How did we not hear about Shanxi Noodle Bar the moment it opened. We still can’t figure it out. But the point is we are here now and keen to be regulars. The shop is well set up with the bar positioned in the middle. You can sit casually on a bar stool while having your meal or if you prefer a booth for you and your fiends, that is definitely an option too. We love the simplicity in this restaurant and yet they still manage to showcase what the traditional Shanxi province is all about.
The menu is nice and short on a double sided page, which made it so much easier to choose what we wanted. Mostly you’ll find noodle dishes, obviously. There are also two styles to choose from; Handmade Noodles or Sliced Noodles. The handmade noodles look like regular egg noodles and the sliced noodles are flat (like fettuccine) and they are prepared with a special grater from a giant cheese looking oval before being cooked in a large boiling pot. It takes less than two minutes then they drain the noodles, ready to be prepared with the sauce. The outcome is surprisingly tender! Despite taking less than 2 minutes to cook, is further proof of how well it was made. We believe that making your own hand made noodles need extra practice, patience and love. Shanxi Noodle Bar delivers just that.
We ordered every entree on the Snack menu. I personally get so excited when a restaurant prepares and offers lots of condiments before the main meals. Snacks such as Crisp Pickled Vegetables and Seaweed Salad were on the table as well as my favourites such as Marinated Pork Ears with Cucumber and Tofu with sliced Century Egg. My taste buds were dancing. The pork ears were crunchy and well marinated with plenty of flavour. The tofu was soft with the perfect amount of sauce and chili oil, topped with a creamy tasting century egg.
Traditional Pork Mince Soup with Sliced Noodles were one of the first dishes we ordered. We wanted to see what traditional Shanxi noodles were like and they did not disappoint. Very flavoursome pork broth with soft noodles. Generous minced meat so you don’t feel like you’re only getting noodles. There was also some bokchoy on top which complemented the dish well.
We also ordered the Mixed Mushroom Soup with the Handmade Noodles this time. The mushroom broth was honestly out of this world. You could smell it miles away and I meant that in the best way possible! We love mushrooms and this was simply delightful with a mixed variety such as enoki, button mushrooms and tree ears, famously known as black fungus. We couldn’t fault this and don’t care if it’s a little biased because I admit, I love my mushrooms.
We were suggested the Tomato and Egg Noodle Soup and as basic as it sounds, the taste was anything but. It was much better than we could have imagined. We understand now why this dish was recommended to us!
Next were Signature Braised Noodles with Pork Ribs. Now the moment I read this on the menu, I knew that I had to have it. I didn’t care if the menu said it’s generally for two people, we can sort that out later. I just needed to try that dish. And what came out completely satisfied my craving. Fried noodle dish with braised pork ribs which were deliciously marinated and perfectly tender. This lived up to my expectations and I was satisfied. You can find this dish under their “Chef’s Special”. It was special, alright!
Moving on to non-noodle dishes, we ordered their Traditional Fried Dumpling with Pork. Mind you this dish is also generally for sharing as there are 15 pieces in one plate. Being a restaurant of handmade noodles, it’s a ‘no brainer’ that they also hand-make their dumpling sheets. This is what makes their dumplings different from the others. We thoroughly enjoyed every bite of the tasty pork fried dumpling until there was nothing left. They also offer Chicken and Shrimp Dumplings and they can prepare them either fried lightly or in a broth. With or without chilli sauce. You decide!
Roujiamo or known as Chinese Hamburger was something we have never tried before. It’s a simple dish with some minced meat mild enough for children to eat and enjoy. This is definitely a great addition to your main meals as a side dish and can be cut into two if you wish to share with company.
Another tasty snack that was a new experience for us was their (super) mini Red Bean Spring Rolls. They are half the size of the already mini spring rolls! We could munch on these all day, everyday without feeling bad about it.
Last but not least was their Marinated Boiled Egg. We just had to try as many new thing as we could. You could taste the herbs and spice on the marinade. Served cold, this was also a great extra to order if you are an egg fan, like me.
We have enjoyed our dining experience here in Shanxi Noodle Bar. Even down to the drinks where we didn’t even really know what we actually had but we dared ourselves to try them. Their Plum drinks and Jujube drinks were our popular favourites. And if you come with kids, they’ve got you sorted with a few choices of kids noodle dishes. Let us thank Shanxi Noodle Bar for bringing this cool concept to Adelaide. We will definitely be back to try their other flavours and to get our hands on some more of those delicious condiments.
Words by Dee Pene from Adelaide Food Authority
WHERE: 305 Morphett St, Adelaide