Monday, May 4, 2015

Next Noodle Bar 裕小館

You know that feeling when you are starving but have dinner plans in literally a couple of hours? I despise that because whenever I try to have a snack, I end up going for a small meal and spoil my appetite for dinner. Sometimes I am fine with spoiling my appetite but it sucks because I end up stuffing myself full during dinner, overeat until I cannot breathe and walk out with a food baby. So this was the case when I waited an hour for my sister to get off work so we could have dinner together, and I ended up trying Next Noodle Bar with a friend.

Next Noodle Bar is located on Robson Street in Downtown Vancouver and has been around for almost a decade. The restaurant is fairly large, there are booth seats along with spacious seating arrangements, a high ceiling and the staff are friendly. Every table is provided with a large plate and a fork, but chopsticks are available on the side.

HOT AND SOUR SOUP, "Shrimp, chicken, tofu, wood ear, bamboo shoot and egg" ($8.50).
Rating: 2/5.
Before the Hot and Sour Soup was dropped off at the table, I had high expectations because I could smell the vinegar from across the room! But when it comes to the taste, the soup tastes more sweet than tangy and is not spicy. On top of that, the vinegar tastes very mild. Although to be fair, this is most likely a North Americanized variation of hot and sour soup. Soup base aside, there are the usual bare minimum ingredients in a hot and sour soup. The shrimp tastes bouncy and there is a decent amount of egg, I guess...

IMPERIAL DUCK ROLL, "Barbecue duck, avocado and scallion" ($5.50).
Rating: 3/5.
Trying a different take on the standard Taiwanese Beef Noodle Wraps, Next Noodle Bar's consists of barbecue duck and avocado! The pancake tastes housemade where there are plenty of flaky layers and despite the appearance, there is not much filling. This is where quality shines through quantity though because the meat tastes tender as well as fresh, and the roll is light on the hoisin sauce. However to some, the roll may be considered too dry.

Rating: 3/5.
The Taiwanese chicken nuggets have a crisp batter and every single piece tastes extremely juicy! The quality is fairly good too where there are no pieces of inedible fatty meat. But of course not everything is perfect and the chicken nuggets literally have no hint of five spices. Zilch, nada, nothing. I do not mind so much though because the nuggets taste juicy.

SINGAPORE CURRY VERMICELLI, "Shrimp, barbecue pork, egg and bean sprouts"chilli icon ($10.50).
Rating: 3.5/5.
FML the last dish that I expected to taste good, is actually the best. The vermicelli is properly cut and is easy to pull; there is no need to be dramatic and stand up while trying to grab a portion of the noodles with chopsticks (Bubble World). Honest to truth, this is the first restaurant that has properly cut the vermicelli noodles ever since I started blogging. Further, the ingredients are well mixed and the flavours are fused together. There are tender strips of barbecue pork, bouncy shrimp and a light curry flavour. The light curry flavour is most likely catered to the locals, but I can still taste the spices. On top of that, there is a good wok heat and a nice caramelized flavour.

SAMBAL EGGPLANT, "Dry shrimp and chilli" ($10.50).
Rating: 2.5/5.
The slices of eggplant are nicely caramelized, where the edges are sickening sweet (but bearable) and a touch crisp. But when I mention sickening sweet, I mean it. There is no hint of dry shrimp, chilli or sambal, and the dish tastes more like a Vietnamese-Chinese fusion dish with honey and brown sugar.

For a Chinese restaurant in Downtown Vancouver, Next Noodle Bar is not bad. A couple of the dishes such as the Singapore Curry Vermicelli and Five Spices Nuggets are better than other restaurants' I have been to. The staff at Next Noodle Bar are also friendly and inviting. When my sister joined us just as we were done our meal, the staff brought over a cup of tea for her and a fortune cookie too.

- Friendly staff
- Average prices
- Clean and large restaurant
- Mostly above average food

- Some dishes can improve

Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5

Next Noodle Bar 裕小館
560 Robson Street Vancouver, BC V6B 2B7
Telephone (604) 681-6398

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