Every Tuesday for a long time, my dad and I go for lunch. Tuesday’s are a day off at our family restaurant. Back when I worked at CTV we usually went for lunch at Pho Rice Pot, a Vietnamese restaurant across the street from the newsroom. We knew the owner, the food was pretty good, and the location very convenient for quick work lunches. When I started at NAIT we switched our weekly lunch locations to north-central.
One of the places we would regularly try was a Vietnamese place across the road from our own family restaurant (King Noodle House) in Chinatown called Uyen Uong. Their soup wasn’t good but their rice and vermicelli dishes were solid. Sadly Uyen Uong closed a couple weeks ago. (The restaurant business can be so damn tough :()
Almost immediately after closing though, Uyen Uong reopened as Gui Lin Noodle House (10626 97 St.) – a Chinese restaurant that focused solely on noodle dishes.
My dad and I tried Gui Lin this week as part of our weekly lunches and I must say I really enjoyed it!
They don’t have an exterior sign yet. Inside, they basically repainted but if you had been to Uyen Uong prior to closing, it basically looks the same. It’s very clean.
The menu features three pages of noodle dishes – they really stress the Gui Lin style here. Their meats range from minced pork to pork belly, pork hock, lamb brisket and beef brisket. They had soups as well as dry dishes. Prices are fairly reasonable – between $10-$13 a bowl.
It looked like they had no appetizers but we discovered they do – it’s just listed only in Chinese on small signs on the walls. (I assume this will change to incorporate English in the future, not sure why it doesn’t already).
(Note: after I tweeted this, my friend Lesley translated the appetizer sign for me!)
@lindork :) reading menu is an important skill, two of them were pork knuckles dish, one stirfry veg and the other bacon prawns skewers.
— Neko (@Neko01) January 15, 2015
Service was fast! Only way to describe it. Walk in – boom seated. Menus given. Orders taken. The food came out in less than 10 minutes and it was good.
My dad ordered the Lamb Brisket Lo Vermicelli Gui Lin Style – $12.95.
I ordered the Pork Belly Vermicelli in Soup Gui Lin Style – $10.75.
We both really liked our dishes. I thought the flavours were great. Both had great combinations of meat, pickled vegetables and noodles. The noodles are round vermicelli, like what you’d find in a pho bun bo hue. Also, I’m a big fan of the pickled veggies.
My dad’s dish came with a side broth palette cleanser that was not good at all. I wondered if it was the same broth base for my soup dish but my soup dish tasted significantly better, perhaps because the mix of meat and vegetables soaked into the broth to create a tasty flavour-splosion.
We also ordered a Fried Macaroni with Minced Pork Gui Lin Style – $10.50 – to bring home for Mike. I was curious how an Asian take on macaroni pasta would taste and the answer is: good! I liked it more than Mike did (had a few bites). He said there wasn’t enough meat, the macaroni was good but he didn’t like the clumpy vegetables. He’s a picky vegetable guy though.
Overall, I think Gui Lin is a fantastic noodle spot. The food is great, the service was super, super quick, and the space is really bright and clean.
I can tell this is a place I’ll return to! If you’re in the mood for some Asian noodles that isn’t my parent’s delicious pho, I’d recommend checking out Gui Lin! Promising start for this new addition to Chinatown! I’m sorry Uyen Uong didn’t make it but here’s hoping this place does okay.
So have you been to Gui Lin Noodle House? What did you think?!