Sherman's Food Adventures: Max Noodle House

Max Noodle House

Boy, I haven't been back to Max Noodle in Richmond for over 10 years!  Good news is that they are still around and I had the chance to visit it again.  It used to be Mak's Noodle (at least the English name) which was related to the Hong Kong store in Central.  However, it is just Max Noodle now and at the very least, brings Mak's Noodle vibes to the Lower Mainland.  Portions are not large here, rather, they concentrate on quality and execution.  

Naturally, the thing to get is their Wonton Noodles, but I decided to add Siu Gau as well.  Siu Gau are bigger than wontons and have the addition of wood ear mushrooms.  I would like to point out that, although the bowl is smaller than most other wonton noodles in town, the amount of dumplings and noodles seem to be the same.  There is just less soup.  About that soup, it was flavourful with a nice briny saltiness and aroma.  The noodles were chewy with a snap, just perfect.  I found the wontons to be excellent with bouncy shrimp that were sweet with a bit of white pepper.  Siu Gau were equally good with the crunch of the wood ear.

We also got the Lo Mein with Shredded Pork in spicy brown sauce.  This is another classic and although I love the flavour, the amount of pork fat was a bit much.  Back to the taste, it was meaty and packed full of salty sweetness with a kick.  Noodles were chewy and dry where there was just enough moisture (and fat) with the meat to coat each strand.  For the strips of pork that wasn't fat, they were tender with the sauce completely soaking into it.

Something a bit more mild was the Sampan Congee (called seafood on the menu) with fresh squid, dried squid and pork skin.  I found the congee itself to be rather mild, but still adequately seasoned.  The viscosity was thick enough to coat a spoon without being clumpy.  It was smooth and silky where it benefitted for the slow cooking process.  There wasn't enough ingredients in my opinion so it lacked the usual body.  We got a side of Salty Donut and it was hot and crispy.  Inside, it was airy and light while the amount of salt was enough to flavour the dough.

We ordered the Deep Fried Bean Curd (Tofu) and it was also very good.  These silky tofu triangles were super crispy on the outside while still buttery smooth inside.  They were coated in spiced salt and although it was good, we wished there was more of it.  Served on the side was raw garlic vinegar dip, which added a sharp tanginess.  Overall, the food at Max Noodle was as good as I had remembered.  I think it is one of the best places for Wonton Noodles even though some people consider it too small of a portion.  I think it is enough and the quality is top-notch.

The Good:
- Excellent wonton noodles
- Focused menu
- That fried tofu is stealthily good

The Bad:
- Small portions for those who care
- Parking is typical Richmond small parking lot and tight spots


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