Sherman's Food Adventures: The One

The One

The One Restaurant. Not to be confused with 2 other establishments in the GVRD with almost the same name, is the new snazzy venture by LSD (Lao Shan Dong). Located at the former location of Moore's, we have beef noodle where suits and ties were once displayed. Unlike most times after Friday hockey, it was only myself and Milhouse doing the late night food thing. However, 2 weeks later, practically the whole hockey team joined us for some late night eats. Apparently, they were amazed at my willingness to visit a restaurant twice in such a short period of time (much like when I went to Santouka twice).

So the first time I visited this place, Milhouse and I were greeted to a nice automated sliding glass door. Somehow, it felt like entering a retail store rather than a restaurant. But being that shiny, new electronic things always fascinate me, I love the door! The thing that immediately struck us as we entered was the sheer brightness. The decor is both colourful and "Vegas"-like. Add a couple of slot machines, poker tables and a whole lot of smoke, it would give The Venetian a run for its money. Well, Milhouse and I are not the gambling type, so we didn't stray far from the regular stuff. We shared the Spicy Wontons to start. If there was ever such a thing as al dente wontons, these would be it. The wonton skin was quite chewy (in a good way) and held up really well to the sauce. Too bad the sauce was more vinegary than spicy. A bit more chili oil would've really made the dish. We ordered one more appetizer and it ended up to be all mine. You see, it was the House Meat Platter which consists of beef shank, dried tofu, tripe and pig's ear. Milhouse is not a big fan of offal and despite the fact that 2 of the items were not, did not sway him into trying it. Although
texturally different, all 4 of the items were doused with the same sweet and salty sauce. I personally could've done with less since all I could taste was the sauce. Despite this, everything was good with the tripe still retaining some elasticity and the pig's ear was gelatinous.

Milhouse went for the standard Spicy Beef Noodle with Flank. For myself, I had the practically the same except with tendon added on. Very much like LSD, the broth had depth without being overly salty. We wished that it could've been slightly spicer; but it was flavourful enough. The ample amount of noodles were al dente and the plethora of mustard greens added both acidity and crunch. As expected, the flank was tender and the tendon was soft. Curiously, the broth was not as hot (temperature-wise) as we would've liked. Alright, so I made a return visit to The One a few weeks later with practically the entire hockey team. It wasn't necessarily my first choice; but it just happened to work out due to type of food, location and the fact it was still open. So in addition to Milhouse and I, we were graced with the presence of Boss Woman, Mr. Blueberry, Gadget Girl, Emilicious, Gordo and Ginseng.

I once again ordered the Spicy Beef Flank & Tendon Noodles while Milhouse had the Spicy Beef Flank Noodles. Yah, you would think I'd try something else. Not to worry, I ended up sharing 4, count'em 4 items with Boss Woman in addition to my noodles! We started with the Fried Squid Tentacles. Glistening with grease and oily enough to scare most people, the squid itself was quite tender and slightly chewy. We found that the batter was both a bit bland and not crispy enough. Next up was the Beef Onion Pancake Roll. Appearance-wise, it had all the elements of a good roll - nice browning on the outside, flakiness, decent amount of beef and hoisin and some scallions. However, one bite and it's obvious that the appearance of flakiness didn't mean it was so. Rather, it was very doughy and gummy. Tastewise, it was good due to the adequate amount of hoisin; but texturally, it was a flop. Trying to be a bit different than last time, instead of getting the meat platter, we went for the Mixed Meat consisting of tendon, shank and tripe. The whole thing was tossed in a spicy sauce. Well, I think it was more like chili oil rather than sauce which made the whole thing really greasy to eat. All the meats were prepared correctly being tender; yet still maintaining some "bite". But again, too much chili oil. And I thought there was too much sauce in the meat platter... Now our last dish was the Boiled Dumplings. Actually, we weren't expecting them to be last; but apparently, they left out our order. Ginseng and Emilicious had ordered the same dumplings and had received them first. When I asked the server why there was only one order, he remarked that we had only ordered one. I questioned him again and he insisted we ordered only one. That's all fine and dandy if that actually happened; but everyone heard and knew we had ordered these dumplings. For me, this is a huge annoyance with Chinese restaurants. Haven't they heard of the "customer is always right"? The whole charade didn't end until the manager overheard this and stepped in and apologized and quickly put in an order of dumplings. As for the dumplings themselves, they were worth the wait. With a slightly chewy skin and flavourful filling, these were a nice little bite. Almost everyone else had a Spicy Beef Noodle and agreed it was pretty good (could be spicier though was the consensus). For me, I did like the noodle too, but everything else is just quite average. But it sure is a good alternative to LSD since you can practically get the same stuff with no wait and more comfortable seating.

The Good:
- Practically the same good LSD noodles
- Comfortable digs
- Open late

The Bad:
- Other than the noodles, everything else is quite average
- Service is decent; but why argue with a customer?

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