Catherine and I, unable to stomach any of the movies playing in town on Saturday night, ended up enjoying a dinner at The Noodle House followed by an exciting tour through the Charlottetown Mall.
The menu at The Noodle House as been dramatically expanded over the last few weeks, and now runs to almost a dozen pages. In addition to a whole new range of Cantonese dishes, the back page features two new categories: “sizzlers” are served on sizzling-hot cast iron platters and “sizzling hot pots” are boiled-not-fried concoctions served in a small clay pot. On Saturday Catherine had the “ginger beef sizzler” and I had the chicken one. Both were very tasty, and a welcome addition to the menu. The only downside to the meal is that we forgot to tell the new owners to hold the MSG (the original owners had our non-MSG preference memorized years ago); they were very nice about this, and told us that they will cook without MSG if requested.
On Sunday we headed to Summerside with visions of Belgian-style french fries dancing in our heads. Ever since said fries were promoted by a Compass feature on Flex Mussels a few weeks back, I’ve been dreaming about the day I might make it all the way to Summerside for a sample. I should mention here that I didn’t actually know what “Belgian-style” french fries were, and I don’t really like mussels; I’m just addicted to the notion of anything novel.
It’s hard not to like Flex Mussels: they’ve got such a clever little brand, a cute website, and a setup on the water in Summerside that’s very “Ikea in Stainless.”
The Belgian-style french fries turned out to be thin-cut, about the size of McDonalds’ fries, but, unlike McDonalds’ fries, they had a recognizable connection to potatoes. Mine were a little on the cold side, and somewhat too salty (which might have been Catherine’s fault, as she supplemented the house salting with some of her own) but were otherwise very tasty, especially when dipper in the optional mayonaise; I’d rank them just behind those from the Water Prince Corner Shop in Charlottetown in the Panetheon of french fry excellentness.
Catherine said the mussels were excellent too; I sopped up enough of her tasty ” ginger, lime, indian curry, fresh mango puree, and cream” sauce with the thoughtfully-provided baguette to see where she was coming from.
In addition to the fries, I ordered a lobster roll, which is the only other non-mussel item on the menu. This was plesantly unlike the “lobster bits with celery and mayo” lobster rolls we’re used to: it was a deep-fried battered lobster tail served with mayo (one of five varieties; I choose wasabi) on a bun with lettuce. While I appreciated its iconoclastic qualities, and it was well prepared, something didn’t come together in the end; I’m not sure what it was, but it needed an extra oomph. But I’d order it again.
When added to the (transcendent) blueberry pancakes that Catherine Hennessey served us on Sunday morning, the chocolate-covered potato chips we sampled at Avonlea and the chocolate-covered ginger we had on the way home, we probably took 4 years off our lives this weekend. But it was worth it, I think.
To add to that: we had an excellent lunch at Carr’s Oyster House in Stanley Bridge. Oustanding view, very friendly service and really good food.
Carr’s was also featured on Compass this summer.
Flex Mussels has more flavours and spices than all other restaurants in PEI combined!
My goal is to try every one!
And, there is actual duck in the Peking sauce! Again, a first in PEI! Can anyone tell me of a restaurant where I can get duck? No chinese restaurant in PEI serves it that I can find. Does Noodle House have duck? I love crispy duck from a Thai restaurant.
The Noodle House had duck in its last incarnation — not sure about whether it’s on the updated menu or not. Ann is a duck lover — perhaps she knows?
I know you could get Peking duck at the old noodle house if you ordered a day in advance. And the Forbidden Palace (now gone) had some the the best duck I have ever had. I know that last part is no help…I’m just lamenting.
I will check at the new Noodle House.
This seems to be the trend around the world with duck. There used to be a restaurant in Budapest called the Zee Hu that had a five spices duck that was just great. The restaurant closed about two years ago and there is a Starbucks or Pizza Hut or something in its place. We haven’t been able to find duck since.
I suggest trying the the fries at Flex one more time to get an accurate sense of what they’re all about. I’ve had them fresh, and they’re phenomenal.
P.S. The chef/husband and assistant/wife combo is very entertaining. Great folks.