Seafood Laksa – Yanwo (Golden Fish Noodles), Farringdon

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See, told you I’m addicted! Yes, it’s laksa for lunch today. Was feeling a tad hungover and was head down bum up at work, non-stop till way past 1 o’clock. Thought I give myself a treat and went to checkout this joint just across the road from where I work.

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Golden Fish Noodles is located along Farringdon Road, across from Mount Pleasant and just next to Exmouth Market. I was intending to grab something from the food trucks in the market but most of the trucks had a long queue of customers and Junk just could not be arsed queueing up today.

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As you can see from the menu, definitely not as budget as Chop Chop but it won’t break the bank either. I really should force myself to try other stuff apart from laksa. Perhaps the Beef Ho Fun in a sauce or the Belachan Chicken Fried Rice can be my next target.

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Seeing I’m feeling a tad hungover, decided to be health and have tea instead of a soft drink. Ordered the “Iron” Guanyin tea. Also asked for a glass of ice on the side so I can make my own ice tea.

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At £7.80 which is close to £3 more than the Chop Chop version, one would expect more ingredients in this Seafood Laksa. So there was 2 big deep fried prawn wonton, 3 fish balls (don’t laugh!), 4 big slices of squid, quite a few cubed fried tofu, loads of green beans and bean sprouts in a thick and satisfying gravy laced with curry leaves.

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I’m glad they use thick egg noodles here instead of the more common rice vermicelli. Though the noodles felt mushy, they were actually very well cooked with still a slice bounce. The only complain I have is I could do with more gravy and the spoon had a massive bowl which makes scooping out the gravy awkward.

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Empty bowl, satisfied tummy.

Hmmm… did not notice there was service charge added to the bill till later. I would not have tipped as generously as I had if I’d known. Then again, the service was very good. Both the waitresses were attentive and efficient. They really should reprogram the till to show the right business name soon.

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Golden Fish Noodles
102-104 Farringdon Road
London EC1R 3EA
0207 7837 5293

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*Update: It would seem that my point about the restaurant reprogramming the till to match the restaurant’s name was partially accurate. Walked by the joint today and noticed that it was no longer Golden Fish Noodles but Yanwo instead! Would seem like I visited in midst of a transition. Makes me feel like a revolutionary!

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Yanwo Restaurant
102-104 Farringdon Road
London EC1R 3EA
0207 7837 5293

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Chicken Yakisoba – Chozen, Borough High Street

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Today’s lunch is truly a lunch on the move! Got some admin and health thing to take care of so left the office at lunchtime. Wanted to grab something to eat while travelling to make best use of time but did not fancy anything bready.

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Did think some sushi rolls might do the trick and since Chozen is on the way to the tube station, pop in to see what’s on offer. The boxes with nigiri and sushi rolls were totally over priced I think at close to £7 per box. You can get double that amount for the same price at Wasabi or other sushi chains. The only other candidate were the salad boxes at £3.95 per box but thought it would be a pain trying to cram pieces of lettuce and cucumber into my mouth while on the tube.

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Against my better judgement, I settled on the Chicken Yakisoba from the hot counter with 2 pieces of Chicken Karaage as a side. Total came to be £5.95, yes I resisted the temptation to upsize.

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The smell from the takeaway box was luring me on the first leg of my tube journey but the tube was too packed to eat comfortably. Finally managed to tuck in during the second leg and was sorely disappointed. I was not expecting anything spectacular but this is utter rubbish! Worse then those mish mash stir fry noodles you get from music festivals and markets! The egg noodles were soft and mushy like baby food. Thought the pieces of chicken, baby corn, capsicum and carrots were generous, they were fried to the death! The overall seasoning was way over the top! Wonder how many bottles of teriyaki and soya sauce they used!

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I was lucky when I decided to pickup a can of soft drink at the last minute to the tube station. If not, I would perished from umami overdose!

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Chozen
59-61 Borough High Street
London SE1 1NE
0207 403 0031

Red Thai Beef with Noodles – Chozen, Borough High Street

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Saw this place on my way home last night and thought what a quirky and imaginative name. The fact that they serve sushi and noodles makes it a must try.

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Chozen is located along Borough High Street, diagonally opposite Stoney Street, one of the entrances to Borough Market. The name of the joint is a word play on “Chosen” but spelled as “zen” so you know they serve Japanese inspired food. Subtle but rather effective I think.

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The set up is very much like Wasabi where you can get hot food from steamer trays and cold sushi from the fridge area. A variety of udon noodle soup is also available. Just pickup a udon container and the counter staff will top it up with soup. Price wise, I think it’s a tad more than Wasabi but not so bad to be obvious.

From a choice of red thai, green thai and katsu curry and also black bean with either veg, chicken or beef, I went with the Red Thai Beef and got egg noodles as carb instead of rice.  Was asked would I like to go large/upsize for £1.50 more, I simply had to say yes. Total came up to £7.15.

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The smell when I opened the container reminded me more of satay sauce then red thai curry, strong whiff of peanuts. The beef was thinly sliced and very tender with courgettes, kidney bean and peppers scattered throughout. Taste wise, it’s definitely not red thai curry. I would say this is more like a slightly spicy stew. Not too bad if you are not expecting red thai curry.

I will give their udon soup noodles a go when I’m craving for something soupy next time.

Chozen
59 – 61 Borough High Street
London SE1 1NE
0207 403 0031

Singapore Laksa – Mudmee, Artillery Passage Bishopsgate

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Managed to find some free time today so decided to have an eat-in lunch rather than takeaway. Passed by this small Thai restaurant Mudmee if I snake my way from Liverpool Street Station to Brick Lane via the small passageways and decided to give it a try.

As I was pretty early, managed to get seated as soon as I walked in. Dare not take too much photos of the restaurant and food as I was given a couple of dirty looks by one of the waiters while I was taking pictures of the restaurant’s facade. Looks like apart from the regular menu, they also have an Express Takeaway lunch menu.

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Unfortunately, nothing on the Express Takeaway lunch menu took my fancy so I went with my numero uno comfort food, Singapore Laksa! Sacrilegious to order Singaporean food in a Thai restaurant but I need some TLC today. To make it a 2 course lunch, I also ordered Peek Gad Yud Sai which is deep fried stuffed boneless chicken wings. The laksa was £7.90 while the chook wings was £4.90 which takes the total to £12.80. Not exactly cheap, let’s see whether it can live up to my fav from Keke’s.

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Both my orders came within 5 minutes and I’m glad the laksa looked the part. Gave it a stir and was pleasantly surprised that they used both rice vermicelli as well as thick egg noodles. There was generous slices of fish cake, squid and prawns all in a coconut milk and spiced based soup. Taste wise, pretty good, 2 thumbs up! Well, it’s not exactly Singapore Laksa, more like a Thai rendition with strong hints of lemon grass and slightly on the sweet side like a Thai Red Curry. There was quite a few curry leaves scattered throughout I guess to replace laksa leaves and my only complain would be it’s missing some crunch, some bean sprouts would be nice.

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What about the stuffed chicken wings? Looks wise, it fits the bill but was sorely lacking taste wise. Both the wings and stuffing lacked seasoning and requires furious dunking in the plum sauce provided. They have also been over fried, though crispy is tough and dry. Really disappointed.

If you intend to lunch here, be early. It was jammed packed with queues snaking out the door by the time I’m halfway through my lunch.

Mudmee
12a Artillery Passage
Bishopsgate
London E1 7LJ
0207 247 0772

Chicken Laksa with Egg Noodles – EAT, Canary Wharf

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Junk is currently plagued with a bout of IT equipment issue and is stuck in her Canaryland office. Purely though no fault of her own, blame it on moronic human nature. So the laksa off between Momo’wich and Keke will have to wait. Anyway, the noodle soup range from EAT has always been one of my comfort foods while I was working in the Square Mile. Followers of my blog will know that I’m a bit of a Noodle Queen and the closest I can come to spritual cleansing is downing a bowl (or tub) of piping hot, fragrant broth and feeling the warm feeling in your tum while busy blowing your nose after! Too much information as usual…

Of all the High Street chain eateries, EAT is my fav as there is always one a stone throw away and unlike the other chains, they will gladly serve their noodle tubs first thing in the morning. I usually get their Chicken Pho but today, there was a limited edition Chicken Laksa and thought I give it a try. If it’s up to mark, was thinking perhaps we can have a 3 way laksa off.

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When you enter EAT, you walk up to the fridge section, select your tub (I always weigh a few tubs looking for the heavier one!), go to the counter and the server will top your tub up with their generic broth. What makes it laksa or tom yum is the spice paste added to the tub. At £5.35, slightly more than the Chicken Pho (£4.99) but I think I can afford it.

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I try not to judge books by their cover but was not enthused when I lifted the cover of the noodle tub. There were globules of the laksa paste floating around the clear broth while I was expecting a uniform creamy soup base, not very pretty. After giving it a good stir, things got better. The laksa paste amalgamated into the generic broth forming a pleasant, slightly creamy and spicy soup. It will be a stretch to call it a laksa but for what it is, it’s pretty yummy. Other condiments apart from the chicken breast and egg noodles are chinese leaf, bean sprouts, spinach and a melange of chopped up veg.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this will be a fair contender for the laksa off but do give it a try if you have a chance and if you like things spicy, get the server to add in a dollop of chilli paste to your tub.

EAT
Canary Wharf
Canada Place
London E14
(and all the various other outlets around town)