Unexpected food. You know, the kind that you weren't planning to eat, but presented itself anyways. Well, this was the case when Grace needed a partner for her visit to Duotian Fish Noodle thanks to ChineseBites. I wasn't expecting to eat out due to a nasty cold, but the promise of hot soup, congee and among other things persuaded me tough it out and go eat... Yah, #firstworldproblems. Rounding out the eating committee was Sexy Mexi and Ned Flanders.
Without further adieu we started with the Original Fish Noodles with fish fillets and sliced brisket. We chose the flat rice noodles and were initially concerned they would become soft and fall apart. This was not the case here as they were slippery, yet appealingly chewy at the same time. As for the soup, it was slightly sweet with a background fish essence. Not particularly impactful, but not bad at the same time. We found the fish to be perfectly tender and flaky while the brisket was soft and fatty. Appearing rather plain, the Spicy Wontons had much more impact than we expected. There was heat from the little chili oil that you see in the picture. However, with that in mind, the dish was one note. As for the wontons themselves, they were meaty in a firm manner with a thin and buttery skin.
Moving on, we got a pair of fried items in the Chicken Nuggets and Squid Tentacles. Normally, these dishes are relatively small servings at most Taiwanese restaurants, however, the portion sizes here were quite large. As for the chicken nuggets, they were crispy and well-seasoned without being greasy. Inside, the dark chicken leg meat was juicy and succulent. It was seasoned as well, so the flavours didn't only originate from the exterior. With the squid tentacles, I found them to be on the chewier side, but on the other hand, they weren't tough. Once again, the same crispy batter graced the outside and hence, there was more than enough seasoning.
Since I was still feeling the effects from the flu, Grace encouraged me to order the Salted Pork and Preserved Egg Congee. This was accompanied by a green onion pancake which was forgettable as it was greasy and dense. As for the congee itself, the consistency was similar to a homemade version, but much thicker and of course well-seasoned. The whole thing was loaded with tender salted pork and preserved egg. From one comfort dish to another, we also tried the Cured Meat Hot Pot Rice. On top of the chewy and nutty rice, there was cured duck, pork belly and Chinese sausage (and yau choy). I liked how there was actually a rice crust formed on the bottom and sides of the hot pot, but at the same time, there was too much grease (from the meats). On the other hand, that would be hard to control.
We then went for 2 larger dishes in the Shredded Black Pepper Beef Fried Noodle. We requested crunchy noodles and they arrived as such. They were light and absorbed the sauce well, becoming soft and chewy. The strips of beef were tender while the peppers were not overcooked. However, in terms of overall impact, the dish lacked flavour as it wasn't peppery as advertised. Onto a similar dish except for the ingredients, we had the House Special Fried Noodles with shrimp, shiitake, BBQ Pork, chicken and yau choy. As much as this wasn't super impactful as well, the diversity of ingredients did afford different flavours onto the noodles. Besides, I like adding copious amounts of red vinegar anyways.
With our lone HK-style cafe classic dish, we tried the Baked Pork Chop Rice. It was a large portion that featured chewy fried rice with egg topped with plenty of sauce. I found the sauce to be quite mild in need of a touch more tanginess (however, the chunks of tomato were good). As for the pork chop, it was large, meaty and tender with a slightly crispy exterior. I wasn't particularly fond of all the white onion as it overwhelmed the already mild sauce. Our last dish was the Squid & Shredded Pork with Chili Pepper. This sported enough wok heat to ensure that the moisture stayed within the caramelized ingredients. A good dousing of satay sauce gave the dish a seafoody slant with a touch of spice. The squid was texturally appealing having a nice rebound.
For dessert, we were served both the Butter Biscuit Toast and the Condensed Milk Toast. I found both to be a little denser than I would've liked, but it was still crunchy on the sides and crispy and sweet on the top. Possibly a bit more browning would've helped caramelize the flavours better. However, at this point, we were beyond full and actually pleasantly surprised that the food was quite decent, especially for the price (better than my previous visit). With that being said, flavours could be more impactful.
*All food and beverages excluding gratuities were complimentary*
- Large portions
- Hybrid of Taiwanese/HK-Style Cafe and Fish Noodle joint
- Flavours are generally weak
- Food is decent, but there is better
- Parking lot is a disaster