Finally a place in Perth where I can indulge in noodles semi-guiltlessly (semi, because I am trying a diet of low carbs). If you need to be reminded…I have a very unhealthy addiction to noodles. Noodle soup, stir-fry noodles, deep fried noodles with sauce, boiled noodles, claypot noodles, salad noodles – in whatever way noodles are cooked I will eat them all (but noodles in a heart warming broth is my number choice).
Today on a very chilly day I ventured out to the city for some harmless shopping. I had the craving for a good bowl of soup, battling between minestrone or asian soup. In the end, asian soup craving won so I headed on foot to Northbridge for a big bowl of noodle soup. I have read that Big Bowl Noodles along William Street makes their own noodles so that alone is enough to convince me to give this place a try. The restaurant was not overly busy when I walked in seeing as it was already 2:30pm then. There were only 3 other tables occupied so service was very quick.
They have this on their wall explaining something about noodle making -
- and they are right. Noodle making is an art. Big Bowl makes their own noodles called La Mien, as in noodles pulled by hand, but we are now in the modern ages so they actually use machines to “pull” the noodles. There are 3 machines – 1 for regular noodles, 1 for wholemeal noodles, and 1 for thicker regular noodles – and the noodles are “pulled” to order. Place your order then choose your noodle and the waitress presses a button on the machine and, voila, noodles come out and she passes them on to the chef.
There are some 50+ combinations of noodles on the menu – some soup, some stir fried, some vego..etc. and it did take a while for me to decide which one to indulge in. Finally I chose the fish skin with prawn dumpling noodle soup with wholemeal noodles. Wow, it was heaven in every slurp. And made even better with a little bit of chili. It was unusual to have wholemeal la mien because I have never been to a chinese restaurant that actually makes and serves wholemeal noodles. This worked just fine for me because I currently have an obsession with anything wholemeal (for that added texture). The soup was very simple yet tasty. Just broth, I’m guessing pork broth, and not loaded with msg seeing as I was not left dehydrated after I finished my bowl of noodle soup. They were generous with the veggies too. The only real problem with my meal were the dumplings. They came in only 4 pieces and were mediocre. The wrapper was too big and I could not make out where the fish skin was.
The staff there can speak little English, enough for them to get by and understand me. I was going to try ordering in Chinese but I felt so embarrassed with my broken Chinese that if she asked me something else I would’ve just turned red and replied in English. The lady who served me looked a bit uptight but she did turn out to be friendly upon “chatting” with her about the noodles. I loved my wholemeal noodles so much that I ordered fresh ones to take home. I did not know that you can actually just order fresh noodles until a man came in and ordered 4 large containers. So I copied him and ordered 1 large container for myself. And this was when I “chatted” with the lady about the different types of noodles and how I should store and cook them at home.
I am literally contained with excitement about cooking the noodles at home. I finally found a place where I can get quality noodles to feed my addiction.
My rating: 8/10