Last week I “discovered” Singapore noodles and since that first taste, ordered them two more times at two other places.
Most of the American Chinese joints convenient to me specialize in blah. I feel really good if I can find one decent dish on the menu. To avoid disappointment, I don’t stray much from my one selection. When I do, I’m usually disappointed.
Last week, I strayed. Checking out the Forbidden City menu online, I saw the Singapore noodles, did a little more checking online, and decided to risk it. And I’m glad I did: I liked them. Not love, just like. But that beats the heck out of disappointment.
Disappointment, however, was lurking.
I liked the Forbidden City variety so much that I tried the Peking House (11 E. Baltimore) offering. Not as good, to my taste, as the FC stuff. FC’s have a more pronounced curry presence. They throw lots of stuff in with the noodles: pork, onions, chicken, probably some “parts.” Peking House’s noodles were drier and had fewer “parts” tossed in with the noodles. Blah. Then, after long having meant to try a place whose menu was tacked up on a workplace corkboard, and on a quest for even better Singapore noodles, I hit Zhanshong.
As RoCK mentioned, the place gives off initial good vibe. Ducks hang (dead, cooked) from hooks. Big, live, silvery fish in tanks. (One of the fish was “resting” – laying on its side at the bottom of the tank, its mouth only very occasionally oh-ing. Its tank mate was hanging out at the opposite end of their cage, clearly wanting no part of the mojo visiting his neighbor. Me, I’d have scooped the loser out so’s not to raise in customers’ minds the same series of questions that flowed through my head while I watched the poor devil checking out. But the wonderful women who waited on me didn’t give the dying fish a second thought. You want? I give you half price. Not so hard to catch. Hahahahahaha.)
Anyway, I waited no more than ten minutes for my carryout. I was really looking forward to it. But when I got back to my desk and dug in it was … about what I got at Peking House. Dry, even less curry-ish.
The upshot is, I have a new pick when I want Chinese in Westminster. But when in Baltimore, I’m probably not going back to Singapore noodles anytime soon. I will check out Zhongshan again. I’d like to explore its menu further, maybe wait for a deal on sushi.
Photo by Fran Gambín, courtesy of Stock Xchng