Noodle King - Food bloggers/Reviewers meet

After a cheesy chocolate-y Saturday, Murthabak and Malaysian parotta Sunday, Monday was the time to be in the Darbar of Noodle King. When we were invited to try out the new menu at Noodle King, I was quiet skeptical for two reasons. My previous encounters with Noodle King at Ascendas was not so satisfying/pleasing. Second, the meet was scheduled at their Pallavaram outlet. Travelling all the way to Pallavaram, wading through the insane traffic, I was thinking about attending it again and again. You know the thing with foodies. You may think, you are strong minded, determined and all. But when it comes to food, you surrender without putting up a fight. And I was driving all the way from Besant Nagar to Pallavaram with a fellow foodie.

Noodle King has been in the market for a real long time. The last time I dined in the express counter at Ascendas was some 6-7 years ago. The one at Pallavaram stands at 1200 sq.ft including the kitchen and can accommodate about 35-40 people. The interiors are anything like a chines restaurant should be. Bright red and black combination with a splash of golden/yellow decors was simple and neat. We arrived there by 7.45 and was waiting for another gang to join us (which took almost a hour). We were killing the time by going through the beautifully done menu card along with a glass of refreshing, cold and sweet lime mint cooler.

The first starter and the rest of the gang arrived at the same time. We were a gang of seven with a single vegetarian. These are the things we had.

Starters :

Prawn Salt N Pepper - Crispy prawns with a sautéed mix of onions pepper and celery. The first portion was too salty. While the second portion was perfect. The prawns were crispy and good.

Malak Fish Strips - The fish strips were juicy and succulent, perfectly cooked and the hot dry chilli sauce did it's job perfectly. Thumbs up.

Don Bok Chicken -  Crispy chicken coated with pepper sauce came with onions and bell peppers. I loved this dish as the pepper flavour was too good. I'll definitely order this on my next visit. Thumbs up.

Five Spiced Crispy Corns - American sweet corn made crispy and tossed with Chinese five spice powder. Crunchy corn with a bit of sweetness was well balanced by the spices.

Tai Chin Mushroom - Crunchy mushrooms in hoisin chilli sauce, failed to impress.

Honey Chilli Cauliflower - Deep fried cauliflower with honey chilli sauce. Though the flavour was good, I felt it was too oily. I mean too oily even for a deep fried dish. Majority of the gang loved it.

Soup :

We were served  a clear broth with sliced chicken and fried garlic. It tasted how a clear soup would be tasting. Nothing special to mention.

Dim Sum :

Fortune Chicken Suimai - This is a traditional open faced dim sum with chicken filling. The filling was very good. Instead of minced chicken, the filling had diced chicken and some vegetables. I felt the wrapper to be a bit doughy though.

Exotic Vegetable Dim Sum - The regular dim sum with exotic vegetable filling. The broccoli flavour was over pouring. Lacked some salt, but tasted okay with the accompanying sauce. 

Main Course :

Kwailam Fish - Yet another star dish of the day. Slices of fish cooked in chilli bean sauce was so good. Again the fish was very well cooked and the sauce was too too good. It was so good, that we took some extra sauce alone to go with the noodles and the rice.

Kung Pao Chicken - One dish the whole gang was waiting for eagerly. And when it arrived, the very sight of it put me off. I expected a nice stir fry and what came was a gravy which was tasteless. The chicken was soggy and lacked flavour unlike the crispy and fiery ones I've tasted so far.

Stir - Fried Chicken with Spinach - Chicken and spinach cooked in a hint of sesame oil. To be frank, this dish was a wrong choice in the whole menu. As all the dishes were medium to high in spice level, packed with flavours, this dish didn't fit in. Though the chicken was tender and cooked well, somehow it failed to deliver.

Stir - Fried Exotic Vegetables - Again, this was not liked much as there was less to zero flavour. Also the salt was very less in this.

Crisp Fried Baby Corn, Mushroom and Cauliflower in Black Pepper Sauce - The gravy was hot and the veggies were crisp and well done.

Rice/Noodles :

Hunan Fried Rice - Flavourful rice with eggs and chicken. It had a mild burnt taste and was hot with the chillies and Szechwan pepper and a kick from the ginger.

Chow Mein - A pretty decent noodles with veggies. Felt the sesame oil to be a bit dominating.

Mee Hoon Dry Chilli - An average tasting rice vermicelli with dry chilli flakes and chicken.

Corn, Spinach and Mushroom Fried Rice - This somehow didn't stand up to the mark. The rice and vegetables didn't go well together and definitely lacked flavour.

Dessert :

Fried Ice Cream - Taste wise no complaints. I always love the fried ice cream at Cascade. This one came very close to that. But plating wise it could've been done better. Some fried cashews and coconut flakes would've really lifted the spirit of the dish.

Date Pan Cake - Perfect-o !!! Usually  the pan cakes will have a thick layer of filling in between a oily pastry. But this one was bang on. Thin layer of date paste in between flaky pastry was absolutely yummy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The staffs were very polite and obliged to all our requests. Service was very very quick, that at a point we had to hold them, as the table was flooding with dishes. We had a chat with the Chef and the marketing CEO. They took the feed backs positively and was explaining how they are planning to serve authentic Chinese that will satisfy different taste buds. Chef was explaining, how much time it took them to fine tune and finalise the menu. They also said, they are looking on starting a new outlet in central Chennai. All the best for them, with the new menu.

To summarise, the food was a mixed bag. With few outstanding dishes, few of them were good and few of them were a flop. Just concentrating on the salt/seasoning, I'm sure it will do great. And cost wise they are affordable and competitive when compared with the another brand that operates on the same USP in Chennai.

A neighbourhood restaurant, serving Chinese food at affordable rates.

Place     : Noodle King
Location : Pallavaram, When u come from airport, this one comes before the pallavaram bus stand on the right side.
Cuisine   : Chinese - Veg & Non - veg
Cost       : This time food was on house. By looking at the menu I'm damn sure that it's very affordable. A meal for 2 should come around 600-700 bucks

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only.

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