Celebrating Vancouver Foodster’s Noodle Mania

I think many cultures have a dish made with noodles.  Think of Italian pasta, fried Chinese noodles (thick and thin), Filipino pancit, Indonesian mie goreng, Pad Thai, Vietnamese pho soup, and more.  Vancouver Foodster found a 5 restaurants around Kitsilano, Kerrisdale, and downtown to show off for us their noodle dishes.  All the food was quite enjoyable, but very filling!  Below are the restaurants we visited and the dishes we tasted.  Enjoy!

Our first stop was to pick up our Noodle Mania card from Platform 7 Coffee, a good place to get a cortado and a home made cookie, before going out for a night to eat noodles.

A cortado at Platform 7 Coffee

A cortado at Platform 7 Coffee

First noodle stop was at Linh Cafe, who presents French and modern Vietnamese cuisine.   There we had Pho Bo, their Beef noodle soup, served with braised beef flank, rice noodles, and scads of scallions.  Usually with pho you get lots of bean sprouts, but no sprouts here.  A nice change.  The star though for me was their Pho Xao; stir fried noodles with fresh herbs, organic oyster mushrooms, and marinated tofu on top of rice noodles.  The brightness of the fresh herbs and earthiness of the mushrooms was delicious.  Recommended.

Linh Cafe - Pho Bo beef noodle soup and Pho Xao stir fried noodles

Linh Cafe – Pho Bo beef noodle soup and Pho Xao stir fried noodles

Stop #2 was Bubble Waffle, who tote themselves as Hong Kong and Taiwanese style cooking, although for me it was more Singaporean in style.  If you like medium spicy I can highly recommend the Laksa soup, made with chicken, coconut milk, rice noodles, Chinese cabbage, and curry spices. There may also have been some cooked egg in it.  Richard do you know?

Bubble Waffle - Laksa soup

Bubble Waffle – Laksa soup

Next stop was Grotto Italian, serving up squash ravioli and housemade gnocchi on a smoked chicken and mushroom ragout.  I enjoyed the sweetness of the squash in the ravioli, but wished it had a bit more of the sage with brown butter on top.  The gnocchi was also cooked nicely with a slightly crunchy texture du to some pan frying, and went well with the ragout.  They also have a very nice wine list.  We ordered a half litre of their Italian Falanghina (a white Italian grape.  Order it and enjoy.)

Grotto - squash ravioli and gnocchi

Grotto – squash ravioli and gnocchi

Stop 4 brings us to Che-Licious, a Vietnamese restaurant where we had a Zen Salad roll, made with tofu, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, pickled daikon, and red pepper, served with a smoky dipping sauce, and a bowl of beef Pho soup, with rare beef, brisket, beef ball, tripe and tendon.  I didn’t see any of the tripe or tendon in the Pho.  I do LOVE brisket in my pho.  Brisket always is soft and full of flavour.  The tofu in the salad roll was pan fried I believe and you could not tell that it was tofu.  Nice.  The food was presented spectacularly.  You could eat with your eyes and your mouth.

Che-Licious Zen Salad Roll and Pho

Che-Licious Zen Salad Roll and Pho

The last stop of the evening was U & I Thai, where they served their U and I Spaghetti Kee Mao, made with wheat spaghetti noodles, and a sauce made with Thai basil, and their Guay Tieow Tom Kha Gai, a chicken soup made with coconut milk, lemon grass and other spices, served with flat rice noodles.  This dish was my FAVOURITE of the night.  It was delicately flavoured and light.  I was told by the restaurant owner that this soup will be showing up on their lunch menu so go try it.

U and I Thai with Spaghetti Kee Mao, Guay Tieow Tom Kha Gai, and shrimp chips

U and I Thai with Spaghetti Kee Mao, Guay Tieow Tom Kha Gai, and shrimp chips

Thanks to all the restaurants that opened their doors and noodles to us, and to Richard @vanfoodster for setting up this fun event.