Sherman's Food Adventures: Congee Noodle House

Congee Noodle House

Early on in the life of this blog, I did a post on Congee Noodle House. Prior to that, I had been to the place many, many times in the past. However, the day I visited it with my camera (my point & shoot), only Milhouse had joined me for eats. Thus, that particular post was lacking both in good pictures and variety of food. Being a bit OCD, it has been bothering me for the longest time. Every time I look at the post, the quality of the pictures pains me. I've had it in the back of my mind that I needed to go back. Yet, that opportunity never materialized due to many factors (including the fact there are newer places to visit). Tonight, our intention was to give The Whip a go. Don't worry, we're not into S&M, although maybe Mijune might be interested... Rather, the Whip is a late night spot on 6th at Main. We arrived to find that the place was not only very busy, it was loud... from the outside. Not that we don't like good music; but we really wanted to have some conversation. We just didn't feel like yelling to each other. That is usually reserved for times on the ice. Hence, the opportunity to revisit CNH presented itself. Only 3 blocks away, it worked out for everyone. Well, maybe not Sweet Tooth, she loves dessert and CNH is not exactly a hotbed of sweets.

Despite being midnight, CNH was pretty busy itself. Not unexpected though since the place does have solid eats. Well, due to its namesake, I naturally ordered the Wonton Noodles. Much like every other time I've been here, the wonton noodles does the restaurant's name justice. With thin, chewy noodles in a mildly flavourful broth, this is as good as you'll find in town. As for the wontons, they are solid; yet not my favourite. There is a good amount of big crunchy shrimp with a some pork. I'd prefer a shrimp-only wonton; however, that is a personal preference. Milhouse did me a favour and ordered the Preserved Duck Egg & Salted Pork Congee. Although I didn't have any, it was exactly like its always been. Thick, properly seasoned with depth and full of ingredients, it also represents the restaurant with pride. The good thing about the congee is that it remains thick until the last spoonful. He added a side of Salty Donut (what's with his love for salty things? Polka King does call him salty-wet all the time though...). I'm sorry to say that the donut sucked. It was really chewy and not crisp at all. If it wasn't dipped into the congee, it would be basically inedible. Not freshly fried would probably be the reason for this. For my offal urge, I got a plate of Assorted Offal as a side dish. Buoyed by a large amount of lettuce underneath, the tripe was slightly on the chewy side while the tendon was perfectly soft. On the other hand, I found the brisket to be extremely chewy and dry. All of the components were seasoned properly. With that in mind, I still used a large amount of their hot oil as a condiment. If that wasn't enough food already, I got a plate of the Salted Fish & Chicken Fried Rice. My intention was to bring this home as takeout; but I got it plated first. LOL... For picture's sake! I found the fried rice to be lacking in flavour. There was a total lack of salt and the small amount of salted fish didn't help the cause. Texturally, the rice was fine being dry, chewy and not oily. Also, there was a bevy of tender diced chicken. Milhouse (he of the salted fish expertise or was that salty wet?) thought it was indeed bland.

Sweet Tooth didn't find any desserts, so she only had a small plate of Fried Tofu tossed in salt and peppers. Normally, anything fried is oily; yet this was extremely oily. Looking like an absorbent sponge dropped in a deep fryer, each piece was oil-soaked. Furthermore, we found it to be unusually salty. Perfect for Milhouse I suppose... Apu had the Beef Brisket Noodles. Much like my order of offal, the brisket looked dry and hard. However, similar to my bowl of noodles, his was perfectly chewy once again. Bear, who joins us in a cameo appearance, had the BBQ Pork Lo Mein (or dry-tossed noodles). Naturally, the noodles are chewier in this application. If you wanted it softer, the side of soup can help adjust it. As you can see, the BBQ pork has a good colour and according to Bear, the dish was decent. Hey, most of the food here at Congee Noodle King is more than decent. As for its closely related sibling, Congee Noodle King, I find it to be slightly better. Yet, it is like splitting hairs. They're both good and the food does their name justice (unlike some other places with wonton in their name...). And you gotta love that they're open until 2:00am.

The Good:
- Solid eats, especially the congee and wonton noodles...
- Inexpensive
- Open late

The Bad:
- Some of the stuff is a bit greasy
- Parking sucks

Congee Noodle House on Urbanspoon


georgey porgy said...

don't you think their congee is way to salty? that was one thing i noticed the last few times I went. Might be the excessive MSG in the congee base.

Sherman Chan said...

@georgey porgy I do agree with that. I guess that's why it tastes so good. On the other hand, too much MSG ain't good either. Although I prefer it more than bland congee. Adding plain salt doesn't quite do it for me.

LotusRapper said...

I haven't been impressed with CNH since their renovations a couple of years ago. Prices gone up, quality became inconsistent, and I swear portions got smaller. And the MSG ...... I'd get headaches if I ate too much. So unless I' driving by between 11pm-1am and had a hankering for Chinese food, I'd bypass them altogether.

There's always Kwongchow on Main @ 15th, also open quite late.

Sherman Chan said...

@LotusRapper I can't argue with you there, Kwang Chow is pretty darn good. Yah, CNH still works for me too if it's late.

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