Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Chen's Noodle House - Rediscovering a Hidden Gem

In this town burgeoning with hot new restaurants, it's easy to forget the tried and true favorites that deserve our support. We recently revisited Chen's Noodle House after much too long an absence, and while I'm delighted to report that it was even better than I remembered it, I also felt a pang of regret for not having patronized them more often.

If you haven't been to Chen's, it's a VERY unassuming hole-in-the-wall in a pretty divey strip center near 183 and Spicewood Springs Road. Chen's is so on the down low that when we were there recently, there was absolutely no signage to be found on the exterior of the restaurant. I neglected to snap a photo of the storefront to share with you, but if you're facing Asia Market (which seems to be closed at the moment), Chen's is to your left.

You order at the counter and serve yourself silverware, napkins, and tiny cups of tepid tap water. And then the food comes out and you're reminded of why you came.

These lamb skewers ($9) were some of the finest specimens of lamb I've ever tasted. They were impeccably seasoned and so tender. I really wanted another order of these, but as you'll see in a moment, we had already ordered too much food.

Chen's Noodle House lamb skewers

These fried dumplings ($10) came out next. Super tasty.

Chen's Noodle House dumplings

I'm looking at the online menu right now, and I think these sesame pockets were only $8. Which confounds me, because they were substantial enough that I think four light eaters could make an entire meal out of them. They were generously stuffed with flavorful pork, and pockets were soft and came out warm. The sesame seeds added a nice crunch and toasty goodness.

Chen's Noodle House sesame pockets

My combination noodle soup ($9) was the stuff cold days were made for. My friend suggested that I add a sauce called jia jiang to it, as well as a healthy dollop of their wonderful house-made hot oil. The noodles are handmade. How do they even sell this for $9? The bowl was gigantic. You can see the soup spoon on the bottom right, dwarfed by the massive bowl.

Chen's Noodle House combination

We were so sated and happy as we walked out of Chen's, and vowed loudly not to wait so long before returning for another visit. I hope you follow suit - I know you'll be happy you did.

8650 Spicewood Springs, Suite 127
Austin, TX 78759
512-336-8889

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