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North King Noodle House

Tonight I was having dinner close to home, a new Northern Chinese restaurant in a sea of Cantonese options. Opened since December of 2023, this is something different and a welcomed addition to Burnaby Heights. And whole new cuisine I have yet to try. There were dishes I thought I knew, but they came with different spices and a flavour profile all their own.

This use to be home of Paul’s, a Chinese restaurant I have ordered delivery from, and did not like enough to stay away from since. The new restaurant boasts the same red coloured awning and golden lettering, but with a new sheen and matching lanterns to mark the takeover.

I have never been inside before today, so cannot speak to any updates within. The decor was pretty simple with black leather booths and brown tables. The ceiling hung with yellow lanterns.

Our larger group sat at the largest table in the corner with a lazy Susan for easy family-style sharing. The Chef would bring out dishes he wanted to feature, giving us the option to add on anything else we saw fit.

We started with some appetizers like the cold, spicy and chewy beef and tripe with peanuts. This was about textures to get the appetite going.

Similarly, but minus the meat and heat was the Black fungus and cilantro salad. A peppery and garlicky mix of rubbery crunch. Thin on its own, this was better as a side.

I was excited for the Hot & sour soup only to get a taste and realize it wasn’t what I was expecting. This was much more spicier and tangier, with a deep back of the throat burn. Good, but not my childhood hot and sour soup.

At least the Spicy green bean was exactly as expected, as one of my typical go to dishes. Here, I had no complaints.

The Spicy boiled beef came in a huge bowl, an impressive presentation with all that red. Not as spicy as you would think, considering the hue. I found myself fishing around for the sparse pieces of tender meat amongst the tidalwave of spicy peppercorn and beansprouts. This one I wanted with rice.

Similar in bowl size was the serving of Pickled cabbage fish. As spicy as the other one was, this one was sour. I preferred this for the tender fish and the glass noodles that picked up the flavour of the broth, both as more neutral bases.

The Dan-Dan noodles also delivered on my expectations. The noodles are made in house and you can tell that they are fresh from their bounce. I just wish that there was more of the peanut butter and salty meat sauce to coat the noodles with, and I wish I got a chance to eat more of this. If and when I return, I will probably order this one again, as another of my go to dishes.

The Deep fried chicken were boneless crispy bites intermingled with chunks of raw green pepper to chase in contrast. The dish had more fried chilli than chicken, and you were left on a treasure hunt digging. Given the ratio of what I actually got to eat versus what I pushed aside was so little, I wouldn’t order this one again.

The Stir fried razor clam was super tasty. Oblong shaped clams coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. As is, it felt like this needed a base to have the smaller chunks of clam be a more meaningful bite.

I really enjoyed the Fried stem lettuce. I don’t like texture of leafy greens, so this is a great solution to have me eating more vegetables. A unique look and texture like crunchy jello, this was a cerebral eating experience and one I would enjoy. I would order this again to have, and to impress anyone dining with me.

The Taiwanese beef roll was another familiar order. A hefty wrap with a thick pancake of green onion and what felt like an excessive amount of leaks hidden within. I would have liked more meat and sauce to marry up with the leaks. This is one of those dishes you order as a quick snack, and not one that matched with the rest of our meal.

I was disappointed by the Beef noodle. It was more medicinal than the Taiwanese beef broth style I am familiar with, especially with the tomato slices. Warming in a different way, and not all that comforting. I would have also liked a thicker noodle to better balance out all the peppery gravy-like soup. With the thinner noodles this felt more like ramen.

The table was impressed by the Xiao long bao. Each steamed pork bun had plenty of meat and a good amount of soup. The vinegar and ginger best highlighted the flavour of the filling.

And my favourite dish of the evening was the Spinach noodles. A bold green, house made noodle with a great chew, and a slight spinach nuance. Plenty of garlicky saucy bits, mixed with cucumber, mushroom, and beef for added flavour and textures. A tasty and unique noodle dish I would order and highly recommend.

And for dessert we had something I have never had before: Sweet rice ball in rice wine. This was like a dessert soup with wolf berry also known as goji berry. A gentle sweetness that ended the meal on the lighter side, ideal after all the punchier profiles above. The highlight was definitely the chewy starch of the mini rice cakes that dotted the dessert soup like sprinkles.

In short, this is a great option for something different in the neighbourhood, and I hope they have see much success ahead of them.

North King Noodle House
4621 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC V5C 2K6

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