Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ding Hao Noodle House 頂好牛肉麵

Getting to Coquitlam Centre before closing (one of those girl things when you rather pick up something than wait for a store transfer), we were stuck in the area with limited restaurants to dine at. Montana's was an option to revisit because I wanted those tasty ribs that I deserve. However, it was not worth the risk of leaving disappointed again and complaining about not spending the extra time driving to the Langley location. Using Urbanspoon (hey it does get handy eh?) we found Ding Hao Noodle House which is located in the same plaza as Sushi Town, pretty close to Coquitlam Centre. Walking in, we were greeted by a silent waiter with a blank face meaning we could seat ourselves anywhere. The interior looks clean, spacious and the seating arrangements are comfortable. Christmas music was playing in the background and the restaurant has cute gardening decor on the left hand wall which was dust free including the shelf. After ordering, I noticed a clipping from the Vancouver Sun which showed some reassurance the food would be tasty. An interesting find in the article is that the restaurant does not use MSG. I find that misleading because certain ingredients already contain MSG and they probably mean the restaurant does not add extra (I am against those who say MSG is a negative thing so it does not affect me anyways).


3 ASSORTED MARINATED ITEMS, MARINATED BEEF SHANK, MARINATED PORK EAR AND MARINATED DRY TOFU ($7.50). The first of the marinated items is the dry tofu which tastes simple, generic and is nothing special. The second, pig ear which tastes like pre-packaged pig ear but sliced in house. The last is the beef shank which tastes dry, like a dry piece of roast beef. I must have skimmed the newspaper article too fast, since I missed where it mentioned that the beef shank tasted dry as well.

TAIWANESE CRISPY POPCORN CHCKEN ($5.50). When all the appetizers came at once, the only aroma was peppery salt seasoning and five spice, which is a good sign of the popcorn chicken. The popcorn chicken is the thigh cut, lightly battered and deep fried. The chicken tastes tender and not oily, but could have tasted juicier as well as more flavourful. Also, the batter is a bit too thick for my liking but my friend enjoyed it. 

HANDMADE PORK AND VEGGIE DUMPLING, GROUND PORK, VEGETABLE AND SPECIAL DIPPING SAUCE. The skin for Taiwanese dumplings are a bit thicker than usual but I found these ones overly thick and doughy, even for Taiwanese dumplings. The dumplings do not taste juicy and tastes somewhat only moist, however, they do taste better with the special dipping sauce which is just black vinegar. For the filling, the pork meat tastes refreshing, light and not salty or too gritty. I always prefer healthier and lighter tastes and these dumplings are definitely on the "healthier" side, which may or may not be a preference for most people. Meaning, the dumplings taste bland (even to me).

BEEF FLANK NOODLE IN SPICY SOUP, BRISKET, GREEN ONION, SOUR MUSTARD, SPICY, SIZE SMALL ($7.50). The soup has a rich beef broth taste and is the original fatty soup base from cooking the beef brisket. The soup does not taste oily and no extra oil is added like what some restaurants do, it is just the original fatty soup base. Although the noodles are cooked perfectly with a slight pleasant chewiness, the beef brisket tastes bland and slightly chewy. The only complaint aside from the chewy beef brisket is that the soup does not taste spicy at all, and we ordered it spicy. I recommend asking for extra spicy because the soup did not even have a mild spiciness.

HALF AND HALF VERMICELLI IN SPICY SOUP, BRISKET, TENDON, GREEN ONION, SOUR MUSTARD, SPICY, SIZE LARGE ($8.75). The soup is the same as the one mentioned above and does not taste spicy as well. For the noodles, the restaurant uses clear vermicelli rather than rice vermicelli. It would have been nice if the menu was a bit more specific because we both would have preferred the chinese noodles over clear vermicelli (partly our fault for not asking). The tendon tastes very tender and has a perfect soft tasty texture, but again, the beef brisket tastes slightly chewy and bland.

- Dishes are easy on the salt and oil
- Spacious and comfortable seating
- Friendly waiter and although silent, he said bye before we left
- The only Taiwanese noodle house in Coquitlam?

- Brisket should taste better considering type of restaurant (plus, it is easy to make)

- Waiter rinsed the top of the can of coke so we did not need to do it ourselves with tea (first for me at a restauant)
- Did not get a chance to try the drinks!

Food: 2/5
Service: 2.5/5

Ding Hao Noodle House 頂好牛肉麵 on Urbanspoon

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