The Noodle Bar Friargate, Preston
It’s not often a girl can claim to have had a meal prepared for her by a chef that cooked for former German chancellor Helmut Kohl, but after popping for a takeaway, I found myself able to say just that.
The Noodle Bar in Friargate has only been open a few months, but has already caused quite a stir and is proving popular – especially with the Chinese and Japanese community, a good sign.
We were tempted in after reading a notice outside lauding the chef’s past triumphs.
Although the sign doesn’t name him or carry a photo, as well as learning about him having cooked for the aforementioned world leader, we discovered he had won a special award in the 2013 UK’s Chinese Master Chef Competition, used to be master chef of the Haitian Hotel, a five star hotel in Tsingtao and was a master chef of the New World Hotel in Germany.
On entering, after seeing there was seating and that food cost the same to take out as to stay, we decided to dine in and joined the people mainly from Chinese or Japanese backgrounds, already tucking in. On reading the menu, we soon realised why – the food is authentic and traditional Chinese.
I chose the seafood in black pepper sauce with rice (£7.60) while hubby went for Sichuan Spicy chicken with rice (£6.80). Our two children, shared a bowl of the original chicken with noodles (£7.20).
While we waited for our food, we were surprised but delighted to be presented with a free dish of hot and sour cucumber salad (which would have cost £3.20), simple but tasty with a tangy dressing.
When our food arrived, it was beautifully presented and the portions were very generous with a huge mound of rice.
My seafood in black pepper sauce was delicious, brimming with flavour and, with three chilli signs next to it on the menu, packed a real kick. My mouth was burning for a while, but in a good way!
Hubby’s chicken dish was also a hit, spicy and packed with flavour and he said it was one of the tastiest he’d ever had. Word of warning to those who don’t like bones –the chicken came on the bone which adds to the flavour but makes it fiddlier to eat.
Our children were thrilled with their huge wooden bowl of steaming noodle soup which was plenty for the two of them to share after asking for another bowl.
As well as slices of chicken breast, the flavoursome stock had noodles, boiled eggs, pak choi and other delights and our children loved it.
The staff were all friendly and we were given a small complimentary bowl of the chicken soup stock each to try alongside our main courses.
The food may be a bit more expensive than your average takeaway, but you definitely get what you pay for as the quality is infinitely superior.