Neds Noodle Bar Is The Ultimately Customisable Takeaway Option
Sitting in Neds Noodles in Shoreditch, we're living out our American sitcom dreams. Chopsticks in hand we're grasping our noodles out of the iconic asian takeaway box. It's cardboard, taller than it is wide, and an illustration of a pagoda down the side. It even has a dainty metal handle you can use to carry it. This is the packaging American TV led us to believe all takeaway Chinese food is served in — not the usual plastic containers you get in London.
Wait, we've got distracted. We should be talking about the food. Right. It's properly tasty, and you can decide the exact contents of your dreamy takeaway box. First, you choose a base (egg noodles, rice, etc), then, a sauce (sweet and sour, Chinese BBQ, etc) and finally a topping (beef, tofu, etc). We try to calculate the number of possible combinations on offer but can't remember enough GCSE maths to recall the formula. Suffice to say, it's a lot.
Another difference between Neds and the hundreds of faceless takeaway joints in London, is how the food is cooked. There's no MSG involved. You can tell, and though MSG gives all those aforementioned takeaways' dishes an addictive quality, there is always the knowledge of their synthetic nature lurking under the surface. There's none of that here. Everything feels more real.
Of the few different sauces we taste, the black bean one exemplifies this realness best, with its heartier nature. Not that the others aren't worthwhile too — the Thai spicy sauce also tickles our tastebuds. Throw in a few delicious gyozas with dipping sauce and everything comes together smoothly.
Moving onto dessert and ending with the fried banana fritters is a must. They're aesthetically quite similar to spring rolls that Neds also serves, but instead of a savoury sensation, this is a sugary overload with a mushy centre.
With such a great formula it's easy to see why Neds Noodle is trying to start franchising for the future. The noodles are good enough to see on every street corner in a few years' time. But more importantly we want those boxes to conquer London...
Neds Noodle Bar, 21 Pitfield Street, N1 6HB.
Last Updated 02 August 2019