Al Dente "Cutting" noodles the hot ticket item at Sha Lin (Shaolin) Noodle House, served in a variety of soups and sauces. Also a decent choice of non-noodle items as well. Authentic Northern Chinese.
We went to Shaolin Noodle House for a late lunch today. We ordered a few dishes including dragging noodles with pork and vegetables, dragging noodles with beef and sprouts and pan fried pork dumplings. It took a very long time to get the food, at least a half an hour which seemed like an eternity because I was starving and there were only a few people in the restaurant. The food was worth the wait though, the noodles were fantastic. The beef with cilantro (and I added some chili oil) was an awesome combination with great flavour. The pan fried dumpling were not my favourite; a little too doughy for my taste buds. But I would definitely come back for the noodles in soup; I've just added it to my favourite list.
That means okay, or acceptable (sort of), in Mandarin. Such was our experience at Sha Lin. I kept hoping David Carradine would leap out of the kitchen or something, but nope, they just have noodles and dumplings. No kung fu here.
The restaurant was spartan inside, but they did have a big window so you could see the half of the kitchen where they cut the noodles. The back part where they make the sauces was behind a curtain. I found the whole place including the w/c to be clean, but I wanted brighter lighting in the dining area.
Mrs. C and I had 'dragging noodles' with lamb, two of the kebabs, green onion pancakes, and a dozen pork and bok choi dumplings. I thought the kebabs were tasty but my beloved dining companion said they were too hot. They had plenty of cumin, and that was kind of the point. The noodles were very tasty and had a good texture. The lamb and sauce perfectly complemented the noodles. I wasn't crazy about the pancakes, but I was told they were authentic. The dumplings looked like they were going to be bland, but I found them packed with flavor despite their plain exterior. That was a nice surprise. Service was good throughout the meal, and we got two quality checks.
I can't speak for everyone out there, but when winter hits (and it was -10 outside when we had our meal) you crave hearty fare. This place delivers the real deal, but I just kept hoping for the chefs to start jumping around and doing some kung fu. Just as well, since Mrs. C doesn't like to fight much these days...
I have probably eaten here 50 times since it opened. In fact, I was there the day they opened. I still like it, but there is some variation in the dishes, depending on who is in the kitchen. One time the sauce will be perfect; the next it will be watery. I normally enjoy the pan-fried dumplings, but the last time they were somewhat burned, and not nice. Very nice staff, and they really know how to make noodles.
I kind of knew what to expect from this place. I've read their reviews and my friend told me that their food was just ok.
I still wanted to try this place out to compare it with other restaurants in the area.
I came here on a hot afternoon and the tables were 1/3 occupied. I got my seat and cold water instantaneously.
I ordered the dragging noodle w/ veg and soup. Honestly, it tasted below average. The soup was kinda bland. I asked for chicken broth too. Their green onion pancake arrived w/in minutes. I think they just recooked it. It was cheap though, for $2.50. At a bbt place, it could cost up to $5.
Next time, I will go to Peaceful Restaurant a few stores down. It's always yummy.
I went this this restaurant for the first time, after reading several reviews and seeing it on the Food Network with Rachael Ray. Since I had seen noodles being pulled several times on tv before, it was no big deal to watch it being done in person...I guess it just lost the "wow" factor.
I had the dragging noodles in soup with bbq pork and vegetables for $7.55 and a green onion pancake for $2.50. Not sure what other people were writing about a big bowl of noodles. The bowl was actually quite small and although there wasn't a skimpy amount of noodles, I wouldn't say it was "generous" either. Noodles were al dente and tasted good. Soup was bland, but it was a subtle chicken stock with the hint of ginger. There were several pieces of cooked bok choy and a few slices of carrots. BBQ pork was noticeable by it's absence...in that there were on a very few thin slices. The green onion pancake was okay, a bit on the salty side and a bit greasy. I've made better at home.
Overall, this place is just a small dumpy restaurant. Food was okay, nothing great. Maybe I should try the dumplings or the fried noodles dishes if I ever go back, but that might not happen. After tax and tip, lunch for one person was $12 and I still went away hungry.
Came here because of how well known it is.
I saw a lot of people ordering the soup, and that is a non-greasy noodle item.
I agree entirely with the posting of ' LordofFoods'.
The green onion pancake was good, but they usually are.
the noodles themselves were very good but the way they were served they were very bland.
Maybe something else next time
Great place for a quick lunch. The soup noodles here are probably one of the best in the city. Very good prices but the place needs to do some remodelling to look better. Good bang for the buck for Lunch.
I went here with my parents because my dad felt that their noodles were really good. He felt that they were fresh and delicious. I felt they were quite chewy. I don't remember what kinda I had, but do remember it was in a stir fry with black pepper beef. I kinda of enjoyed it! The noodles were made by hand by a chef who was enclosed in his "noodle making room". They tried impressing everyone with his talent. I didn't care though. The service was quite fast at the time, even though there were a lot of people. The atmosphere was loud and busy. The restaurant was keep clean and space wasn't much an issue. It was just okay!
Pretty much already posted. This is a place to load yourself with carbs. If you like noodles and dough this is the place to go. The portion is big. Bowl full of noodles. When it comes to broth, the best broth are the ones that time to simmer. That way the broth will be full naturally released flavor. This is not the case with the broth here. Though some of the broth may have been better here. The noodle making is a novelty act, once you've seen it, doubt you'd be as excited seeing it the next time.
I've tried the fried noodle, the cumin flavored meat, the panfried dumpling. There was so much food i had to take some home. The dumplings were soaked in fat.
This noodle shop if in China, prob be selling in the street corner. The style and menu items are very common folk items, and would cost less than a dollar. What I mean to imply is this chinese food is not at all that special in China. IMHO, i wish they could change a few things here and make this so much better recieved. For one thing out more meat and veggies. Maybe the owner/chef wants people to feel they get good value by giving you lotsa noodles. I think there are enough people that are watching what they eat now. In short canadianised it.
good value for money to get full. but flour and water is not really expensive.... . i may give this place a try again. the service was attentive and good. add it to my cheap quick greasy eating places.
Sha Lin Noodle House always has a lineup outside during dinner, but I'm not sure why. Not to be racist, but generally the restaurant is patroned by a lot of white people so maybe they get caught up in the handmade noodle hype. I've eaten plenty of handmade noodles are different places in my life so it's nothing spectacular to me. Honestly, I don't even like handmade noodles that much. I like consistency and not all handmade noodles are created equally.
I'll go back again because I want to try the pan friend dumplings. They only offer those at dinner and we went for lunch. Go early or you'll be waiting outside!
I really like the food at the Sha Lin Noodle House. I come here at least twice a month and seem to order the same thing again and again - the Sha Lin noodle special with dragging noodles and BBQ pork. the pork and chive dumplings and the fried pork that comes with soft shells (which I believe are made of rice). Did I mention that I like pork?
Do not come here expecting anything whatsoever on the ambience front - it's less then spartan, loud at times and the bathrooms are an experience. The place is usually quite clean though. The waitresses are always friendly and smiling and are efficient at what they do. The food always comes quickly and is always hot.
As for the food quality itself, I really do love it. Yes it's dough and carbs, but that can hardly be helped. The portions are big and the tea just keeps on coming. As for comparing the price between here and China - you must be kidding. Of course you're not going to pay $1 for the dish. The prices are completely in line with what you'd pay at other places in Vancouver. My only complaint with the food is that the dragging noodle special can be very oily at times- I asked for less oil last time and got what I wanted.
So go and try the Sha Lin for yourself. I will continue to go back time and again because they always deliver the goods.
We went here for dinner because we saw that it was packed and people were waiting for tables even though there were several Asian restaurants right next door with no line-ups. So, we thought "This place must be good!" We waited in line and got seated right in front of the glass windows where the cooks were making the noodles. What a great show!
We saw a lot of people ordering the dumplings, so we did the same. We didn't know which kind of noodles to order however, so we asked the waitress for her suggestion. She asked us if we wanted thin noodles or thick. We didn't care, so she suggested that we try the thick noodles - so we did.
When our food came, we were not impressed. Yes, the noodles tasted fresh, but there was nothing spectacular about it. What were we missing ?? Why is it so packed here? The dumplings were doughy and the spicy beans that we ordered were similar to most other spicy beans dishes that you can order around the city. So, needless to say, we won't be waiting in line for this place again.
Although they have a full menu, the noodles are the stars. You can watch them making the noodles, "dragging" or "cutting" them. They also have a panful of fried dumplings. Their green onion pancakes are also good. Their move to a new location has upgraded both the ambience and their capacity, so there are usually no line-up. Their old location always had lineups.The food usually comes quickly.
Went here night with the lady.
Sat at the table closest to the kitchen window which was pretty cool to see them making the noodles by hand. Doesn't look like the most sanitary place there is, but the food was pretty good. Got 2 dishes to share (a dragging noodles soup and a chopped noodles dish) and a green onion cake. Total came to about $20, which was pretty good. Really filling, as noodles naturally are. The chopped noodles were my favourite because they really gave the feel that they were handmade.
For the price, I'd go again.
Don't know what the people below were saying about them asking for tips, we didn't experience that. The service isn't the greatest, they only had a couple people working the tables, but the food came out fast, so I didn't care too much.
I would acknowledge that everything but the food is at best medicre, but the dishes we had were outstanding. The drag noodle and black bean sauce and onion pancake was more than enough for two hungry people and we really did not need the small hot and sour soup we also ordered. Indeed, we took home a good amount of both the soup and the noodles.
I had eaten at the Sha Lin some time ago and while I remember the food been decent, our meal today really surprised us.
While the service was not overtly spectacular at the same time it wasn't aggressively in-your-face bad.
I come here about once a week, and it's definately worth the trip (I live in kits). I always get the curry fried noodles with vegetables and tofu. The service is always really quick and attentive, and you can get a whole meal for just a few dollars. Its one of the best deals in the city for sure. The pan fried dumpling and the garlic broccoli are also very good, and the noodles in soup are really nice if you mix in a little vinegar and soy sauce.
I frequent this place quite often. I do enjoy watching the chef making the hand-made noodles, he's very skilled! Pulling and tugging, twisting.. then poof, he has noodles. He's behind a glass wall so you can watch him do his magic.
I enjoy the stir fried noodle dishes, make sure to get it "spicy" when they ask - it's not actually spicy at all, just more flavorful. They have another option for cumin-flavor to the dish, I tried that once but didn't like it at all.
The soups tend to be rather flavorless to me, the broths are fairly boring. I avoid the soups, but I am out of place there because soups are the main thing here and most people order them. I guess I am not a broth fan - but they are very nice, and very inexpensive. You can get a huge portion for $8-10.
The dumplings are very delicious, the steamed dumplings are tasty and soft. The fried dumplings are tasty, but (as another reviewer said) the bread is too thick and doughy. I prefer the steamed since it's less fattening and tastier to boot.
I recommend this place for a tasty, inexpensive, and entertaining place to go. It's almost always packed, a great sign of quality.
It''s too starchy a meal for our tastes. The broths that go with the noodles are also tasty, especially the chicken broth. Each bowl has plenty of noodles- in fact too many noodles. One bowl of soup is definitely a cheap and filling meal. But it all adds up to a meal that feels rather unbalanced. Where are the veggies? The appetizers we tried, such as the pancakes, were also rather doughy. Sha Lin delivers what it promises, but our dough for main dish soup entrees will go to restaurants whose soups have a larger variety of ingredients, e.g Vietnamese pho.
Been going here for years, service is ok and the place was not very clean but the food was great. Loved the vegetarian soup broth full of ginger and yumminess, also the house fried noodles and onion pancakes were delicious. Really that's what you go for great food. As they just had a fire yesterday I don't know if that means it's the end of this Vancouver fav or if they will rebuild. My word of advice would be rebuild, clean the place up (and keep it clean) and make it more cozy. Maybe a nice warm color on the walls some art something. Will be sad if it is gone forever.
I've been coming here off and on ever since it opened. Of course at the beginning everything about this place was great. It still draws quite a crowd for some reason. One of my turn offs about restaurants in general is a lack of cleanliness. This too me says that they don't care, and that they're lazy. Even the windows/door haven't been washed in years. If the front of the restaurant is that dirty, just how dirty is the kitchen? How lazy are they in the kitchen? Well, I found out today. I thought I'd give them another try, so I ordered pork and chive dumplings, and an order of garlic fried broccoli. I liked the taste of the dumplings, but soon found gristle and bones inside. The broccoli didn't taste fried at all...more like boiled. The container was half full with water, as if they didn't bother to drain it properly. I did take out because the last time I ate in, their washroom had a rat trap in it. The novelty of seeing the noodles being made through the glass has worn off long ago. Keep the place clean, and have some passion about what you're serving your customers.