Thursday, December 18, 2014

Two Kinds Of Hand-Made Noodles In Catonsville; Or "Pair Your Clam Soup With Clam Pancakes"

Hang Ari's clam soup
I have raved before, and I will rave again:  Something terrific is going on at Hanoori Town in Catonsville.

The three restaurants have been revamped in the Hanoori Town section of the H Mart's shopping center.  Hang Ari's hand-cut noodles are the shiny new star.  Imported from Los Angeles.  Unique in the area as far as I know.

But they're not the only hand-made noodles in town.  Chan Mat -- the restaurant in the back -- appears to have chef Chang Yon Huh banging out the noodles for black bean noodles as well.  Those are jajangmyeun, a cornerstone of Korea's Chinese restaurants.  The chef works in an open space where you can see and hear him throughout the dining room.

Hang Ari's clam pancakes
Seriously, these are exceptional, reasonably priced, casual meals.  I treated my parents to lunch of Hang Ari's clam soup and a clam pancake.  One order of each served three of us.  The clam broth alone is worth driving to Catonsville. The bowl can filled with tender clams and again had perfectly-cooked squash and potato.  The noodles are slightly chewy and contrast beautifully with the briny flavor of the clams.

The clam pancake was just as perfect.  Imagine chopped claim with just enough batter to brown and crisp.  The minimal-filler construction of a great crab cake.  That means they don't stay together like a finger-food latke, but they're delicious cut with a fork and dipped in a sauce.

New parenthood definitely makes blogging tough.  We are still learning to be efficient enough to have any free moments.  So I'm writing short posts this weeks on the theme of two items that you could buy at a single stop.  At Hanoori town, you could pair clam soup with clam pancakes or order one dish from each restaurant and pair Chan Mat black bean noodles with Hang Ari's noodle soup.

These are videos below of both the hand cut and "Chinese" noodles being made.

1 comment:

bmorecupcake said...

We went to Hanoori Town this weekend. I found the public noodle-making display a bit confusing at first. If I didn't know I was looking for a restaurant named "Hang Ari" and just been told to go for handmade noodles, I might have gone to the wrong place.

In any case, the clam pancakes were indeed wonderful, but different from Pajun we usually associate with Korean food. I think that's because we're used to the filler. (Is it rice flour that's traditionally used for these?)

We also ordered the spicy seafood soup. Communication was a bit difficult, but we were assured the broth was seafood-only, not chicken/beef-based. I was happy that the seafood was cooked perfectly, and didn't look like it came from one of those mixed seafood bags you see at HMart. I will go back for this reason alone. The noodles were a tad undercooked, however. As the soup cooled, the pasty texture/flavor of undercooked noodles was evident. Hopefully it was a one time thing.

One negative, I had to ask for the appetizers (banchan). It's been years since I've had to convince someone that I will eat Kimchi even though I'm not Korean.