Sherman's Food Adventures: Rhinofish Noodle Bar

Rhinofish Noodle Bar

When Rhinofish Noodle Bar first opened in Chinatown a year and a half ago, I was invited to try the place out.  Well, I never did make it out there due to my busy schedule.  Now with that being said, there was another reason I wasn't super-motivated to head out there as well.  Based on the comments of some fellow foodie-friends, the place had some work to do still.  Although there was some positive elements, there was equal concerns over the beef broth in the Taiwanese Beef Noodle.  So I just didn't end up going until recently (more than one visit).

Of course, the aforementioned Taiwanese Beef Noodle was at the forefront.  So much so, we ordered 3 bowls.   Upon hitting the table, we liked how it was plated where the ample amount of pickled mustard greens were piled high.   The individual components of the bowl were actually very good.  We found the noodles to be perfectly al dente with a rebound that resulted in an appealing chew.  Ample in portion, the beef was tender and gelatinous where the light seared added a nice bark that resulted in an extra layer of texture.  Onto the soup, it was definitely different than most of the other versions in town.  There seem to be a wine essence and finish which was pretty pronounced.  The meatiness and salt content of the soup was acceptable but definitely could've been more strong.  For myself, I went for the Zhang Ji Mein that was topped with a plethora of finely julienned carrot and cucumber.  There was also more than enough meat sauce with pressed tofu.  Although there was a noticeable garlickiness and slight spice, the meat sauce needed more punch.  Possibly a bit more chilis and more salt.  However, that was easily rectified by the side of hot sauce.  As with the previous noodles, these were perfectly al dente.

For our sides, we tried their Chicken Nuggets with nanjing sauce.  At first glance, they appeared to be dry and over-fried.  However, that was not the case at all.  The crunchy exterior gave way to truly succulent and juicy dark meat.  Each nugget was spiced enough that we could taste the five-spice without it being too licorice-focused.  On the side, the dip was lightly tangy and sweet.  We also ordered a couple of the Bao stuffed with pork belly, mustard greens and ground peanut.  This was classic Taiwanese and ate really well.  The bao was soft while the pork belly was just fatty enough where it nearly melted in our mouths while retaining a meatiness.  There was a nice balance of ingredients where the combination of sweet, savoury and tangy was on point.  Overall, the food was actually decent.  However, the TBN could've had more depth and impact.

The Good:
- Clean and modern
- A few appealing modern modifications
- Good service

The Bad:
- TBN could be more flavourful
- Prices are not cheap

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