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Fresh made noodles at Marco Polo Noodle House in Chinatown


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Fresh made noodles at Marco Polo Noodle House in Chinatown

Porthos | Sep 19, 2002 02:31 PM

Located on Baxter and Canal the poorly named Marco Polo Noodle House is an excellent place for noodle aficionados. The menu is lengthy and full of various types of rice, noodle, and congee dishes in addition to southern chinese "local" cuisine. However, the most remarkable part of the menu includes a section titled Lauzhou (sp?) Fresh-made noodles and Shaved Noodles. The freshmade noodles are similar to soba noodles in color. It has a little more bite and substance to it though. The shaved noodles are actually quite interesting. The chef takes a block of dough and literally shaves slices of the dough into boiling water using a knife. You can watch this being done through the glass window separating the kitchen from the dining room. This creates a thin flat noodle. Since the noodles are hand shaved, you get different textures and lengths which add to the appeal of the noodles.

Unfortunately, the soups that accompany the noodles can be hit or miss. The beef noodle soups are usually very flavorful and nicely spiced. However, the seafood soup that I ordered today was a touch on the bland side. Luckily, there was a very flavorful canister of chili paste on every table. The noodles however, were excellent.

I also ordered the steamed chicken and mushroom shanghai mini buns which were very good. The filling was scant but the bun itself was slightly sweet and very delicious. The drunken chicken was also a winner. Initially, one might think that the chicken is a bit bland, however, it's intentionally created that way so 1) you can drink the heady broth heavy with the scent of rice wine and 2) when you add a touch of soy sauce to the chicken (on your own plate of course, never in the serving dish itself), the aromas of the chicken change ever so subtly and becomes very tasty indeed.

The service can be a little gruff, but those noodles are well worth it. The price runs $4.25-$5.90/bowel. Though I'm still making my way through the menu, I will go so far to say that this place is unrivaled in Chinatown for noodles.

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