Shopping from one end to the other of London Oxford street can be tiring. So if you end up on Oxford street near Tottenham Court road and feel like Chinese food, but do not want to walk further to London Chinatown. Then how about Noodle Oodle, which is a place for those looking something quick and simple to eat.
Like with many Chinese restaurants in Chinatown you will see roast duck hanging on the window of Noodle Oodle. From outside of the shop if you look through the window you will see the chefs cooking away inside. When we walked inside we were greeted by staff who knows English and Mandarin, with some who also speak Cantonese. One of the staff showed us to a table, which had a chopstick and spoon on top of a tissue that was laid on the wodden table.
There was a few people eating when we arrived. But by the time we seated the place was filling up and it was buzzing with people. Many seem to be tourist and students, which is not surprising being on the main street of Oxford Street. It is also only a few doors away from one the entrance/exit of Tottenham Court Road tube station, which makes it very convenient.
The menu was simple and easy to go through, with each item having a coloured photo to go with it. There are a range of sides/snacks, rice and noodles. The food range I felt was more of an influence from food that come across in China, so you will find the well-known Shanghai pork dumpling (siu long bai). On the menu it was labelled as Noodle Oodle’s signature dish. So being their signature dish we had to order a portion to try.
You get four Shanghai dumplings in a portion with a black vinegar and ginger dipping for £3.60, which I would not say its cheap or very expensive. It was a Shanghai dumpling that was not bland and you will find soup inside the dumpling, about half a spoonful. The pastry was thin but not as thin as I like it to be. I would not say this is the best Shanghai dumpling I have had in London. But it would not be the worst.
We also ordered Siew Mai (or siu mai) which is a well-known mince pork and prawn filled Chinese dim sum. The one we ordered at Noodle Oodle was filled with glutinous rice that had some Chinese pork sausages and shrimps mixed with it. In a portion you get three for £2.80.
With our two sides we called a main dish to go with it and we decided to try their noodles – hand pulled noodles (known as la-mein – 拉麵), which is made at the restaurant by the chefs.
We ordered a roast duck la-mein. The roast duck looks and taste like a roast duck you will find in London Chinatown.
Also, we ordered the wonton soup la-mein (cannot remember the full name but the one I ordered had a fancy name/description to it!) . Unlike the usual Cantonese style wonton where you will usually find prawn/pork in the filling. The ones in Noodle Oodle contained minced pork meat with some vegetable. I actually prefer it like this. It gives me that feeling of eating my mum’s wonderful homemade dumpling, which was full of flavour without the use of MSG. Noodle Oodle’s wonton indeed had flavoured in the dumpling. I could have enjoy just having a bowl of wonton without the la-mein.
The la-mein tasted ok, soft and chewy but I found it tasted on the flour side. A taste that does not go with my taste bud!
Each of the soup la-mein you get some bak choi (also known as pak choi – a type of Chinese vegetable), with both noodles costing £6.90 each.
If you are still hungry and want some dessert to finish it all up. Then you can find a range of sweet snacks/desserts to choose, including red-bean pancake and mango sago. We want for the souffle egg balls that was filled with red bean paste and came with some icing sugar. For a portion you get three balls for £3.00, so working it out that is £1 for each ball.
I remember having a similar version in one of Hong Kong’s Shanghai restaurant. But instead of red bean paste it had mango. That one was really beautiful – soft and light balls with a sweet taste helped by the icing sugar that was coated over the ball.
The one in Noodle Oodle was not bad but does not give me that same wonderful memories of Hong Kong. Noodle Oodle’s souffle balls was soft but not that light souffle texture. The ball was on the thicker side. The icing sugar look like it was spooned on top and I would had liked it to have been sieved through first to removed some of the lumps in it. It taste on the eggy side but then it had the word ‘egg’ in the name of the dish. You really need to coat some of the icing sugar to give the ball a sweet taste.
The service is OK, you would not expect to get top class service from this. As it is a place for those not too fussy and just looking for a quick eat. Do not expect to be able to sit around for hours here, it is really like a Chinese fast food cafe or you could say a noodle bar where you will get shuffle along to leave.
Relatively the price is ok, I would not say it is cheap compared to London Chinatown. The dim sums we ordered as our side dishes is a price you probably expect for dim sum. The drinks were average, probably a noodle bar price – a chinese tea would cost £1 per person, soft drink £1.70 or a hot/cold milk tea £2.00 per glass. But it has it uniqueness in the dishes on their menu and not to forget their freshly made la-mein.
25 Oxford Street,