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Kentan

Beef noodle soup (牛肉面)in Metro Vancouver

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I was out at Aberdeen Centre yesterday and happened upon the recently opened Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle (website here). The owner is a 5-time winner of the Taiwan International Beef Noodle Festival, so I decided it must be worth trying out.

The champion beef flank soup was so-so, and I can't say that it surpassed the average beef noodle joint in Vancouver. And it was also $11 - more expensive than average, although I guess rent in Aberdeen must be high as well. Overall, I wouldn't wait in line for it (they generally seem to have long line-ups from what I've heard), but it's good hearty food if you happen to be in Aberdeen Centre when it's not too busy.

It got me thinking about the best places for beef noodle soup in Metro Vancouver. What are your favourites? My short list would include:

Lin Chinese Cuisine and Tea House - This place is generally awesome for dim sum, but they do a great Northern Chinese style beef noodle soup too. At 1537 W Broadway near Granville.

Lao Shan Dong Homemade Noodle House - On the pricier side, but their noodles are handmade and the soup is nice and spicy. At 4887 Kingsway across from Metrotown.

Peaceful Restaurant - Handmade noodles, generally great service. Northern-style beef noodles. At 532 W Broadway near Cambie.

Tony's Beef Noodle One of the better Taiwanese beef noodle joints that I've found so far - and definitely the cheapest. At 5710 Cambie St right across from Oakridge station


健啖家(kentan-ka):A hearty eater

He was a wise man who invented beer." - Plato

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I would feel guilty if I didn't contribute to the first new topic here in years. I'm not an expert at all, but I've been going to Lin Shan Dong quite a bit in the last couple of months, as I work somewhere near by. I'm hoping to have lunch there again today actually. I love this place, absolutely delicious. And their dumplings are fantastic too. I will have to try the other places you mentioned.

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I think Lin Shang Dong is good, but cleanliness is a problem for me. It seems like alot Taiwan noodle places all have these kinds of issues. Cleanliness and a good bowl of noodles should not be mutually exclusive.


Edited by canucklehead (log)

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I think Lin Shang Dong is good, but cleanliness is a problem for me. It seems like alot Taiwan noodle places all have these kinds of issues. Cleanliness and a good bowl of noodles should not be mutually exclusive.

I there went yesterday for lunch, maybe I'm a pig, it doesn't bother me. It's definitely not worse than some dim sum joints my inlaws have taken me to. I wouldn't hold it against them for the volume they do.

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I usually get my beef noodle fix at Cabin 5555 in Kerrisdale (W. Boulevard). It's busy in there, they do a decent, reasonably-priced beef noodle, and that it's close to home is a bonus.

I've been told that Beefy Beef on Main & King Ed. is a well-reputed noodle chain from Taiwan, although I personally didn't think it was anything to write home about.

Has anyone tried Taiwan Beef Noodle King on Oak & 67th-ish? They haven't been open too long, just less than a year, maybe. I *think* it was opened by the same guy that originally opened Tony's Beef Noodle, as well as starting a bunch of other beef noodle restaurants in the Marpole area (it's got the same name, and the logo of the chef's head looks the same, too).

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I gave Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle a try last week. I beat the dinner crowd -- a fact for which I would be very grateful shortly.

My dinner started out omeniously: they were out of two of the items I tried to order. Since dinner service had barely started, it was ridiculous for them to run out of 涼拌海茸 (sea weed appetizer) and 餃子 (boiled dumplings). Even if business was that good, these are both dishes that any competent cook can whip up in 20 minutes.

The two appetizer dishes that were available, 涼拌豬耳 (pig's ear) and 涼拌小黃瓜 (pickled cucumber), were actually quite fantastic. Then the beef noodle soup arrived. Whereas the noodle itself was very good, al dente and full of energy, the soup was on the bland side. But the meats were disasters: the tendon was way over-cooked, yet the stomachs were unchewable, and the flank was flavourless. How dare they charge $11 for this bowl of amateurish noodle?

The two remaining dishes I tried were unremarkable except for their failings. The 牛肉捲餅 (beef wrap) was way too salty and the 鹽酥雞飯 (fried chicken on rice) is so drenched in sauce that I might as well be eating a porridge.

On my way out I passed by the open kitchen and a pile of their 餡餅 (fried meat pies) already fried up cooling there. A BIG no-no! Then I noticed the long line and thought to myself: "If I had to line up to be served such over-priced and mediocre dishes, I would really want to kick myself!" :angry:

I have tried most of the other beef noodle places mentioned and would like to add my suggestion: Lai Leung Kee Delicatessen in the food court of the Empire Shopping Centre in Richmond. They don't use the expensive noodles (from Toko Noodles) like Chef Hung does, so it's a little weaker in that regard. However, the soup and the meat more than make up for it. The Sichuan style beef is especially good, easily put many Sichuan restaurants' offering to shame.

Lai Leung Kee used to have a web-site, but it might have been discontinued. Urbanspoon has an entry, which might come in handy.


Edited by nondual1 (log)

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Thanks for the heads up Nondual - sounds like your experience was similiar to Alex Gill's. Lai Leung Kee is on my list of places to try.

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Chef Hung makes a good bowl of noodles. But noodle quality to price ratio isn't quite right. Side dishes are bunk, too, as a poster above noted. I ordered fried fish (you know, those tiny little fish, deepfried?) and what came was a bowl of noodles with a few stray fish sprinkled on top, and a sprig of cilantro. Bunk, bunk, bunk.

Can't recommend enough:

Brother Wang Beef Noodle 王哥牛肉面. Address is 5754 Cambie, directly across from the Oakridge Shopping Centre, easy Skytrain stop. It's a dive--and I mean that in the nicest way--that seats about 20 and is usually packed. Their braised beef noodle 红烧牛肉面 is the best in town, with a rich soup that's not punched up with MSG or overly salted. Spicy beef noodle 麻辣牛肉面 is the other attraction. Very nice. The beef is braised to the perfect texture and there's a great combination of chewy lean meat, sticky-as-toffee tendon, and creamy-as-ice-cream fat. Side dishes are respectable, too-- I love the pork in garlic sauce 蒜泥白肉 and the cold dressed 凉拌 dishes. Price is also a plus, especially when compared to joints like Chef Hung's. Atmosphere is dope, too. Feels like a neighborhood noodle place in a Chinese 小区.

Beijing Noodle House 北京面馆 (#190-6451 Buswell St.) also does a decent braised beef noodle 红烧牛肉面. They also have good zhajiang mian 炸酱面, too, if you're into that.

My favorite place, though, shut down. I only got a chance to eat there twice. It was a little Sichuan place in the Yaohan food court, where they made the best pickled garlic. Damn. Anyone know the name of the place or if it moved? It closed and was quickly replaced with a Thai joint. R.I.P.

And... if you want to stretch the definition of beef noodle, there are some places in town that make a good beef lamian 牛肉拉面, too.

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Tony's Beef Noodle One of the better Taiwanese beef noodle joints that I've found so far - and definitely the cheapest. At 5710 Cambie St right across from Oakridge station

Brother Wang Beef Noodle 王哥牛肉面. Address is 5754 Cambie, directly across from the Oakridge Shopping Centre, easy Skytrain stop. It's a dive--and I mean that in the nicest way--that seats about 20 and is usually packed. Their braised beef noodle 红烧牛肉面 is the best in town, with a rich soup that's not punched up with MSG or overly salted. Spicy beef noodle 麻辣牛肉面 is the other attraction. Very nice. The beef is braised to the perfect texture and there's a great combination of chewy lean meat, sticky-as-toffee tendon, and creamy-as-ice-cream fat. Side dishes are respectable, too-- I love the pork in garlic sauce 蒜泥白肉 and the cold dressed 凉拌 dishes. Price is also a plus, especially when compared to joints like Chef Hung's. Atmosphere is dope, too. Feels like a neighborhood noodle place in a Chinese 小区.

When two fellow noodle connoisseurs recommend Tony's Beef Noodle 王哥牛肉麵, going there for a taste was a no-brainer for me. It's very accessible, with lots of street parking around the block, not to mention its being across from the Canada Line station. Despite the less-than-glamorous decor, the place is bright and clean. The service is prompt, warm and efficient.

I can confirm DylanK's observations about the meats and the side-dishes/appetisers. As well, the beef wrapped in flat-bread (牛肉卷餅) is among one of the best I've had in Vancouver: excellent texture for both the flat-bread and the beef, not to mention the rich (but not overly salty) flavours. Whereas I didn't have the chance to try the spicy beef noodle, the very respectable wonton in spiced oil (紅油抄手) is a good indication that the noodle ought to be good too. Although the beef broth is a little bland when compared to Chef Hung's, in all other aspects Tony is way better than Chef Hung. And when you throw in the price comparison ($8 a bowl as opposed to $11), one would have to be an idiot to make the wrong choice.

Some photos:

IMG00495-20100315-1312.jpg

An assortment of 5 appetisers: seaweed, ox stomach, pork intestine, pork ear, and cucumber. All excellent!

IMG00498-20100315-1313.jpg

Beef noodle (actually green bean thread) soup in big bowl

IMG00499-20100315-1315.jpg

Individual serving of the beef noodle; notice the perfectly-done meats

IMG00493-20100315-1312.jpg

Beef wrapped in flat-bread

IMG00500-20100315-1319.jpg

Wonton in spiced oil

Next stop: The place on Oak and 67th!

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Jeez, this is kinda embarrassing to admit but... I had no idea that Tony's Beef Noodle was the same place as the Brother Wang Beef Noodle 王哥牛肉面 that I kept going on about-- I guess I never saw Tony's Beef Noodle on the sign. I've been wondering how everyone was missing the boat on my favorite place, while constantly talking about Tony's Beef Noodle. Okay, they're the same.

I still have to try a few of the other places mentioned, but this place is pretty great.

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Been a while since I've dropped in to egullet but it looks like it's worth returning :smile: I deffo have to get myself over to Tony's or Bro Wang or whatever the heck it's called -- I keep reading about it and it's always a thumbs up.


Edited by grayelf (log)

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Not a TBN, but....

I really like the Guizhou beef noodles at Huaxi Noodle Specialist in Crystal Mall. Spicy, Savoury, and Sour...make sure to add a blob of minced garlic from the jar by the till. Guizhou soup noodles are traditionally served with rice noodles, but I prefer the yellow wheat noodles as they cook it to near perfection here.

I get the #8 (Braised beef)

DSC01579.JPG

or the #9 (Tendon)

DSC02235.JPG


Edited by fmed (log)

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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Yeah, Huaxi is impressive and deserves more burn, on the level that places like Tony's get. This place is still mostly under the radar, isn't it? It's the kind of place that makes it worth grinding out to Burnaby.

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It's under the radar because it is a food court stall. It has a following - there are often line ups around lunch time. (Mostly Mainlanders.)


fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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