12 Jul Colourful Yunnan, Carlton
This is the second restaurant added to my list of to-try’s from The Age‘s “Don’t stop at the dumplings” article and being only 2 minutes walk away from uni, I don’t really have any excuse not to go.
Today I had the Cross-Bridge Noodles ($12), which was a large bowl of very hot soup, served with raw quail egg, fish, chicken, two types of ham, chicken, assorted veggies and warm, pre-cooked noodles. The idea is to add all these ingredients into the soup (in that order) and leave it for 1-2 minutes to cook – a similar concept to steamboat, but without the live flame.
The serve of noodles was very large; enough for two of my regular-sized lunches. Fortunately I’d gone for a cycle class that morning so was somewhat carb-deficient and managed to finish all of it. I was quite sad when I realised I’d dispersed my quail egg when I added in the other ingredients. The only visible remnant of the egg was a 1cm2 piece of egg white.
I don’t know what parts of the chicken they typically use for this dish, but I had two pieces of back and half a wing, so there wasn’t much chicken meat. The soup was very flavoursome and rich, relatively clean-tasting and not overpowering. The best part though, were the noodles, which were smooth and delicate.
Service was attentive here, despite what some people in the past have experienced. On entry, I was surprised to see at least 8 staff on the floor, which was nearly 1 waiter for every 2-3 patrons. Being the klutz that I am, I managed to flick soup from my spoon to my coat and had to use a serviette to absorb it. I was promptly supplied with an extra two serviettes. Perhaps the service is different during a busy dinner service, but I was quite happy with the service I received.
Apart from the Cross-Bridge Noodles, all the noodle dishes are $10-11, so I’m very keen to come back. One that particularly caught my eye are the Rice noodles with tofu pudding, peanut pieces, beef mince, pickled Chinese cabbage and special chilli sauce. I’ve heard that the lay nai yang yu (old granny’s mashed potato) is a comfort food in Yunnan. The photo in the menu made it look interesting, but a little odd. According to Google, it doesn’t normally appear that mashed so I’m unsure if I should try that here.