A couple of weeks ago we had our most recent Why Cook Wednesday supper club dinner. We decided on Dim Sum at Noodle Express in Chinatown. I have to admit that this is a restaurant that I haven’t thought much about despite having popped in during past Fringe Festivals. I’ve also tended to shy away form Dim Sum, thinking it on the expensive side. I do though, enjoy the variety.
I found out, after arriving that Noodle Express has a happy hour for Dim Sum. This meant the meal turned out to be one of the real good bargains on the Winnipeg food scene. Happy hour is also a bit of a misnomer as it runs from the end of the lunch rush at 2 pm to closing time at 8 pm.
This turned out to be one of the more intimate supper club gatherings with only four of us for the meal. Still we managed to try several dishes during the evening. We had a Pork Dumpling, Sesame Balls, Egg Plant in Black Bean Sauce, Stuffed Green Peppers, Steamed Rice with Spare Ribs, Coconut Buns, and we added a bowl of Hot and Sour soup to split four ways.
Most of the dishes contained Pork as the meat. At first I was a little hesitant, because of a lack of sear on the meat. However, all the meat was very tender and well seasoned. We enjoyed all the dishes, but I would probably differ most from the rest of the group on the Hot and Sour, as I prefer the emphasis on the hot. The Noodle Express version does well on the sour, but not so much on the hot.
For dessert we had the Coconut bun. I was given to believe by the other supper club members that the Coconut Bun was the star of the Noodle Express Dim Sum, and it did not disappointed. The outside was crispy and the filling oozed out like a Cadbury Creme Egg(only better tasting).
The real surprise of the evening came with the bill. The total cost including tax and tip came to under $15.00 for a satisfying meal.
Noodle Express Solo Dim Sum
About a week and a half later, I found myself in the Exchange for a brief stop at a friend’s art exhibit. I was heading to St. Margaret’s later for a concert by friend and priestly colleague Tony-Harwood Jones. Looking for something quick, I decided to pay a second visit to Noodle Express.
It was busier than the previous visit, but I was still served quickly. The gallery below shows the dishes I ordered this time around. The Spring Rolls on the upper left and the Dumplings on the upper right were my two favourites. While the Pineapple Buns bear a visual resemblance to the Golden Dumplings, the topping was very crumbly and there was no real pineapple flavour to them.
One of the enjoyable features of Dim Sum is that there are plenty of items on the menu. Enough to allow you to order old favourites while giving new items an opportunity. The Noodle Express menu is large enough that you can make several visits before trying it all, and with happy hour prices you don’t have to worry about spending too much on the items you haven’t tried before. I think come next summer and festival season, I’ll be making more visits to Noodle Express.