I don’t know about you, but one of the best things about trying food at a new place is the unknown. The lack of knowing what’s on their menu that will catch your eye and your taste buds, not knowing whether you’ll be surprised (pleasantly and otherwise!) with the choice of combinations they have up, or whether the entire experiment which you’re about to embark on will tank or succeed beyond your expectations.
So with all this bubbling in my mind, I was pretty excited to try the fare at The Noodle House that opens in Karachi in October. With The Noodle House brand getting rave reviews, I was curious to see whether the Karachi outlet, located in PC, would be up to the mark.
With their open kitchen which is both hip and trendy, The Noodle House is likely to be a permanent addition which Karachities would flock to, if for nothing else, than their duck-fix!
L-R clockwise: Drinks menu and Order pad, Wasabi prawns, Crystal shrimp dumplings, Roasted duck, Chicken satay with peanut sauce
The menu of The Noodle House is right on your table – you’re supposed to mark the items you want and hand it to the server, who presumably hands it straight to the kitchen. By the time we were ready to order our drinks (the drinks menu is separate), the hostess told us they were out of them and could only offer us mineral water or soft drinks.
Their menu comprises of Appetizers, Dim Sum, Wet noodles & soup, Wok fried noodles, House favorite, their Specialties, Side Dishes and desserts.
We ordered the Wasabi prawns, which is the chef’s specialty and chicken satay with peanut sauce. The Wasabi prawns arrived on a bed of mixed lettuce and were cooked to perfection. However the Wasabi kick, which is what one would generally expect from Wasabi prawns, was missing and it was just a tad too sweet. The chicken satay, which arrived with a good portion of peanut sauce was spot on.
The Crystal shrimp dumplings which arrived with a dipping sauce looked a tad bit unappetizing – we honestly tried to give it another go later on, but they were nothing much to write about. Our friends from Lahore actually called us and told us to try the Pad Thai with prawns! Unfortunately our plate of Pad Thai smelled like something burnt – a lot! Which is such a shame really, because it looked absolutely gorgeous.
Now let’s talk about the two things that made all the above worth it and would be the reason I’d return to The Noodle House: the Roasted duck – Singapore style with Hoision sauce served with pancakes and the Crispy prawn with honey and barbeque sauce.
Perfection: Roasted duck with Hoisin sauce
The duck was perfection. I don’t think I’ve ever had duck here which tasted this good, was this crisp and so, so perfectly cooked. The ducks are important, explained the owner to us, while we were marveling over how ‘gorgeous’ it was. He also very helpfully explained us how to make a duck pancake and properly eat it (LOL). The Noodle House gets the ducks from Brazil and don’t use the local ones, which he further explained, don’t taste as good. Since I haven’t had some which was this good, I think I’ll agree with him. In any case, half my kingdom for the recipe for that roasted duck!
Crispy prawns with honey and barbeque sauce
The duck was followed by the second highlight of our tasting: the Crispy prawns with honey and barbeque sauce. I don’t think any of us could stop ourselves from tucking into the dish. Immediately. It packs a punch to say the least. The vegetables and the mushrooms were tender and crisp and the combination of the barbeque sauce and honey was… heady to say the least.
We also ordered some roasted chicken and egg fried rice as a side, but even after asking the waiter for them twice, we didn’t get the side dish. No explanation was given. We didn’t get a chance to order any of the desserts (I would love to have tried the sticky bean doughnuts and the fried green tea ice cream!) since the closing time was pretty near.
Roasted duck, pancakes to build the wraps and Wasabi prawns in the background
The thing with a soft opening or a soft launch is that they usually happen so that the kitchen gets ample enough time to get in the rhythm of cooking. And of course, to get all these pesky little things out of the way for a smooth sailing.
All in all, I would definitely give The Noodle House another try once the kitchen settles in properly. The staff was courteous, and the owners were kind enough to make rounds to make sure everyone was settled in properly and the duck, the duck was brilliant.
The Noodle House Karachi opens its door to public on the 1st of October at Pearl Continental Hotel. The launch event was organized by Catwalk Productions and PR by Catalyst PR & Marketing.