D Magazine intern Carol Shih prowls Dallas in search of the best Asian cuisine. She used Chinglish (half-Chinese, half-English) to interview chef and owner Sky Kuo, proving that you don’t need Google Translator for everything.
If I’m given the choice between rice or noodles, I will almost always pick noodles so I can release my inner caveman and slurp, slurp, slurp away with my mouth hovering two inches above the bowl and my chopsticks traveling rapidly in between. And there’s no better place than the Noodle House in Plano to practice your chopstick skills. This Taiwanese restaurant is well-respected by the Asian community for its beef noodle soup.
Don’t take it as a bad sign if you walk through the door and there’s nobody else in the restaurant, the owner and his four-year-old son will charm you into playing with his plastic toys. For some reason, the Noodle House is never at full capacity, but this means that devoted customers’ orders are prepared right on the spot.
Jump for the good stuff.
Chef/owner Sky Kuo cooks up a mean beef noodle soup, an old family recipe from his grandmother that he won’t reveal even after I probe him with the same question asked in a variety of ways to see if he’ll slip up and answer. “What goes into your soup?” “Do you use such-and-such?” “How can I re-create your soup in my own kitchen?” No such luck. Sky doesn’t fall for my trickery, but does tell me that it takes 24 hours to prepare the soup base so his doesn’t end up like “other places that have a soy-sauce taste.”
He’s absolutely right; I can’t taste the soy sauce one bit. The roasted beef noodle soup ($6.50 for a large) is thick, spicy (but not overwhelmingly so), and mixed in with pickled vegetables, bokchoy, and four tender slices of beef shank. Noodles are made in-house with a machine that churns out chewy, spaghetti-sized ribbons which fold softly inside the bowl.
For the elderly folk who lack sturdy teeth for noodles, the wonton soup is a perfect choice. Six wontons as big as golf balls are wrapped in a rice-papery skin and they rest in a clear broth that makes my mouth water even as I’m typing this. As far as noodles go, the pickle pork noodle soup is a close second after the roasted beef, while my favorite appetizers have to be the leek pot stickers and sticky rice meatballs they sell at the counter. Back when I was in college, I would freeze nine pork meatballs (each covered in a layer of sticky rice), fly this precious cargo on a plane from Dallas to North Carolina, return to my dorm and eat them one-by-one, knowing it would be another six months before I could lay my hands on them again. They’re that good, I swear. And every time North Carolina weather started reminding me of the movie The Day After Tomorrow, my stomach – like some kind of annoying alarm clock—would start telling me it was time to visit the Noodle House for their beef noodle soup.
3921 W Park Blvd. Ste Y
Plano, TX 75075