Chinese Noodle Bar may have changed names and gone through a succession of new management in the last few years but it’s current offering has lured me back on a weekly basis since my first visit earlier this year. Addicted much?
I love their cumin & chilli pepper lamb kebab skewers, priced at a very affordable 5 for $10. The waitress asks “spicy OK?”. We nod and say yes to everything.The meat is sometimes a little fatty but juicy and well rendered. The charred bits are the best. The metal swords are burning hot but they’re worth tackling as these definitely taste best hot.
There’s a glass partition at the back of the restaurant, showcasing the chef’s skillful art at making hand-pulled noodles. We’d be fools to not have noodles at a place like this.
The mapo-tofu hand-pulled noodles ($11.80) combine the best of both dishes. There are plentiful cubes of tofu, the sauce is generous on spices and beneath, lies a mountain of long endless threads of noodles. I’m slightly embarassed that the waitress offers us a pair of scissors; although I’m thankful as we need them, I notice all the other Chinese customers in the restaurant seemed to be managing fine without them.
King duck with wide hand-pulled noodles ($15.80) are a special on the wall. They appear to be Northern-Chinese version of Italy’s duck ragu parpadelle. The wide ribbons of noodles are textured due to the stretching motion. They’re imperfect and irregular but grips well onto sauce and have a great bite.The steamed broccoli offers a crisp break from the lip-numbing sauce.
The pan-fried beef dumplings ($9.80 for 12) are also really good. They’re somewhat more refined than the versions you’d find at other dumpling houses nearby.
But the best bargains here are the cold side dishes which are mostly $5. The English spinach dish is refreshing with bits of ginger throughout the vinegar dressing.
My all-time favourite dish however, is probably the chicken, potato and capsicum noodles which is punchy and super aromatic with whole spices such as aniseed mixed within. Available in two serving sizes, the one pictured here is the small and is just $18! We always fight over the leftovers the next day as the sauce becomes more vibrant overnight.
Despite it’s decor, there’s nothing ordinary about the food at this Chinese restaurant! In case you can’t tell already, I love love love the spices and richness of flavours here as well as the generous portions.
Chinese Noodle Bar
800 George Street, Haymarket, NSW
Phone: (02) 9282 9570