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Apr 20, 2014 05:02 PM

Where to find good fried (Asian) noodles

I've suddenly developed a hankering for some good fried noodles. In the almost 10 years I've lived here, I can't recall ever having any really good ones. I've had the fried noodles at the usual noodle suspects such as Shaolin, Legendary, Peaceful and Long's and never been blown away but maybe I've ordered the wrong thing. There's not a particular kind of noodles that I want--I love all kinds--and I'm not picky about regions/country. I suspect probably my best bet would be to find good 'chow mein' (with the requisite wok hei) or char kway teow. Any ideas or suggestions? I'm even willing to venture to the suburbs and across bridges to get my fried noodle fix!

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  1. I love the Mu Shu Noodles at Peaceful

    1. Chow mein is deep fried so you're barking up the wrong 'wok hei' tree. The Cantonese place Leung Kee in Aberdeen has a decent version for a quick fix, as do most Cantonese restaurants -- the ones at Ho Yuen Kee or Good Choice on Fraser have been perfectly good in the past (I'm not sure there is a big difference between good, bad, and great chow mein).

      Char kway teow at Hawkers Delight is well reviewed but that place is uber cheap (junk) food so can't say for sure.

      There used to be a place down the road from Cafe Gloucester on Cambie which made excellent char kway teow but may have closed down (between 16th & 17th on the east side of the road).

      Another useless post, sorry lolabee.

      8 Replies
      1. re: brokentelephone

        Never realized 'chow mein' is deep fried! In my family, "chao mien" (Mandarin pronunciation) it's more or less a generic term for any sort of stir-fried noodle, usually with leftover bits of meat and vegetables. The only deep fried version I've had is at restaurants when a "noodle cake" gets thrown into a vat of hot oil and then serves as the base for meat/sauce/veggies that are separately made and placed on top.

        Bad 'chow mein' (I refer to the more westernized version here) is when it is thickly coated in oil, lukewarm, limp soggy yellow noodles with no flavor other than maybe salt.

        I'll check out the place on Fraser as it's not far of a trip for me. Thanks!

        1. re: lolabee

          Cantonese chow mein is not deep-fried in the sense like fried chicken, French fries, etc. It's more pan-seared/fried in a wok (but liberal with oil). That's why you'll often see the burnt bits on the ends of some strands. It's sort of like this video:

          And with restaurant natural gas burners howling away at gazillion BTUs like a jet engine, you can imagine how quickly and easily they get crispy (although par-blanching is common before wok-searing). Ugh, I hate how the guy mixes the corn starch solution at the end with his bare fingers !

          1. re: LotusRapper

            Cool video!

            Must be so much easier to work with burners like those.

            1. re: Sam Salmon

              ..... and not care if you keep your eyebrows and bangs ;-)

              Other good places for Cantonese chow mein:

              - Congee Noodle House (E.Broadway/Quebec); Congee Noodle King (Kingsway/Joyce)
              - #9 BBQ Restaurant (Lansdowne Mall)
              - Sandy La (Victoria/37th)
              - On Lok (Hastings/Semlin)
              - Kwongchow Congee Noodle House (Main/16th)

              Make sure to ask for crispy chow mein, and not e-fu mein (yi mein):


              1. re: LotusRapper

                Speaking of Yi mein/e fu, I sure love Leung Kee's. LK makes a Yi Mein with seafood that is loaded with juicy shrimp and scallops and tender squid amid the wok fried yi mein (sooo wok-hey-ful).

                1. re: kinnickinnik

                  Dang good for a "mere food court" vendor, eh ?

                  I admit I prefer not to eat at food courts even if the vendors are amazing or unique. I'm just not able to fully enjoy the food that is served on styrofoam, using packaged chopsticks (the width of a skewer, it seems) and plastic soupspoons. Wished Leung Kee had a brick & mortar resto instead of just a foodcourt booth.

                2. re: LotusRapper

                  LotusRapper, so glad you know what I meant about the pan-seared-ness! (& not deep fried). Now that you've mentioned crispy vs e-fu mein, I'm pretty sure the e-fu is the I am usually served but prefer less. I may have to sample a couple of fried noodles this week...

                  1. re: lolabee

                    I always ask for extra crispy, less sauce :-) Esp. some places where they over-thicken the sauce so it's kinda gloppy and creepy shiny.