaurant attract queues, lunch and dinner.
While Chinese Noodle House won’t be going out of business soon, it’s no where as busy. And on the internet, Noodle House rarely gets a mention compared Noodle Restaurant. Noodlies, Sydney food blog feels compelled to spread the love this Thursday lunch.
Outside, the large glass exterior is covered in neat rows of photos, numbered red squares containing colourful food on stark white bowls and plates. Inside, the square space is packed with as many small tables as possible. The five Chinese waitresses could be international students earning currency to help pay off student fees. Their hair, long, black and lustrous, though a tad unruly, casually kept in place with pastel scrunchies. They’re all short and slim, a pre-requisite for navigating the tight space between tables.-
The diners are an eclectic mix; office workers with lanyards, IDs tucked into the top pockets; gay boys in plunging v-neck tees (alas, I’m one of these ‘boys’); china-doll princesses with fitted skirts over wafer thin waists and long, pale legs; and young international students.
The menu is extensive, dumplings and handmade noodles – steamed, soup or fried. I’m in a rush and order one of their standards, handmade beef noodle soup. It’s out within minutes, piping hot, my waitress places it gently on my table with both hands. As you’d expect the handmade noodles are irregular, but these are flat and thick rather than tubular – you get lots of noodles in that bowl and it can get starchy if you don’t pace your six thinly sliced pieces of beef. The vibrant green coriander and spring onions help cut the starchiness. My soup is clear, with flavour, though it’s not complex and it’s on the sweet side. The beef is not marinated – dipping in soy and chilli oil is recommended.
Chinese Noodle House won’t win awards for their noodles, but this unpretentious eatery is fast, tasty and cheap – my hearty bowl costs $9.50 with free tea (yes, neighbouring Chinese restaurants, tea is free).
I’ll be back.
Chinese Noodle House
Prince Centre (on the right hand side if you’re facing the centre)
Thomas St, Haymarket, Sydney
I’d give you their address and phone number except when I asked for a business card, the friendly waitress answered matter-of-factly “we don’t have”.