Sherman's Food Adventures: 88 Noodle House

88 Noodle House

My kids love Korean food.  In fact, we all do.  However, whenever we go out for Korean eats, it seems to cost a fortune.  I do realize if it is a Korean BBQ, the meats aren't exactly cheap, so it is understandable.  But please explain to me why a plate of Japchae is anywhere from $20.00 to $30.00?  I've made this dish at home many times and the ingredients aren't that costly.  Yet, I do understand there is a bit of prep involved.  So when I caught wind of 88 Noodle House, which is a relatively affordable spot for Korean noodles, I decided it was a place we had to try!

Now their signature item is the classic Korean Jajangmyeon or Black Bean Noodles.  This was only $11.00 and came in a huge portion.  We actually got one of their combos and ended up with 2 large bowls. The noodles could've been slightly less cooked, yet it was not a deal-breaker.  Topped with an ample amount of sauce, the flavours were definitely there albeit on the milder side.  However, the sweetness of the onions came through.  A solid bowl of Jajangmyeon.

With a dollop of the same black bean sauce on the side, the Egg Seafood Fried Rice was loaded with shrimp.  I found the rice to be on the softer side and lacking in caramelization.  However, it was still pleasant enough of a dish.  Hidden within, there were veggies, even more shrimp and pieces of squid. The ample amount of fluffy egg was texturally appealing.  The rice was mildly seasoned, but when mixed with the black bean sauce, it was much tastier.

The best dish hands-down was the Sweet Chili Chicken.  It might not show in the picture, but this was a huge portion albeit at $29.00 but that is par for the course.  Each large piece of dark meat chicken was super juicy and bursting with flavour.  There was just the right mix of heat and sweetness (also the right amount of sauce too).  Best of all, the chicken was still crispy despite being coated with glaze. 

Another large dish was the Sweet & Sour Pork with the sauce served on the side (as with most Korean restaurants).   Each strip of pork was super crunchy and not overly greasy.  However, the pork that they used was very lean and as a result, the meat was pretty dry and chewy.  Dousing it with the starch-thickened sauce definitely helped (letting it sit in the sauce for a bit).  About that sauce, it was more sweet than sour.

As if we didn't have enough meat already, we also had the Pork Cutlet with rice and cabbage salad.  This was also a large portion consisting of 2 cutlets.  They were crispy on the outside and fairly moist on the inside.  The pork was tender, yet retained a meaty texture.  I found the sauce on top to be sweet with a balancing amount of tanginess.  The side of rice was a little on the wet side much like the fried rice.

Lastly, we had the classic Japchae which was unsurprisingly $23.00.  At the very least, it was a large portion and they didn't skimp on the ingredients (including the beef).  This was quite good despite being on the greasier side.  Noodles had a good chew still and weren't clumpy while the ample beef was a touch on the firmer side.  Veggies were vibrant and they really loved their white onions.  In the end, we were stuffed and had plenty of leftovers.  Even though the prices for the larger dishes were in the mid $20.00 range, the portion size justified it.  As for the smaller items, the prices are very reasonable.  Therefore, given the portion size and decent quality of the food, 88 Noodle is actually a good value.  I would recommend this for a causal family meal.

The Good:
- Decent eats
- Large portion sizes
- Reasonable pricing considering the quality and portions

The Bad:
- Either the A/C is broken or they don't have A/C, the dining space was very warm. They did offer us a fan which helped though


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