Sherman's Food Adventures: Noble Court

Noble Court

In my previous Bellevue Dim Sum posts, I've mentioned Noble Court on more than one occasion.  Why?  Well, it was one of the first Chinese restaurants in Bellevue that served Dim Sum.  Oh how times have changed, where there are better choices nearby and in Seattle itself.  But how can we know the present and the future if we don't know the past?  Yes, a visit to Noble Court was in order.  On the day of our departure, we hit it up early on a Sunday morning, which ensured us a table without the wait.  And as such, the push carts descended on our table like a moth to a flame.  My kids were wondering why our table was full of food so quickly (as they have grown accustomed to ordering food rather than push carts).

We started with the Lo Mei Gai (Sticky Rice wrapped in lotus leaves) as the kids were demanding it.  This was okay with slightly dry rice with a good amount of ground pork filling.  It could've stood for a bit more seasoning though.  We got another kiddie favourite in the Wu Gok (Fried Taro Dumplings).  Again, this was okay as the exterior was crispy and not too greasy while the layer of mashed taro was the right thickness and smooth.  The filling was essentially the same as the lo mei gai, which meant it was dry and a bit bland.  Okay, if you are familiar with Dim Sum, the one dish that can define a restaurant is the Shrimp Dumpling or Haw Gow.  Well, if this was the defining moment of our meal, then our meal was as good as the Lindsay Lohan's career.  These dumplings were terrible.  The shrimp filling was mushy and not very appealing.  Furthermore, there was a general lack of flavour while the dumpling skin was doughy.  One of the worst versions I've had in a long time (and this is taking into account we were in Bellevue).

Fortunately, the Sui Mai (another standard of any Dim Sum service) was better.  It was mostly comprised of pork with some small bits of shrimp and shiitake mushroom.  There was a bounce texture while the flavours were mostly sweet. On the topic of Dim Sum standards, the discussion must include the Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll as well (or some variation).  This particular one was thick, yet soft (possibly too soft) at the same time.  Once again, the shrimp (much like the haw gow) was limp and mushy with no snap.  It was on the bland side as well.  Naturally, Dim Sum would not be complete without an order of offal, so I got the Bible Tripe.  It was pretty standard with a good gingery, green onion hit while the tripe itself was pleasantly chewy.  There was on gaminess which meant it was rinsed properly.

Moving along, we had the Black Bean Spareribs, which had a relatively good bounce texture.  It was on the chewier side, but okay nonetheless.  In terms of flavour, it was porky with little else (even though we could clearly see the black bean).  One dish we could've really done without (in addition to the crappy haw gow) was the BBQ Pork Buns. There was nothing particularly wrong with the bun itself as it was soft and fluffy, but the filling was terrible.  It was quite sour and off-putting.  We realize that the filling can taste a bit tart sometimes, but this tasted like it had gone bad.  We didn't end up eating much of it at all.

Nearing the end, we decided to try their Preserved Egg & Salted Pork Congee.  It was rather smooth and semi-thick, however, it looked like it had been put through a food processor.  Therefore the texture was a little weird.  Furthermore, there was a general lack of flavour, which was partially due to the lack of ingredients. For dessert, we went for the Egg Tarts which were quite good.  The pastry was flaky and light while the filling was semi-sweet.  This helped erase the bad taste in our mouths from the sub-par dishes we had prior.  Not sure how they can really compete with better joints such as Top Gun and Joi's nearby...

The Good:
- Decent variety
- Large dining room

The Bad:
- Overall sub-par Dim Sum
- Not enough servers


LotusRapper said...

Hey no shortage of parking here, eh ? Actually that lone SUV looks so forlorn by itself.

I can't help but expect places like these don't make many of their dim sums, but rather just buy stock from suppliers (Sysco dim sum ? Shivers.). What was your impression ?

Sherman Chan said...

@LR They made it themselves. But it wasn't very good... LOL...

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