Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Noodles Corner, Nominated For Best Chinese?

Mrs. HowChow photographs Noodles Corner
Things change.  On the down side, Red Pearl has closed in Columbia.  On the up side, Mrs. HowChow now loves to photograph her food.

A new cell phone has made the wife unembarrassed about snapping dinners in restaurants, but Red Pearl's closing has left us without a favorite place for Chinese food in Howard County.

The dim sum hole will need to be filled by Asian Court in Ellicott City.  For the rest of the menu, I'm staring the nominations with Noodles Corner in Columbia.  The bright, casual spot off Dobbin Road has a second menu with "authentic" Chinese, and we have eaten bright, fresh dishes that just feel different than most Chinese joints.

Fish in XO sauce.  Mixed seafood with crisp vegetables, shrimp, mock crab, and squid.  An eggplant cooked in a sauce that was all flavor, no grease or clump.  We tend to order three dishes with the plan to take home at least two extra meals.  The "authentic" menu is in English, so you can order with confidence -- especially if you check Yelp for advice from people like Yaka H. who go into details.

Is Noodles Corner as spectacular as Grace Garden in Odenton?  No.  That's one of my favorite places.  But it's closer, and dishes range from the zesty hot pots to a simple, earthy bok choy and mushrooms.   This looks like our takeout spot on cold winter nights.

Who else has nominations?  What Chinese kitchen do you like best?  What do you order there?

I have posted many times about Chinese food, including the Chinese food of Korea like Tian Chinese Cuisine. I even wrote a 2010 overview of Chinese restaurants.  Give me new suggestions, and I'll work through them.

22 comments:

Balancing Act said...

We like Jessie Wong's in EC for Pad Thai and Chow Fun, especially. It is difficult to find the wide rice noodles in the Chow Fun at many Chinese places. I'm guessing a place called Noodles Corner should have them, though!

Zevonista said...

Jesse Wong's Asean Bistro is a reliable standard; their red sauced wontons are addictive.

We've tried East Moon Bistro delivery, and the crab rangoon and pad thai were very good. We'll give them another try to sample other items from the menu.

AliceDD said...

I have to be honest here, although I enjoyed their food I stopped going to Noodles Corner a few years ago because their service was bad enough to be offensive. There were several problems but the last straw came when I ordered something that was on the menu only to be laughed at by the server as she informed me it was no longer something they offered. Like I was supposed to know that? Part of dining out is the experience, so no matter how amazing their soup may be I wouldn't go back to Noodles Corner.

MarkM said...

There are several in this area. I don't get the hype over Hunan Manor. The food is ok and the service is hit or miss.

A couple of our favorites are Hunan Legend in Dorsey Hall and Peking Chef in Hickory Ridge. Hunan Legend does a large eat-in business and Peking Chef, new renovated, does a large take-out. A sleeper is Lucky's China Inn in Oakland Mills.

kristenb said...

Chopstixx in Elkridge is excellent! You can eat in the small dining room, although we usually take out. Their noodle dishes are some of the best in HoCo, and they have a wider range menu than most of the 'standard' Asian restaurants...including Street Food options like MaPo tofu and a Malaysian Fried Rice, both of which are favorites.

KB

Stephanie T said...

Yes - I second the vote for Chopstixx. The food is really good, plus they have the best bubble tea that I've found in the area (which isn't really saying much, considering their competition is the Jasmine kiosk at the mall... blechhh).

Jody said...

Our favorite for take out/delivery is Chopstixx in Elkridge---never eaten in, not much of an ambiance there. The Malaysian Kway Teoy off the street menu is great, pretty spicy. I also like that I can order General Tso's and request all white meat chicken for a $1 extra.

We also like East Moon for take out/delivery. Portion sizes are very generous, and there are a decent amount of crisp well cooked veggies with most of the dishes including broccoli, carrots, zuchinni and sometimes eggplant. Nothing I've ordered ever tastes greasy.

I like Hunan Manor, but we rarely go out for Chinese. I prefer to go there with a group and share dishes.

tacitus said...

@MarkM

Hunan Manor used to be awesome and the best Chinese in the area (10+ years) ago. Lately its just competent plus there is a lot more competition now and they haven't kept up. (I also personally think their food had gotten blander)

Anonymous said...

I concur with ChopStixx. The Malaysian Kway Teow can sometimes be quite good, when they don't overload it with just noodles. Their Young Chow Wonton Soup is excellent.

Anonymous said...

Not quite in HowCo (Rolling Rd just south of Rt 40) but Hunan Taste has some seriously delicious Chinese food. Someone in the back knows what he is doing! Superb soups, pork dishes, and Spicy Shredded Chicken. Yum!

Snoopy said...

Being a chinese food snob from NY, my favorites are Hunan Legand, with a close second being Jesse Wongs. We typically order from Jesse's though, since that is my husbands favorite. I found Hunan Manor to be bland and greasy. I will have to check out East Moon and Chopstixx. I wonder if they deliver to us. I hate the surcharge on carroutmenu.com

Anonymous said...

I _used_ to like Asean Bistro, long ago, but the last several times have been disappointing. Not to mention their "couldn't care less" service. The only plus I give them is the big pot of (free) veggies they used to have at lunch. But it's been so long, not sure they still do that.

RJ said...

I'm Chinese/Taiwanese and can tell you that Noodles Corner is legit...the real deal...my family always takes our other chinese relatives there because it's authentic Chinese/Taiwanese.

I agree with Mr. HowChow that the XO Fish is amazing. If you like that, you should also try the Pan Fried Noodles with Seafood Combination (it's on the chinese/white menu). The sauce is delicious, the seafood tastes great, and the crispy noodles are awesome. Make sure you mix it!

Judith said...

I also have had problems with extremely rude service at Noodles Corner and have stopped going there as a result.

But, I love Asean Bistro. Their crispy eggplant is fantastic.

Rick B. said...

Don't understand the hype about Jesse Wong's. Way overpriced for average food. Noodles corner on the other hand is the opposite. Good prices and great food. We have been going there for about eight years and have never been disappointed. Their Pad Thai is very good. Sorry to hear about others having bad service, but we've never experienced that. The owner always greets us with a smile.

kevlar51 said...

That's good to hear so much love for Chopstixx. I lived very close when they opened 6 or 7 years ago. I found (like many new chinese carryouts in the area) the food was quite good at first and then the quality dropped after a few months.

But I'm pleased to read they've gotten over that and are serving great food again.

Cornyship said...

Tried out the beef Chow Fun at Grace Garden and was not impressed enough to even encourage another visit. No taste and bland...did I miss something?

bmorecupcake said...

Used to go to Noodles Corner very often 10 years ago. I always got the Vietnamese Shrimp Salad. Hmmm, maybe it's time to go back...

Randy said...

My wife and I are still mourning the loss of Red Pearl, but we will gladly second the nomination for Noodles Corner. A couple weeks ago, my wife and I moved to a new house, and several of our friends were gracious enough to help us with the move. In return, we treated them to a Chinese meal at Noodles Corner. Our friends have a variety of dietary needs (e.g., food allergies/sensitivities, vegetarian, etc.), preferences, and cultural backgrounds. The staff were kind enough to accommodate (though we had arranged for a particular menu beforehand). After we got everyone set up at the restaurant, my wife and I stepped out for a bit to return our moving truck. When we got back, everybody had been raving about the food and had even elected to order more!

We will admit that my wife and I have become regulars at Noodles Corner, and the owners recognize us on sight now. On a day-to-day basis, service can sometimes be a bit spotty, but it doesn't take away from the fabulous food that they serve. Some of our favorites include their Pi-Pa Tofu, Singapore Noodles, XO Fish, Pan-Fried Crispy Noodles w/ Seafood, Chow Fun, and Udon Noodles. One item that is not necessarily listed on either menu (mainstream or Chinese) that we have often picked up based on the managers' recommendations is a whole fish (bones, head, and tail included) that is prepared in a mildly spicy tofu sauce that must be laced with crack, but it is absolutely addictive!

My mother-in-law, a very picky lady from Fouzhou who rarely has anything positive to say about most Chinese restaurants (primarily because she used to work in one and usually says that she can do better when she makes the dishes) even commented that Noodles Corner is "pretty good." She also had positive things to say about Red Pearl back in the day.

JW said...

Our latest favorite Chinese is China Village (the intersection of Route 103 and Route 104). Their beef chow fun (dry) is very close to what I'm used to from up north (and would be my last meal request if I were sitting on death row). Surprsingly, their fried chicken wings are really good too, either with the Hunan or Szechuan dipping sauce). This place does a BOOMING take our business, but you can eat in (but make reservations for Christmas Day!).

The other is Chopstixx for their Street Meals - still working my way through all the noodle dishes, but they were all really tasty (Pho, Hong Kong style Wonton Noodle soup, Kway Teow, Beef Chow Fun (dry) and the Thai Fried Rice). Agree about the setting/ambience - it's more like a waiting room for the take out people.

Finally, if we want a little fancier, therefore a little pricier, is Asian Court for dinner. Their XO fish fillets, Baby Clams with Ground Pork, Salt & Pepper Fish Fillet or Shrimp, and the Eggplant with pork are great. AND the have Chinese broccoli not the regular broccoli like a lot of the other take out places.

Asian Court is also our go to place for dim sum if we don't want to travel to Silver Spring or Fortune (I forget where that is - Wheaton?)

East Moon is fancy fusion Asian food - tasty with a cool, hip ambience to meet and eat with friends. I do love their Panang Curry though.

Kiki said...

We tried Noodles Corner for the first time over the weekend and unfortunately we were disappointed. Our waitress was so friendly and accommodating that I really wanted to like the food but I just couldn't. I had the Lemongrass chicken with Vermicelli noodles and the chicken breast was so dry and over-cooked that it was not edible. The noodles and salad were fine, but the sauce quickly turned into a solid with a gelatinous quality. The best part of the dish was that the meal came served in a boat. Not something I've ever seen enforce, but it was fun.

My husband ordered a Mango chicken dish which was pretty good, but unfortunately not good enough to make up for my meal.

Anonymous said...

The new China Taste at Enchanted Forest has a good selection of noodle dishes. We like the Kikkoman noodles -- not sure what makes them different than other glass noodles on the menu, but they're tasty. A few Thai dishes add variety to the menu. The woman at the counter is very friendly and enthusiastic. The place is mainly geared for takeout but has a few tables. A positive addition on the west side of Rt. 40.