October 05, 2009

Glebe Noodle House


There are two new restaurants on Glebe Point Road that just opened in the past few days. Glebe Noodle House is down at the Broadway end of Glebe Point Road, and serves western Chinese style hand pulled noodles.

I'm a huge fan of hand pulled noodles, and Chinese noodle dishes in general. Hand pulled noodles are thick and chunky wheat noodles that are either fried or put into stews or soups. They're hearty, filling and delicious.

The process of making hand pulled noodles is both time consuming and labor intensive, requiring making dough, cutting it, rolling it into fat cigar shapes, letting it rest, rolling it again into long thumb width snakes, coiling it and letting it rest, pulling it into pencil thick lengths, piling them and letting it rest, and finally making skeins of noodles between your hands and stretching them into their final shape and size then boiling them.


The same dough can be rolled out into thin rounds as wrappers for the ubiquitous dumplings, that are filled with spiced meat, either beef or lamb here, and then boiled or fried. We opted for beef filling (by Hobson's choice - this being the first day they didn't actually have lamb dumplings yet) and asked for them to be fried. As you can tell from the photo the dumplings were cooked just a little too hot, with some of the dumplings getting over brown and the filling a little underdone. I put this down to teething pains, and expect things to improve as they get more experience.


We also had to try the noodles, of course, so we got their "Country Style" noodles, which consist of hand pulled noodles, and a stir fry of lamb, greens, onions, capsicum, and tomato in a savory sauce. Very nice flavors, and of course we loved the noodles.

We sat downstairs near the front in order to watch the open kitchen, but there's a larger seating area upstairs including an open balcony. The kitchen was a lot of fun to watch, with the noodle specialist constantly making noodles, rolling out dumpling skins and assembling dumplings. It was clear from her economy of motion and deftness that she has done this a lot. It was a joy to watch her work.

The kitchen on the other hand is a bit small, and cramped with three people trying to maneuver around. The mise en place needs a little work, with some of the sauces being hand poured from bottle into a ladle rather than just scooped out of ready to hand containers. As a result, timeliness suffered but I'm sure they'll work out these issues. Noodle houses are traditionally inexpensive and filling and this was both - we will be back.


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