Pardon the misleading title as there are a couple of dishes from NT Dumpling that is of note. However, despite the restaurant name, there will be no dumpling coverage here. After all, it is indeed shameful to pay more than $0.25 per dumpling since a bag of frozen pork/cabbage dumpling costs about $10 in the San Gabe. (Yes, I’m calling the region San Gabe from this post on – Mr Gold, get on the San Gabe train with me).
Most people know NT Dump House for 2 things: 1) A local mayor was assaulted by xiao long baos here 2) It took over the much loved Dragon Mark. What everyone hasn’t noticed though, is the kitchen’s gentle sway towards different regional Chinese cuisine. While any chump in a Chinese kitchen can front a “Shandong” style dumpling house, it takes a few key dishes to reveal a Chinese joint’s Liaoning tendencies. With a placard proclaiming a Chao(2) Xian(1) cold noodle combo, NT Dumpling loudly declare its true more North East than than North Eastern inclinations. Chao(2) Xian(1) is the classic mandarin for “Korea”, and what one will find here, is a busier version of the Korean naengmyeon that everyone love so much.
Or, this is just yet another noodle house attemping to widen their appeal. Who knows. This is the San Gabe, where “Fashion Corner” is an employment agency, and Thai places are cooking Chinese food, and DVD stores sells gingseng. Caveat freaking emptor.
Anywho, for $9, you get a hefty bowl of chilled (it’s not quite cold as intended) noodles drowning in thinned beef stock, a fluffy, hot, non-oniony onion pancake, and 2 small side dishes (think: panchan). As at most Sino-Hangul joints, this naengmeyon broth is punched up with rice vinegar, and adorned with buncha stuff which would make a Korean omma freak — kimchi, cukes, cilantro, pepper flakes, (ok, I added that), slices of stewed brisket, etc. A regular bowl, w/o the pancake, etc. is $6, which is $2 actual dollars more than most K-town places. As stingy as Chinese resaturants may be, nearly every bowl of naengmyon I’ve had in the WSGV had copious noodles. Since the Chinese considers undercooking barbaric, expect these buckwheat noodles to not sport the same “QQ”ness. If you’re still in tears over the demise of JTYH’s naengmyeon, try this and let us know if it appeals to your cold noodling senses.
Next up is the niu rou mian, Chinese beef noodle soup. The noodles are knife shaved, the broth is relatively beefy, and there’s plenty of pickled mustard to go around. It could be worse, though spinach inclusion is rather annoying. Some people chase only the noodles and broth but a bowl of beef noodle soup with tough beef is not worth a dime. NT’s stewed beef is so tough it was left swimming in the bottom of the bowl. The fresh and lightly oiled onion pancake fared much better than the noodles, even if it didn’t have much onions.
In conclusion, this is yet another ho-hum house of carbs, but if a Fall heatwave hits this September, that chill noodle will be on the short list.
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