During the last nine years I haven’t been wealthy, but I’ve been spoiled. Spoiled by people who’ve taken me in, fed me, loaned me bikes, helped me find jobs, given me directions, and supported me emotionally. If I could build a monument to these friends I would, but since I currently lack the resources, I’ll just have to use my words.
One of these people is Cathy, a family friend whom I’ve known my whole life but only really got to know when I lived in England. She moved to London decades ago to pursue an academic career, and has been there since. She’s now a historian at the University of Essex, and owns a charming flat in Kentish Town. She’s hosted me there countless times, and even loaned it to me when she’s gone. I’ve launched many an adventure from her flat, returning to it months later, tired but alive with travel, and grateful for a comfortable bed. She’s always happy to hear my stories, and I, hers; we never run out of things to talk about.
Cathy recently came back to Canada for a visit, and I finally, finally got to host her on my turf! So where to take her!? I wanted us to go somewhere casual but with good food, where Cathy could try bubble tea for the first time and we could have some sort of soup – I was feeling run-down yesterday and soup always seems to be the answer.
I came across Shang Noodle House and liked the modern look of its interior, ramen-based menu, and close proximity to Brighouse Station. Cathy grew up in Vancouver, but Richmond’s current food scene had yet to take hold when she left as a twenty-something.
It was everything I wanted. The inside was clean and bright, with wood accents and plenty of space. Their menu was well-designed and descriptive; on it Cathy was able to read a short history of bubble tea, and it explained each type of noodle they use. Shang Noodle House is relaxing and easy, making it a perfect place for newbies to Richmond.
I had a honey green milk tea ($2.50), and Cathy had the house milk tea ($2.50), both with pearls and ordered half-sweet. They were cool and refreshing, with the best tapioca I’ve had so far. Also, great price! Cathy’s always game to try something new, and loved hers. They offer a number of other tea flavours, calpis, and HK-style coffee and tea.
From their dim sum menu we ordered salted edamame ($3.28), and cold marinated cucumbers ($3.88). The edamame were addictive, as usual, and the cucumbers were crunchy and fresh, but I wish they’d been marinated for a bit longer.
For mains we had the Pork Jowl Ramen in Miso Broth ($8.88), and the Tan Tan Noodles ($6.88). Yes, tan tan again. I just couldn’t help myself; it’s become my thing. If I see them on a menu I can’t not order them, especially if I’m feeling tired. And it’s just so great to compare them all at different places……
Ok, my name is Lindsay Anderson, and I’m a Tan Tan Addict. A Tantaddict, if you will. Was it worth getting them at Shang Noodle House? OH YES, IT WAS.
The la mein noodles had a great texture, the peanut/sesame sauce was thick, and there was plenty of chopped peanut and thinly-sliced cucumber on top. No pork in this version. My one request would for it to be spicier, but otherwise I was so happy.
Cathy’s ramen was also fantastic, and a heck of a lot healthier than the tan tan! There was corn, carrot, crisp broccoli, seaweed, hard-boiled egg, and green onion. The miso broth was light and flavourful, the noodles just right, and the pork jowl was good.
It was a little chewier than I’d expected it to be, but almost caramelized on the exterior. This sweetness contrasted well with the salty broth, and made for one tasty bowl of noodles. By the way, did you notice the prices are full of eights? The menu is stacked with them, as it’s a lucky number in Chinese culture.
I really enjoyed our overall experience at Shang Noodle House, and think Cathy did as well. It was reasonably priced, quick, modern, and comfortable – just what you want on a Tuesday night. It was a great place to catch up with Cathy, who I’m already looking forward to seeing again, whether it be on this side of the Atlantic or the other. It’s phenomenal to have a person like her in my life, who believes I’m capable of anything. I’m pretty sure would say “YES, go for it!” if I told her I was planning to build my own rocket and fly to the moon.
Those are the kind of people who you want to build monuments for. And introduce to tan tan noodles.
Cash and cards accepted
Vegetarian options available
There’s a second Shang Noodle House location in New Westminster!