August 6, 2012
尚面馆 – Shang Noodle House, Richmond BC
港式咖啡 (Coffee HK Style)
港式奶茶 (Tea & Milk HK Style)
港式鸳鸯 (Coffee & Tea Mix HK Style)
野菌香菇汤拉面 (Assorted Mushroom w/ House Ramen in Japanese Mushroom Soup)
脆皮鸭汤拉面 (BBQ Duck w/ Ramen in Japanese Mushroom Soup)
串烧牛柳&串烧猪颈肉 (Beef Tenderloin & Pork Jowl Meat Skewer)
We really needed to get out of the house on this long weekend Monday. Mom did not want to cook so we decided to give 尚面馆 (Shang Noodle House) a try since it was new and her colleagues had said some good things about it. The ambiance was casual and relaxing, and I love how everything is in new and great condition. The servers were very friendly and attentive, and by 2:30 p.m., there were not too many people eating inside.
Our two bowls of noodles and an afternoon snack order each came with a drink. The 港式咖啡 (Coffee HK Style) had quite a strong coffee and milk taste and was also very sweet. It also had the slight taste of what Mom thinks is wheat germ. It certainly had less caffeine and more milk and sugar than regular coffee. The 港式奶茶 (Tea & Milk HK Style) was also very milky with a strong taste of black tea. It was, however, unlike the coffee in that it was not very sweet. Whereas the coffee was doused with sugar, this had just enough to mask the bitterness of the tea. Finally, the 港式鸳鸯 (Coffee & Tea Mix HK Style) was my favourite of the three, as it combined both the sweet coffee and the milky tea into a refreshing cold drink that it neither too sweet, milky, nor bland. Instead, it had a nice but slight bitterness with a decent amount of sweetness. I need to get this drink more often!
My selection of the first item on the menu, which also happens to be their number one specialty, was the 野菌香菇汤拉面 (Assorted Mushroom w/ House Ramen in Japanese Mushroom Soup). I loved the Japanese mushroom soup base made from two mushrooms. In addition to the sweet toppings of diced carrots, broccoli, and sweet corn, there were at least four or five types of mushrooms, perfectly tender and chewy. They were soaking up the fungi aroma and the whole bowl was absolutely delicious. The noodles were a special kind made with five mushroom extracts, according to our server. It looked more like whole grain noodles and tasted like it was made with something special, although I am not sure I would have guessed mushrooms did I not know that. Since it did not have as much flour and thus not as much of a stretch, it was slightly overcooked and mushier than I would have preferred, although still good. The whole bowl was very aromatic but did not contain too much MSG. I am not sure which mushrooms were used for noodles versus soup, but the whole bowl contained agarikusu, chakitake, chitake, eringi, fukurotake, kiirotake, and maitake. Sounds like gibberish to me! I loved the mushrooms so much I would certainly order this again.
Mom, as suggested by her colleague, ordered the 脆皮鸭汤拉面 (BBQ Duck w/ Ramen in Japanese Mushroom Soup), which also came in the Japanese mushroom soup. The serving of duck was generous and had a nice balance between fat and lean meat. It was cold, meant to be soaked into the hot noodle soup to warm it up before eating it, and also allowing the fat to leak slightly into the soup. We got traditional lai mein, which were slightly chewier in texture and not as overcooked as the mushroom noodles. This probably had more wheat gluten so it is harder to cook through. It also had the corn, broccoli, and carrots, along with green scallions to make the soup more interesting. I would have preferred warm duck with crispy skin but it was still decent nonetheless.
Finally, since it was late afternoon, we got the S from their special menu. Both the beef tenderloin and pork jowl meat were extremely tender and succulent. However, both were also not marinated and seasoned enough, making them taste meaty and bland. The pork jowl meat were also harder to bite and chew, becoming quite stretchy. The peppers and scallion were nice complements and I enjoyed the peppers a lot despite their blandness. The meat were cooked very nicely so I just wish they had more flavour.
Overall, we found the place to be casual and relaxing with a very friendly ambiance. It was decent café food and we would come back here, at least on a cold winter day, just to warm up a little with a big bowl of noodles in soup, while also having an excuse to enjoy a chilled drink.