Now before I continue blogging about this food adventure, I probably need to answer a burning question. First, why the heck would you make such an effort to visit a Chinese hand pulled-noodle joint in Portland when you live in arguably one of the best cities (Vancouver, B.C.) to get Chinese food? You see, my daughter loves the Food Network, and watches Triple-D's religiously. After see Guy's mug spray-painted on the wall at Frank's (the previous time we failed to get a table), she probably would've been disappointed if we didn't try again. Yes, it is most unfortunate that we are setting her up to be high-maintenance...
With a reservation, we did finally secure a table and were started off with some complimentary plates of Kimchi and Pickled Daikon. Interestingly, the kimchi at Frank's was appreciably better than the version we had at Umi across the street 2 days before. It was spicier, richer in flavour and aesthetically more pleasing to look at. That was partially the inspiration for us ordering the Kimchi Fried Rice. Sporting the same red hue, the fried rice was on the wetter side due to the use of kimchi. With that being said, it wasn't overly wet though as it exhibited good wok heat. It wasn't particularly spicy, yet did have plenty of flavour including a notable saltiness and essence of fried egg.
Now, we didn't return to Frank's due to the fried rice, rather, it was for the hand-pulled noodles (duh...). Hence we got both versions including the Chicken Soup Noodles which sported a bevy of veggies such as Shanghai bak choy, carrots and mushrooms. There was an equal amount of marinated and tenderized chicken meat. The noodles themselves were chewy and dense which were pretty good (for Portland). As much as the broth was not brimming with natural depth, it was tasty though. Our Fried Noodle was also mated to the same chicken and veggies with the addition of cabbage and red peppers. It was also toothsome and rather salty. There was not an overload of grease where the dish could've used more wok heat (and caramelization).
To increase our veggie intake, we got an order of the Stir-Fried Shanghai Bak Choy that was blessed with a tonne of garlic. Hence it was aromatic and pungent. Unfortunately, it was also the beneficiary of too much soy which made the entire dish far too salty. Furthermore, the bak choy was not fully cooked, which meant it was nicely crunchy, but a little raw as well. Lastly, we tried their Pork and Chive Dumplings which were full of filling encased in a not-too-thick nor not-too-thin dumpling skin. It was cooked just enough that the skin retained some chew. So after we were done, it was pretty much a consensus that the stuff we get in Vancouver, B.C. is better. With that being said, Frank's did the job for a relatively reasonable price.
- Fresh chewy noodles
- Food comes out quick
- Not bad, but certainly not outstanding
- Super busy