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Sep 5, 2007 08:38 AM

best noodle shop in Concordia ghetto?

I am so overwhelmed with the choice of noodle shops in the Concordia ghetto, I don't know where to start. I am particularly keen on thick Shanghai style noodles, but in general I am an equal opportunity noodle eater. What would you recommend?

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  1. I'm partial to U&Me (or Me&U, I can never remember!) but I must admit I always go for either the curry chicken & rice or black bean chicken & rice combo so I can't really vouch for the noodle dishes... Those dishes I mentioned are generously portioned, with lots of nice fresh, crisp veggies (zucchini, broccoli, carrots, onion) - not just the usual green peppers you get at other places in dishes like these.

    1. Not Shanghai noodles, but if you like pad thai: Cuisine bankok in the Fauberg is an absolute must. I prefer the Fauberg location to the restaurant. It is cheaper, and the food is better. Hmmm. Now i must go and buy some pad thai....

      14 Replies
      1. re: moh

        Oh, don't go now! They are closed until 9th. :(

        1. re: emerilcantcook

          Darn, I got your post too late. I did go, and yes, the fauberg outlet is closed until the ninth. Went to the sit down restaurant instead, pad thai is still good, the squid with eggplant was also still good, but you're paying for overhead. Also, the duck dishes at the sit-down restaurant are not as good as the ones they used to serve in the fauberg! I am so sad they no longer make the red curry duck special!

          1. re: moh

            Cuisine Bangkok has been open again, and I just tried their chicken pad thai. Some of the best I've ever had! Noodles were just right, and flavorful chunks of tofu. I requested *** spicy (they have a warning sign posted) and it was eye- and nose-watering good. Next time I'll skip the chicken and order the tofu or vegetable. Yum!

        2. re: moh

          I completely disagree with you about the Fauberg being better. Once upon a time it was fantastic but its slipping. Its not as flavorful and its much smaller than it once was. However, I am happy to say that the sit down resto Bangkok is leagues better and I suggest the BBQ duck pad thai. It was a work of art.

          1. re: onlydelicious

            I did recently post on another thread that I had a very excellent take-out experience from the sit down resto Bangkok very recently when the Fauberg Bangkok was closed for a week or so. My theory was that the chefs from the Fauberg occasionally moonlight at the other place when Fauberg outlet is closed. I still eat very regularly at Fauberg, and I have not noticed a significant change in quality, and the food is still cheaper than the sit down resto. The only real change for me has been the lack of BBQ duck in red curry special.

            Given my last experience, I am certainly planning to give the sit down resto more chances. But until now, the sit down resto has not had the same "wok hai" that the Fauberg dishes have.

            I will certainly try the BBQ duck pad thai. I am a huge fan of BBQ duck. That is why I have been so sad that the other BBQ duck dishes at the sit down place have never matched the Fauberg duck special. Even the rambutan one was disappointing, and normally, this combo should send me through the roof. I do hope you are right about the BBQ duck pad thai. The world can always use more delicious duck dishes.

            1. re: moh

              In terms of quality decline, I could say that there seems to be more variation than a decline in quality in Fauborg Bangkok's dishes. I eat there often enough that I can see some variation depending the time of the day and who is behind the counter. Sometimes it is divine, sometimes just OK (I had a terrible fried rice once, and it was around 3 pm, an odd time to eat anyway). It seems like every time the middle aged woman (perhaps the owner?) is in the kitchen, the food tastes better. My lunch meals are always better than afternoon meals, and the worst time is actually close to dinner time when the kitchen is ill staffed and people are looking forward to going home.

              1. re: emerilcantcook

                The middle-aged woman is the owner. Hmm. I shall try to track this as I eat there. It is true that I usually eat there at lunch, and that woman is usually there... I know because everytime I see her there, i have to resist going up and giving her a big hug for the wonderful food she has brought into my life.

                There is also always a taller younger man whom I seem to associate with really great food there.

                It would make sense that there is some variation based on who is cooking. I have often wondered what the arrangements are between the Fauberg and the other location.

                1. re: moh

                  «There is also always a taller younger man whom I seem to associate with really great food there.»

                  Hefty of build, sporting a goatee and seemingly unflappable? I'm always happy when he's manning the wok station, since it means the food will be delicious. It's been ages since I've seen the owner.

                  1. re: carswell

                    Yup. He is definitely the "wok hai" go-to guy. I associate his face with really great squid. Although it doesn't seem like it, this is a huge compliment....

                    1. re: moh

                      >> "I associate his face with really great squid."

                      Can I quote you, out of context, just for fun? :0

                      1. re: rcianci

                        er, yeah, I think that came out wrong. It sounded like praise when I first wrote it. That's the problem with the internet, not enough editors.

                        1. re: moh

                          It's wonderful. I wouldn't change a thing. It's sig line material. :)

                          1. re: moh

                            It sounds somewhat dirty and sexual, ha ha!

                2. re: moh

                  I was at Faubourg Bangkok during noon time today. All their chefs were male, except for the middle aged woman(the owner). The few times I've dined at sit down resto Bangkok(all at their original location), I seemed to recall all their chefs were female. I wonder whatever happened to the owner's husband(I use to see him cooking at Faubourg Bangkok)?

            2. I have tried the Shanghai style noodles at three places so far. Just a quick report for future reference.

              Noodle Express @ Maisonneuve and Guy: The best tasting of three with succulent pork morsels. Lots of vegetables, and really good noodles. However, I had the telltale MSG cramps a few hours after. Might try it again, hoping to grow some resistance towards MSG.

              U&M @ St Catherine and St Marc: Almost as good tasting as Noodle Express, but not quite there (the pork was the big difference). Perhaps my perception was altered due to lack of MSG. I am pretty sure this one also had some, but not as much as the Express; which meant no unpleasant experience afterwards.

              Soup and Noodles (across U&Me): Blah! It was more like a Shanghai-ified bolognese, with ground pork and no visible vegetables. The noodles weren't tender either. Considering that this gets most votes in some surveys, I am surprised.

              I will continue my noodle quest and report occasionally.

              1 Reply
              1. re: emerilcantcook

                despite questionable sanitation practices, u&me is by far the best soup in that neighbourhood. not only do you get a heaping bowl that is actually hot but it is also loaded with vegetables (even if you order a meat). slow service so bring a book.

              2. Just Noodles, the first of the bunch, used to be quite good but now they seem to have changed hands and name: Nouilles du chef. Not sure if the other Just Noodles branches are affected.......
                Pret a Manger (now just PM) near St. Mathieu has good beef with black bean sauce over rice noodles, plus other good noodle-y dishes - just don't order the luxurious chow mein (not sure if that's the exact name) : a couple of big shrimps and some other seafoody items and baby bokchoys do not a luxurious chow mein make (not worth the price either).

                1. OK, this might be annoying since I am answering my own question again; but I like the idea of "meta posts" where you can get as much information as you can in a single topic.

                  I've been eating my way around the ghetto for a while now, and my conclusion is that most of these places serve the purpose of quick and cheap carbohydrate/salt high assisted with a liberal use of MSG. There is also a risk of frequent short term gastrointestinal discomfort; whether this is due to excessive MSG or inadequate sanitation is questionable. Still, I eat at these places when I need a quick carb fix; I just learned to distinguish the intolerable (Soup and Noodles) from OK (Wok cafe and U and Me)

                  Now, more name calling.

                  Pret a Manger is very popular here, but I came to realize that it is a hit and miss depending on what you order. The noodle dishes are OK, and sometimes bland (like the chow mein); what they seem to do well are other interesting non-noodle dishes. So it is a place where you need to know what to order, and I hate this notion. Why do I have to get ripped off if I haven't done my homework well by asking people around? I wish rather than trying to offer every single generic-non generic-Schezuan-Taiwanese-pan Asian-whatever dish, the restaurants cook only what they can cook well.

                  Among the whole bunch of places (and there are many, in every corner) my favorite is Roi du Wonton. The food is cleaner tasting compared to most of the oversauced noodle places. Their stir fried noodles with twice cooked pork, albeit greasy, are machine cut to order in front of you. Their soups are good too; just be patient since everything is made to order by one cook. The people who are doing the cooking seem to be the owners, and the loud speaking friendly butch lady is always very nice to you and will give you hot tea while you are waiting for your takeout orders. I guess being the only non-Chinese person in the store during my many visits and observing that many people are regulars are also good signs about the quality of the food; afterall what do I know about Taiwanese cuisine?