Last night we went to Sha-Lin Noodle House at 548 West Broadway (between Ash & Cambie). We’d been to this restaurant about 2 years ago and really enjoyed it so figured it was time to visit again. As the name implies, Shan-Lin specializes in noodles, hand-made noodles to be exact.
This restaurant is not fancy; it’s a typical ‘hole in the wall’ Chinese with awful strip lighting and pictures of menu items covering the walls. We arrived at 6pm and the place was practically full, clearly a good sign (especially when the majority of the clientele are Asian).
The menu is huge, to the point it’s almost overwhelming. It features lots of Chinese soup, dumplings and of course noodles. You can select different types of noodles, such as cutting, dragging, pushing or round noodles and you can watch the chef preparing them in the kitchen. It’s definitely an art form and fun to observe while you wait for your food.
We ordered 3 dishes to share: Shredded Pork with Hoisin and Green Onions, Pan-Fried Pork Dumplings and Cutting Noodles with Peppered Beef and Vegetables.
Shredded Pork with Hoisin, Green Onions (& Pancakes)
The shredded pork was delicious; it tasted sweet and really flavorful. When we ordered this the waitress asked if we wanted pancakes with it. Of course I said yes (I love Peking duck with pancakes & this is similar), however when the bill arrived it cost an extra $3.50 for them. I found this a bit of a rip off and rather misleading!
Pan-Fried Pork Dumplings
On our first visit to Sha-Lin Noodle House, we had seen another table eating the pan-fried dumplings & thought they looked enticing. We attempted to order them but got it wrong and ended up with steamed dumplings. This time we made sure we ordered the right ones and what arrived was rather unique. They are pot stickers that are literally fried-up in a pan all together.
The pork filling inside was yummy and perfectly seasoned, however the dough was much thicker than regular dumplings. While I enjoyed them, I don’t think I’d order this dish again. There was far too much dough and not enough meat, plus this dish is too much for 2 people, we took most of it home.
Cutting Noodles with Peppered Beef & Vegetables
We both loved the cutting noodles. These are hand-cut noodles that are roughly cut from a piece of dough. They are cooked al-dente & have a great texture. That said, we were not impressed with the rest of the dish. The vegetables were totally undercooked (the onion tasted raw) and there was not much beef or sauce with the noodles, definitely disappointing.
While we enjoyed our meal, we’re not in a rush to return. As we left Sha-Lin we noticed that there’s another Chinese restaurant a few doors down that was packed & also features handmade noodles. I think we’ll give them a try next time we’re in need of a noodle fix.