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Taipei Noodle House (Teaneck NJ)
|(201) 836-8230, (201) 836-7885, fax(201) 836-1464||483 Cedar Lane, near Garrison,|
In an unpretentious but attractive storefront, with tablecloths under glass, this restaurant provides prompt, efficient, and courteous service; and was deemed 'excellent.'. Their foods, unpretentious as well, are inexpensive to moderately priced. Especially recommended are their vegetarian dishes, cold appetizers, fresh-made dumplings, noodle soups, and Taiwanese home chafing dishes. Dining hours are Monday through Thursday from 11:30 am to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm; and Sunday from 11 am to 10 pm. As they have no liquor license, bring your own, should you want to so indulge. If you want to use your credit card, they accept American Express, MasterCard, and Visa; bring them, too. Reservations are accepted and recommended, especially on weekends.
The basis for the above rating is the appraisal of the quality of food, service, and decor, and the prices in comparable restaurants. The highest rating would be superlative, this is just a mite below that; and other ratings include Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor.
The Taipei Noodle House which seats sixty-five, is handicap-accessible for wheelchairs and is on the street level. It is the eighth restaurant owned by this family, and situated in the middle of the main street of this town. Go to it and Alice Wu will greet you at the door with a gentle smile, then escort and seat you at a pleasantly appointed table. She’ll provide you with an extensive menu featuring Taiwanese dishes in addition to those from Szechuan and Hunan. Everyone, once comfortably seated, receives a complimentary portion of a mildly spicy cold cucumber.
Although the name of the restaurant focuses on noodle dishes, the bill of fare is extensive and includes all the usual categories of appetizers, soups, and main courses. The vegetarian offerings are many and include some superb dishes. Recommended are the Sutra Bundles (zucchini, asparagus, basil, and black mushrooms wrapped with a vegetarian meat-substitute that are served in a light bland sauce), the Crystal Spinach Rolls (seasoned spinach wrapped with snow-white crepes, steamed and topped with the chef’s special fruit sauce), and the Roast Duck with Vegetable Delight (mushroom, lotus root, and mixed greens sautéed in brown sauce then showered over vegetable duck). There is even a miso and tofu soup.
Alice recommends: Seven Varieties of Fresh Home-made Dumplings; cold appetizers featuring Jelly Fish with Garlic and Cold Steamed Seaweed; Pork with Black Mushroom Soup (a delicious meal in itself); Shiny Noodles with Meat in a spicy sauce that is shimmering and succulent; and Rice Cake with Chicken (pork, beef, shrimp, or vegetables), The latter is a welcome tasty change in taste and consistency from other noodle dishes.
Made to order steamed dishes abound for the diet-conscious. They can be cooked with ginger, garlic, scallions, and wine or served with a dash of soy if you are not concerned about sodium intake. Alice’s kitchen staff are most obliging in substituting chicken for beef or visa versa, and if you need or want something, they oblige if ingredients are available. Lobster dishes can be had at special times and Peking duck is always on the menu. With these items are more than two hundred distinctly different others, none novelty or nouvelle. Broths are gentle and mild, dishes do not appear to be reheated, and all that are ordered as such are deep-fired just prior serving. Most dishes can be cooked or served with any of five types of noodles. The degree of spiciness at this restaurant is adjusted upon request, no MSG is needed or used, and the chefs at this noodle house cook with a minimum of oil, if requested.
Alice advised against several dishes not appealing to Western tastes owing to their consistency or strong and unusual taste; we took her word! Although not outnumbering Americans, Asians read the calligraphy beside each dish, and happily dined here each time we visited. We asked Alice if the dishes were cooked exactly the same when ordered by Americans or Asians; her answer, a smile and an emphatic 'YES - as the Chinese like them.'
Dr. Kutscher found her suggestions as well as the renditions of favorite dishes to be culinary treats. The chefs, all from New York’s Chinatown, have been practicing their craft for more than five years. Are their any problem areas? Yes, the growing list of satisfied customers will soon outstrip the restaurant’s very modest capacity. Every restaurant should have such a problem.
This restaurant was kind enough to provide the Chicken recipe below.
|Diced Chicken with Walnuts|
2 chicken breasts
1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts (or cashew nuts)
1 Tablespoon brown bean sauce
2 teaspoons sherry
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 white parts of scallions, diced
1. Bone and then dice chicken breasts; then mix them with egg white and salt.
2. Heat oil to 325 degrees F, then fry walnuts until golden brown. This only takes about a minute, and do be careful not to burn the nuts. Remove them and drain on paper towels. Discard all but two tablespoons of the oil.
3. Combine bean sauce, sherry, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch and mix these well.
4. Heat the two tablespoons of oil and stir-fry the chicken over high heat for one to one-and-a-half minutes. Remove it from the pan and drain.
5. Heat oil left in the pan and stir-fry the garlic and scallions for a few seconds before adding the drained chicken and the garlic mixture. Stir-fry these for one minute or until done, then turn off the heat and add the nuts and mix well. Serve.