Really Not So Hot After All
Kings Noodle and Hot Pot
10939 101 Street
Kings Noodle and Hot Pot is open during the day from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and I availed myself of a late lunch. The lunch menu is short and concise: about 15 main dishes ($9-$11), several hot and cold appetizers ($2-$7), and many bottled and canned beverages, including beer and other alcoholic drinks.
The restaurant was rather large with two large rooms containing many large tables. As expected, they were mostly empty at 2:15 on a Monday, but still inviting. The place was tastefully decorated, albeit quite worn from use, but clean and tidy. A friendly server answered my questions on the menu, explaining which dishes were favourites of Chinese and which other people tended to order.
As usual, if the name of the restaurant includes a certain dish, I figure I should order it, so I opted for the “house special soybean paste with spinach noodle.” (After all, it had a star next to it, so it must be good.) My server explained that it was more authentic than the beef, pork, or seafood noodle options.
Rather than traditional spring rolls, curry fish ball, chicken wings, or the like for appetizer, I ordered a small “potato salad silk.” (What the heck – it was $1.75!) The thinly shredded, cold cooked potato with a light dressing was a wonderful little palette pleaser which made me eagerly look forward to the main.
The bowl of hot steaming spinach noodles came soon. The noodles had that homemade softness but were a little mushy, two steps beyond al dente stage. While the noodles may have been homemade, the sauce wasn’t. It was cool (intended to be warmed up by the noodles I suppose), heavily processed with a great deal of salt. For a starred item, I’d expect more than bottled black bean sauce from a Chinese grocery. After the delicious cold starter, I was disappointed.
I might have lingered after I was finished, but I felt shooed away at 20 minutes to 3:00, the approaching closing time. The bill was just over $12, which could be paid in cash or debit (no credit).
Dinner time (5 – 11 p.m.) seemed to be the time for the other half of the restaurant’s namesake: the $24.95 all-you-can-eat hotpot. Stovetops were on each table and there was room for a large buffet on one wall. There were notices about some of the ingredients, including the homemade noodles. I imagine that the evening offerings would be fresher and could be cooked to taste.
John lives in Boyle Street.