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Restaurants & Bars 10

Niu Rou Mian @ Food Topia, SJ

Melanie Wong | Nov 29, 200402:52 PM

Last night I tried to find the spot that KK recommended for beef noodles (niu rou mian) per the thread linked below. In a strip mall behind Bank of America, you’ll find it at the back of a food court shared with Sogo, Q-cup, and Sunny Tasty, as well as other Asian small businesses. All the signage for Food Topia is in Chinese, but I got the name from the take-out menu that’s printed in English and Chinese. In addition, there are many dishes posted on the walls on strips of fluorescent paper. A refrigerator case is stocked with cold appetizers (e.g., drunken chicken, marinated peanuts, cucumber salad, kau fu) and various dumplings fill a small freezer. A couple of the waitresses speak English and one was sent over to answer my questions.

I had wanted to order the “Sichuan style beef soup noodles”, however, my waitress sized me up and decided it would be way too hot and spicy for me. She steered me to the “beef soup noodles”, also $4.95, promising that it was very good. I asked if it was Taiwanese style, and she said that it did not have cubes of beef but thin slices instead. She also said that she could have the kitchen add a little spicy sauce for me.

I went with her recommendation and it was just right for me. Just the barest suggestion of red oil floating on top to give a warming heat, as shown below. Small condiment dishes of additional chili oil and some chopped preserved salty cabbage were provided on the side. I used these to dab on the beef shank meat, marbled with attractively chewy gristle. The beef was the best part, provided in a generous portion of two layers covering the top of the bowl. The very long and slurpable noodles were cut in irregular widths and were softer than I would prefer. The broth was reasonably concentrated and pretty salty, but not tasty enough that I wanted to drink every drop even on this cold night.

I would order the beef noodles again. But I wouldn’t get the bean curd skin roll I ordered as a cold dish. It had an off metallic taste.

Oh, and can someone tell me what “check-R noodles” might be? I have a vague recollection of seeing this term somewhere else, maybe in Flushing, NY.

Food Topia
(far end of food court)
1600 S. DeAnza Blvd. #30
San Jose
Open 11am to 9:30pm



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