The Gateway staff went out to the recently-opened Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle restaurant on Whyte Avenue one bitterly cold not-too-distant night searching for the warmth and light only a hot bowl of noodles can provide. These are our reactions, off-the-cuff and as brazen as always.
Names have been changed to protect the depraved. Namely, us.
Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle
Where: 10336 81 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
2irl4meirl: Now, nobody say anything off the record.
Yung Beef Flank: On the record, I fucks with this.
2irl4meirl: Noodles. What are everyone’s thoughts?
Yung Beef Flank: Perfect consistency. There’s the right level of chew that’s satisfying and very filling. I don’t know, combined with the broth, it’s so good.
Big Schmood: They’re not easy to slurp like thin noodles are, but that makes them rewarding to slurp.
Yung Beef Flank: There’s a satisfying, like… you know the effort you have to go through? And then you’re done. You’re like, yeah, I feel accomplished. I feel like I really got something done.
TSwift420: There’s a good noodle-to-broth ratio too, I think. There’s lots of noodles, which I appreciate, ’cause I only like carbs, so.
Big Schmood: So there’s not going to be an awkward pool of broth at the end.
$leepyhead: The broth’s good, too.
Big Schmood: Yeah! Good segway into the broth. Let’s talk about that.
TSwift420: Very flavourful.
2irl4meirl to Yung Beef Flank: How’s the chilli? Since you’re the only one who got it.
Yung Beef Flank: It’s the perfect amount of spice. It doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the dish, but it’s the perfect amount of burn. A very satisfying level of burn. Good burn. I’m into it. It’s a very well done spicy soup that isn’t pure heat; there are some other qualities to it that I think add up.
2irl4meirl: What about the accoutrements?
Simon: Very good.
Big Schmood: I had tripe, and tripe, you know, it gets a bad rap among squeamish eaters in North America, you know, We Live in a Society™, et cetera, et cetera —
Yung Beef Flank: — he’s right!
Big Schmood: — and McDonald’s®! And fast food is a prison!!! For our minds and for our palettes. But tripe is good. It’s nice because I had a big hunk of tripe earlier, but none of it felt, like, gross to eat. Like, it just felt interesting and, like, it’s chewy, but it’s also gooey, and, like, soft in my mouth —
Yung Beef Flank: — like a tender kind of taste, like a melt.
Big Schmood: Yes, really interesting variations in texture.
Yung Beef Flank: Isn’t it basically like a meat version of, like, an AERO bar?
Big Schmood: Okay, this is too much!
$leepyhead: CAN’T R3LAT3 and I can talk about the tendon. Tendon’s good — they gave us big pieces of tendon, where most pho places that I’ve had, the tendon pieces —
CAN’T R3LAT3: It’s usually tiny.
$leepyhead: — pretty tiny, and I don’t know if people think tendon is gross —
Yung Beef Flank: Tendon’s delicious. Tendon is fire.
$leepyhead: It’s like a beef gummy. Tendon was good.
2irl4meirl: What about the non-noodle extra stuff? Like the not-soup stuff?
Yung Beef Flank: The squid balls were great. Great level of consistency and the kind of texture for the squid. Squid can be super rubbery, and here it was still soft but chewy.
TSwift420: It was kind of melty in your mouth.
fair_unfair: And with a nice sauce to top it off.
Yung Beef Flank: Did you have any sausage? Very good. A little bit of sweetness to it.
TSwift420: What kind of meat was it? Mystery meat?
Big Schmood: Pork?
Yung Beef Flank: I think it’s pork. I wouldn’t care what kind of meat it is, it’s delicious.
fair_unfair: It spoils the surprise to know!
2irl4meirl: Damn, Simon’s done already.
Yung Beef Flank: Holy shit, Simon!
TSwift420: I didn’t get to say, but I had the shredded pork and preserved radish, and it’s really good. The preserved radish is kind of sweet, and the pork is really nice and flavourful, so I’m thoroughly enjoying it. And it came with a lot.
Yung Beef Flank: Yeah, I will say, these bowls have a lot of food. They’re very filling. You’re certainly getting your money’s worth, if not more.
TSwift420: And is that fried chicken over there?
Yung Beef Flank: Yep. What did you guys think of the fried chicken?
fair_unfair: It’s, like, not your regular fried chicken. It’s really good.
Yung Beef Flank: What makes it not regular?
fair_unfair: It’s, like, sweet at the same time.
$leepyhead: Is it still minced like McDonald’s chicken nuggets?
Simon: Is that fried chicken to you? 😂
fair_unfair: No, it’s, like, in pieces.
Simon: $leepyhead, do you consider McDonald’s chicken nuggets fried chicken?
$leepyhead: No!!! That’s the thing, that what I’m saying, like, for an audience reference, when you say minced chicken nuggets, most people think of the fried chicken nuggets from McDonald’s!
TSwift420: Oh, so you had chicken nuggets here?
fair_unfair: Ah, yeah.
2irl4meirl: So you guys had all these great things to say — anything to improve upon?
Yung Beef Flank: It’s too good.
Simon: My only comment would be that the fact that you get complimentary tea here would have me coming back.
TSwift420: That’s how it is at most Asian places!
Simon: That’s amazing.
$leepyhead: As a frequent Asian restaurant-goer, seeing tea poured out of a coffee pot is a little jarring.
Simon: Really? I thought that was genius! I was like, I’m gonna do that when I get back to the office!
Yung Beef Flank: Fucking do it!
Big Schmood: I will say that if there’s any takeaway from this, eating at Chef Hung’s might make me fail No Nut November, I’ve gotta say.
Simon: Your will is weak.
TSwift420: Take that back!
Yung Beef Flank: He might have already failed as we speak! We don’t know!
Simon: There are rules to the game. You can’t just say things like that.
$leepyhead: Just to clarify, the coffee pot thing is not a big complaint, but being in touch with my roots, I miss having a kettle I can pour the tea out of.
TSwift420: The prices are very reasonable, I think, like extremely reasonable. Oh! My bad thing is that for some reason all the appetizers were crossed off today and I couldn’t get green onion cakes or fried bean cakes or anything and I don’t know why.
Simon: It’s because they stop serving them after a certain time, because the kids stop ordering them at a certain time.
TSwift420: Wow. What the fuck!!!
2irl4meirl: Okay, go around the table, give this place a rating out of something, whatever you want.
Yung Beef Flank: I give it, like, fuckin’ nine noodz out of 10.
Big Schmood: Well, I’ll give it nine nuts out of 10.
Yung Beef Flank: No, please!!!
Everyone else at this roundtable: FUCK!!!
TSwift420: I would give it a “I haven’t eaten beef in like four years, and yet here I am drinking this beef broth, but I just don’t hate myself too much” out of —
Simon: — out of five.
TSwift420: — out of infinity!
2irl4meirl: I already said this place was great. On the noodle quality alone, I think it’s at least a nine, and probably a 10. And the broth and noodles are fuckin’ ten out of ten shit. I will fight anyone who says otherwise.
Simon: Damn, you’re gonna get jumped by other noodle places. They’re gonna be like, “The fuck did you say?!”
2irl4meirl: They don’t know me.
Simon: They definitely do.
TSwift420: You’re famous among the noodz community now. Famous for sending noodz.
Yung Beef Flank: Like noodz. N-O-O-D-Z, noodz. Short for noodles.
$leepyhead: Can you ban Yung Beef Flank from saying that?
Simon: Yeah. Yeah, I’m doing that.
Yung Beef Flank: Wait, so TSwift420 can say it and I can’t?!
Simon: No, it’s obvious that she can’t. Also, I give this place seven out of eight [redacted] for being really amazing and complimentary .
CAN’T R3LAT3: I would say, like, an eight-point-five out of 10. It’s pretty good.
$leepyhead: I’m thinking around an eight out of 10.
fair_unfair: Three-quarts-full of a tea container, but it’s actually a coffee pot.
TSwift420: All right. Cheers, everybody!
Yung Beef Flank: (to Big Schmood) Can’t wait to read about your comments on “soft tripe” on the website.