VH Noodle House, Richmond
- Melanie Wong
This is the new occupant of the space vacated by Tainan Taste at the Pacific East Mall in Richmond. The same owners as the VH on Franklin & 2nd in Oakland Chinatown. Lots of good luck houseplants festooned with red ribbons and auspicious wishes, offerings to the kitchen gods, money trees, and incense burning to get off to a good start. The place has been cleaned up and freshly painted. I was looking for lunch to go and happened upon them on the 10th day of operation this morning.
The menu is trilingual - Chinese, Vietnamese and English - and offers 80 items categorized as House Specialty, Soup Style, Fried Noodle, Rice Plate, and Drinks. The most expensive dish is $7.50 for sauteed kidneys and most are in the $4.25 to $5.25 range. The color photos of Chinese entrees on the walls don't match any of the dishes on the menu.
The diners were all slurping soup noodles here and I think that would be the way to go. Because this needed to hold for an hour, I ordered the "Chow Jew Pan Fried Noodle" for $5.15. I was pleased that they packed this in two boxes to keep the noodles crispy for the ride. The noodles were a big lacy caked fried to crackly crispness. The wet part included slices of fried fish cake, shredded chicken, sauteed pork, celery, only a sliver of Chinese gai lan, lots of broccoli florets, sliced carrots and onion. The fish cake was heavily seasoned with white pepper and tasty - this is one of the house specialties. The part I didn't like is the pre-cooked white meat of chicken, which became tough and dry when reheated in the wok with the other ingredients.
Not bad, good enough that I'd be willing to try more dishes on the menu. The one dish on the take-out menu that calls out to me is the "Preserved Orange Skin Duck with Noodles" soup. Next time...