The Asian Noodle Bar on Cornwall Street was a bit of a bonus find on this trip to Plymouth. Outside the menu was suggesting that this was just another Chinese serving up the standard westernised menu with offerings such as Omelette and Chips, and Foo Yung and Noodles, but once inside and sat down we were happy to be given the Authentic Sichuan menu which has all the good stuff on it that we also love.
I was in my element once I found that I could get a bowl of Noodle Soup and even happier when we found that they had dumplings even though they were not on the menu.
I do love a noodle so I was really happy as I thumbed my way through the menu to find the section with the noodle soups. Those of you that read my other blog The Nottingham Food Blog will be familiar with my obsession with a noodle strand, I have a whole section just about the ones that I have eaten in Nottingham (read more here)
Today I was ordering the ‘Fresh Noodles, Beef Veg in Soup‘, the other option that said ‘in Spicy Soup‘ looked a bit fiery to me in the menu picture, so I was attempting to play it a little safer.
First impressions were looking good! A great big bowlful appeared at the table filled with broth, a very decent amount of sliced stewed beef, lots of cabbage leaf, and a scattering of chopped coriander all hiding the noodles that I hoped lay somewhere beneath the surface.
The soup broth was a lot spicier than I had anticipated, I was sweating a little and getting that chilli cough that comes when the spice hits the back of your throat. Luckily I had ordered a big beer to sip (or perhaps in this case gulp) whenever I needed a little cooling refreshment.
The cabbage leaves that had been cooked in the broth were also quite spicy and were a bit of a surprise. I was expecting something like pak choi but I kind of preferred these larger leaves instead.
The beef was rough cut and perhaps not from the best part of the animal, but it was tender and still flavourful within the broth. I was happy that there was so much of it, a quite generous portion to be fair.
Once I had worked my way through some of the broth and the meat layering the top of the dish I was able to start fishing out the fresh noodles. Based on the menu pictures I had thought that I was going to be getting much thinner noodles, but the bowlful was filled with the thicker ones instead. To be honest I was just as happy with those. I liked that they were freshly made and a little bit chewy like al dente pasta I suppose. They had also started to absorb some of the liquid broth so they were a bit silken and slipped nicely from the chopsticks into my mouth.
All in all this was a really good bowl of soup noodles and even though it got me sweating and my mouth all a tingle I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It had been a while since I had some beef noodles this good and I was delighted to find them here in Plymouth
As I said up top we were really happy to find that they had dumplings on offer here at the Asian Noodle Bar. In the window outside there had been a small lunchtime menu that mentioned dumplings but we could not find them in the main menu. When I asked the owner if they had dumplings she was delighted to tell us that they had some in today and even happier to find that we really wanted them, so she said we could have a plate to share while we waited for the soup.
They were really good steamed dumplings, 12 of the soft, silky little parcels filled with pork mince and chives arrived on the plate alongside a nice dipping sauce of black vinegar mixed with a little chilli. If I am honest I could have eaten the whole plateful myself. I didn’t though I played nicely and shared them.
This is a pretty neat Chinese Restaurant, it seemed quiet when we first walked in but then we found that there was a large party upstairs where they also have a Karaoke machine so glad we were downstairs!
The lady running the places was really welcoming and very obliging especially hunting out those dumplings for us. It was a shame that we are not local as I would certainly be coming back quite often if I was
The menu outside did not do the place justice as it just seemed to be a basic Chinese but having said that, I know that it is what most people want. While we dined a group of student types came in to order the usual sweet and sour pork with egg fried rice and I suspect that they will pay more of the bills than people like me hunting down dumplings and noodles so fair play to everyone
The Asian Noodle bar is located at 112 Cornwall Street in Plymouth, PL1 1NF
I could not find any Social Media but I believe that it used to be called the Authentic Sichuan Restaurant and they had just reopened and rebranded so perhaps that is all to come.
The owner was very welcoming and it is worth checking out if you are in town!