Mid to high end Taiwanese beef noodle restaurant with a five time Taipei noodle festival champion at the helm. This is the first North American location of the Taiwanese chain.
I've had many noodles in my lifetime having lived in Asia for most of my adult life. So I can vouch that Chef Hung's noodles were quality. The 30 minute wait is worth it if you want to have tasty broth that is not overly salted and clearly work went into preparing them. Noodles made perfectly al dente not soggy or overdone. And for $10.95 you get 3-4 chunks of meat and a couple of slices of delicious beef. For those who say it's pricey, bear in mind that most ramen houses charge $8 for a bowl of noodles with only 2 slices of pork so in that context, the prices charged by Chef Hung was within reason imho. Another recommendation is this ground pork cake that is pan fried, its one of the tastiest pan fried buns I've had and the meat was well marinated and even tho it was fried, it remained moist and flavourful. We also tried the chicken nuggets which is the Taiwanese version of pepper and salt deep fried chicken and have to say this was meah, nothing to write home about but its all about the noodles here. I usually like my portions large but I realized after my first spoonful of soup that its quality not quantity here. The service was fast, not super friendly but then again one cannot expect top notch when the servers are runnin' off their feet. As for the room, its modern, clean and tables well spaced for even a Chinese restaurant. I cannot wait to return again this week and hopefully next time shorter line up!
I was there for a late lunch on a weekday, so did not experience any line-up. Their beef noodles looked very appetizing and tasted great. The texture was tender and the vegetables fresh. The prices are a little more than your average Taiwanese noodle restaurant, but the decor is much, much better, and I like the fact that they have an open kitchen so you can see what goes on there. Also, HST is already included in the price. If you take that into consideration, then they are not that much more expensive than other similar restaurants. It is definitely worth a second, third ... visit.
It's clean and well layed out and the staff is exceedingly efficient and prompt, though not the friendliest. That's okay, not much different from other Chinese joints. At least the place appears clean. You order on these pieces of paper that reminds me of some survey form. The food will get delivered quick. I mean really quick. McD's would be given a run for its money.
So, they do have noodles around $8, but the "champion" one is $10.95. We order one of the "lowly" ground pork sauce ones and the champion bowls.
When it comes to the noodles, we had thick and thin and both were pretty good. The best I've hard? I don't think so. It certainly wasn't mind blowing, but it was quite competent. (Hint: If you want to avoid embarrassment whilst eating noodles at an Asian restaurant, try to learn how to use chopsticks properly). Nothing really to write home about with the ground pork one, basically your standard "jajang" noodles. It's good, yes. Is it $6.95 good? Yeah, I think I would be happy with that.
Now on to the "champion" noodle. It's pretty good. I might even go as far as to say it is the best in town. The flavour of the broth is not too salty, significantly lighter than most other places while remaining flavourful. However, the big however, it is not a clearcut winner and I could see how other people might prefer another broth. I already mentioned the noodles, again, competent, not great. The beef, also good, but not great, lacking in the flavour and texture department to be fully tops. The champion has the tendon-y cut typically used plus a few thin slices of a more flavourful cut. Kudos to them for that at least.
So herein lies the problem. When you're talking about Taiwan-style beef noodle soup, I would handily pick it over the others in town, if it were the same price. It's not. It's significantly more. So, I would not be making the trip here exclusively for this noodle. If I were in town already, maybe yes.
Now if you're talking about other Asian noodles, well, there's a whole lot of good pho to be had for significantly cheaper. And as far as thicker broths go, the most high-end, premium ramen place I can think of (which uses all sorts of fresh, organic ingredients) doesn't even go for $10.95.
At the end of the day, it is more hype than bite. It's over-priced for what you get and it is not a clear winner. I won't tell you not to go, but don't bother rushing down there either.
I tried this place today and i have to say that the restaurant and its food is blown out of proportion. The soup taste was alright but did not taste like champion level. If that kind of soup is champion level then i question the integrity of the contest which judged the merits of chef hung in the first place.
I know what good taiwan beef noodle taste like and that kind of level is definitely not champion.
and the price is not worth it.
i won't be returning to this place again, just over rated.
If you thinking dining out is all about the food, food only, then don't come here. You wouldn't think it's worth it. Beef noodle tastes good enough but not 11 dollar good. The food itself won't justify the price for you. It's just beef noodles, average size and above average taste. That just tells you that it doesn't take a champion to make good beef noodles.
Beef noodle is very COMMON comfort food in Taiwan. Just like pasta in Italy, it doesn't take a champion to make excellent pasta dishes. Every self respect Italian mama can make great pasta. There is no such a thing as 11 dollar worth of beef noodles. A lot of people can make awesome beef noodles.
If you think dining out is also about ambiance, decor, service, and so on. Then don't come here when there is still a line. When there is a line, your experience can be described as long wait and rushed. You are given bills and hinted you should go as soon as you put down chopsticks. You are not going to have a relaxed meal in a brand new and clean restaurant with big windows. It would be nicer if you could take your time to finish your meal in a more relaxed manner and be able to chill a couple of minutes in your seat after your meal. You know what I mean.
So come here when there is no line. You will enjoy your meal and think it's worth it.
Mediocre; and not worth the wait.
Ordered the champion beef flank noodle soup: OK. Beef soup reminded me of Campbell's beef consome soup, but with less salt. The beef was okay. Liked the noodles, though...chewy.. (Cost: 11.00).
Also ordered noodles in spicy soup. Lots of noodles in spicy soup. Soup, though, wasn't spicy. (Cost 6.00).
Overall the food was okay.
The the front of the restaurant looked pretty appealing and promising with a noodle bowl statue display, a plastic display of some of their recommended dishes in a cabinet and chefs working while being stared at by curious shoppers.
The service was extremely rushed but the food turned out okay. Ignored several times even though i waved my hand.One of the waitresses dropped a bill n i even picked it up n handed it back but no thank u wtf? at least the manager was attentive.
I ordered a meat sauce with thick noodles. i nver expected noodles that were an inch thick. i was slightly embarrassed since i had a hard time pickin, eatin, chewin, mixin, relaxin, chillaxin, enjoyin, tastin n even thinkin about the ordeal. The sauce kinda tasted like a pig was blown up in HURTLOCKER.
WARNING: ORDER THIN NOODLES TO AVOID EMBARRASSMENT!
The thin noodles tasted the same, except it made life more easier n enjoyable. The vegetables in the 5 veggies n beef was okay. However, the beef was fricken tender n succulent like taiwanaese KOBE beef. The teas were too sweet n the BBT was not worthin wastin my $ for.
Overall, this place is like a slightly upscale restaurant servin foodcourt BBT> noodles, veggies n beef rolls. The only thing extroardinary was the beef
Our group got suckered into lining up at this place. We waited 45mins since it was there opening week.
All in all.. impressive entrance area as they put on a "show" for you in an open kitchen area... The decore of the dining area is cold and basic and they're plate and glassware is almost all from Ikea.
Order the Champion Beef Noodle Bowl and upon my first bite... First thing I thought was... "man.. this wasn't worth the wait"... it wasn't terrible.. but just ok... I can get MUCH better noodles at a million other places. Probably upstairs even in the food court.
Value is ok.. nothing was anything above okay for myself and my entire group. the only highlite was.................... well there were none.
If we had walked in with no line up I'd still feel the same way.
The restaurant won the "beef noodle contest" in past year.
so the expectation of the food was fairly high.
so I tried their "Champion Beef Noodle Soup"..it was pretty much tasteless
the quality of the meat is decent however the noodle was hard as rock.
the drinks had a glamorous name however the pearl was hard as well.
all in all probably by far the worst restaurant I've ever set foot in.
and very amazed how they managed to get three stores open in vancouver
The other day, my family and I went here. I noticed the server in the suit (probably the manager or supervisor) gives special treatment to those that she knows. She never smiles to new customers such as us and many others in the restaurant. She paid a lot of attention to her friends, constantly chattering with them. If I hadn't seen her serving those people, I would have thought she really hated her job.
When we ask her for things, she simply nods and brushes us off. When those tables that knows her ask for things, she's all smiles & chatters.
When the restaurant got busy, she started shooing us out of the restaurant. We came after her friends yet her friends got to stay where as our food dishes started slowly disappearing from our table. Now, what kind of service is this? Who would actually want to come back here? Special Treatment much?!
Called ahead to find out the best time to come so we wouldn't have to wait in line. Hence, we were able to get a table for 8 right away. I'm glad we did this as the food would not have been worth the long wait.
the side dishes were either poor or acceptable. Not better than any other taiwanese place.
tried the champion beef noodle as it's "champion" and well, not worth $11 for sure. The beef was very tender and tasty, soup was good but not spicy at all when it should be. Couldn't tell the difference between the regular broth and the spicy broth. Small serving for $11.
What really bothered us was how they were rushing us to eat and leave. The servers were hovering over our table to collect empty bowls as soon as we've put down our chopsticks. I was asked 3 times for my bowl when clearly, i was still working on it. Same goes for my 2 other friends. In the end, they just took our bowls w/o asking. I understand that they have a long line up and prefer a quick turn over but they shouldn't sacrifice service over this.
In the end, we were disappointed and will not return. $11 is too much to pay for a noodle soup. I'm just glad we didn't line up for it.
Passed by the restaurant and saw a line up everytime. Being curious and under the mentality that anything good is worth waiting for, my husband and I foolishly joined the bandwagon and waited for a good 30 minutes before we were seated for dinner. We started lining up at around 5:40pm on a Saturday evening.
The verdict is as follows;
Broad noodles too doughy
Soup base too bland
Beef slices and chunks were tender and quite tasty
Radish pan fried pastry was not bad
Boiled vegetables - a joke - maybe 4 small pieces of Shanghainese bok choy drenced in oyster sauce
The bill came to a whopping $ 31 for two persons. I must say that the service was good and the waitresses aimed to please and the food arrived promptly. But I will not be visiting this joint anytime soon as I feel that it is a rip off for charging $ 10. 95 for a bowl of noodles and it was not even that good. I would recommend Wang's noodles on Granville st in Vancouver...much better value and taste.
Taiwanese noodle houses have been around Vancouver for a while. This is a new chain from Taiwan, and the focus here are the noodles right? Well, to sum it up, the broth was nothing to write home about, noodle was done just right, beef and tendon were tender. As for the cold side dishes, what we had were mediocre at best. But I guess the operative word here is "all right". All the items here could be had elsewhere, without the lineups (which I am sure will vanish after the initial frenzy), and at a better value. I would say visit Cambie/41 or Grandville/70 area for better Taiwanese noodle. Not worth the wait for sure. Also, if you wait in line and watch the noodle chef, he wastes his time counting noodle, kind of cheap if you ask me... Service was great because they gave me extra broth when the noodle soaked it all up, young staffers still in their shake down stage were attentive.
I had been hearing rumours about this place for a few weeks and when it finally opened the missus and I were very excited to try it. Apparently Hung is a five time champion of the taipei noodle festival.
I can honestly say that I will never ever return here. I've always felt that all TBN in the city should be atleast acceptable, and for the first time I was extremely dissapointed, EXTREMELY.
Tonight we arrived at apprx. 6:30pm and it took us a good half hour or so to get to the front of the line. The host guy told us to "go to that table over there" and just waved us off (annoying). The table we had was as close as possible to the waitress station, I would have been able to lean over and poke one of them. Somehow.. with four waitresses on the floor serving what looked like only 20 or so tables, they missed us... seemed like we were invisible. I let them do their thing because I work in a restaurant too so I try not to be bothersome, but when I noticed the couple that was behind us in line was already recieving their food, that pissed me off.
Eventually we got to order after flagging the host guy down, we ordered the house special "champion beef noodle in spicy soup" of course. This is easily the worst noodle I've ever eaten, if it weren't for the fact that I hadn't eaten all day I would have just paid and left.
The Noodles Breakdown:
-Value: $10.95 among the highest I have seen, with the portion being on the small side.
-Noodle: lacked texture and mouth feel(chewiness). Basiclly acceptable, but the portion was very small.
-Soup: extremely bland, lacking flavour, aroma, and salt. It tasted exactly like watered down beef broth and nothing more. Spicy? only if you find water to be spicy (I may be desensitized and biased to this sensation).
-Beef, the shank pieces were small, scarce and of average quality.
-Vegetables were non existant unless you count the slivers of green onion, they were also super stingey with the mustard greens which were salty and not the sweet-sour kind to which most are accustomed.
The only good item we had tonight was the daikon pancake thing, which was tasty. This place is not worth coming to and definitely not worth waiting in line for, at this rate I give them two months before their business dies off and they will close up shop when their lease ends.
The restaurant itself was nice and newly renovated, which is to be expected because its only 2 weeks old. There are not many tables so its reasonably roomy for such a small place. There is also a private dining area in the back, which if I recall correctly requires a $200 minimum for 1.5hours.
Usually I'm not a fan of Taiwan cuisine, but after seeing all the reviews and ads about this place I decided to give it a try.
The decor of the place was great: clean, spacious and comfortable. Which wasn't a big surprise as all restaurants in Aberdeen are pretty outstanding in terms of decor.
We were served quickly when we stepped in and we got a table very fast. The service over the duration of our meal was a little aloof, but sometimes I like it that way. Sometimes over-friendly service disrupts my meal with friends. I wasn't treated badly or unfriendly by anyone at the restaurant, so I can accept it as solid service.
I ordered the Champion Beef Shank soup flat noodles and a side of Pan Fried Grounded Beef Cake. There was an option to make the soup a chili soup, but I'm not one that can take too spicy so I passed. The beef cake, on the other hand, was a rare item. I don't remember seeing a similar item in many restaurants, especially at this price, so I had to try it.
The Champion Beef Shank Noodles are the signature dish of Chef Hung, they have banners and ads about this dish everywhere. After tasting it, I believe it deserves the prizes and recognition.
The Beef shank was very tender and soft while maintaining a good chew. It's not like the beef where it gets stuck between your teeth with every bite. The thickness of each piece is perfectly sized, and the slices of the thinly cut beef are a delicacy on it's own.
The broth was rich with flavor, it had a subtle sting of spice in it. One thing worth mentioning is that the broth didn't have the film of grease/oil on top.
The noodles were very al dente. The chewiness and 'bounce' (as we chinese call it) was special. Many noodle joints fail in that aspect, as a result their noodles become soggy and stuck together. Chef Hung's noodles were different. Each strand was separate from each other, while maintaining 'dryness' as if it wasn't affected by being soaked in the soup. Great noodles.
The Pan Fried Grounded Beef Cake were outstanding also. Usually the crusts are soaked with oil and grease (think pork buns), but here it's minimal, you can barely see it. I think it's because it's made fresh and the grease from the beef won't have time to soak in.
I have to say that for this price ($10 -$15) per person, Chef Hung are giving away a great deal. I can't recall any dining experience (with noodles) that made me so satisfied. $15? Well worth it.
I've been to a few noodle houses around Vancouver and I definitely wasn't impressed by this one.
Food - Meat was pretty tasty, noodles were slightly undercooked and seemed like a very small portion. Appetizers/snack dishes were poorly made, dry and overcooked.
Service - Servers seem inexperienced and also having them walk back and forth during the entire time feels like you're being monitored during your entire meal. Food was just placed on the table, they didn't ask which dish belonged to who.
Value - Absolutely terrible, paying $10+ for a bowl of noodle soup is ridiculous. The meat was tasty, but the noodle portion was small. For a 50% premium versus other similar noodle houses offering similar dishes, this place is definitely not worth it.
Ambiance - Normal, with the exception of the servers just walking back and forth, which may cause some discomfort for diners.
Like any new place, I'm willing to give a shot, but this place will never get my business again. Food and Value are the most important to me when coming to these types of places, and they failed miserably. I'll enjoy my bowl of noodles and a drink elsewhere for the same price of just a bowl of noodles here.
Went to this place last Thursday at 6pm and didn't expect a line up but there was ~ waiting about 20 mins. We had heard of this place and were willing to pay the premium price to try the award winning Taiwanese Beef Noodle (which I love). The waiters were nice and friendly. I was surprised the menu was extensive, not just noodle and soup. They had a variety of other snacks and drinks, made the menu more interesting. In terms of the beef noodle, boy was it DISAPPOINTING! I ordered the beef and tendon in spicy soup and here's my assessment:
~ there was not that much taste in the soup
~ for a spicy soup, it was not spicy at all!
~ I ordered the flat noodle, it was alright but I expected it to be chewy and it wasn't
~ there were no veggies in the noodle soup like the picture
Overall, not the best I've had! For an award winning dish, I'm not impressed. My husband even joked 'Were they the only contestant in the competition?' ;) At $11 per bowl, we would definitely not come back ~ there are better places out around :)
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