Wang’s Beef Noodle House (Taiwanese Beef Noodles)

Restaurant: Wang’s Beef Noodle House
Cuisine: Taiwanese/Chinese/Noodle Shop/Bubble Tea
Last visited: January 29, 2011
Location: Vancouver, BC (Marpole)
Address: 8390 Granville St
Price Range:

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4.5 (based on items I tried)
Service: 2.5
Ambiance: 2
Overall: 4
Additional comments:

  • Authentic Taiwanese soup noodle bowls
  • Taiwanese owned/operated
  • Popular to locals in area
  • Popular for beef brisket noodle bowl
  • Busy
  • Quick/casual
  • Selection of bubble teas
  • Homemade
  • Fresh homemade noodles
  • Budget friendly/Cheap eats
  • Cash only
  • Free parking
  • Lunch/Dinner

**Recommendations: Beef Brisket Noodle, Pot Stickers, Sliced Beef in Chinese Pancake WITH Pot Sticker dipping sauce

I’ve waited a long time to try Wang’s Beef Noodle in Vancouver, BC. Technically the wait was only a month and a half, but my anticipation was soaring since it came highly recommended by my Taiwanese friend. He quoted it as “the most authentic and best Taiwanese beef noodles in town,” and I had a couple reliable sources support him. It definitely sparked my interest and since it’s Asian food it only made sense to make it a group activity.

The lunch date started to a rough start considering it was arranged via Twitter. I originally set the time for 1pm, but I was left out of the Twitter conversation so didn’t know that lunch got moved to 12pm. Ouch. Never leave the foodie out of the food conversation… as I may order twice the amount to make myself feel better. I arrived on time at 1pm and was hoping that these superior beef noodles wouldn’t leave a bitter taste to the rough start.

Luckily my other friend also showed up at 1pm, but she’s not a beef eater, so I was left to tackle Wang’s BEEF Noodle alone… well with chopsticks in hand and a support team of guilty diners (who all ordered the same bowl of noodles, so I guess I didn’t miss out on much beef noodle research).

I can’t say I’m very familiar with the authenticity of Taiwanese beef noodles, but I’ve tried the ones from Pearl Castle, Beefy Beef Noodle and Chef Hung’s Taiwanese Beef Noodle. My favourite thus far is Lao Shan Dong, but now it requires a revisit after this introduction to Wang’s Beef Noodle.

The menu at Wang’s Beef Noodle is actually quite limited (for Asian standards), which is a great thing. I like places that specialize in a few items and do them exceptionally well so Wang’s was off to a good start. However I did order the “stars of the show”, and I’m not sure how good their other offerings are, but apparently it’s best to stick to the popular items. The other half of the menu is a selection of bubble teas, so it’s a very typical Taiwanese place meant for quick casual lunches or dinners. As “typical” as Wang’s was the food was homemade, fresh, filling and very affordable.

On the table:

**Beef Brisket Noodle5/6

  • $6.50/7.50
  • For what it was, it was excellent, and much catered to Chinese tastes.
  • You can tell it’s homemade, fresh, made upon order and the bowls come piping hot, fogging up the restaurant windows.
  • It’s a big portion and the soup is very rich and naturally oily, but not too greasy. They give you tons of meat too!
  • The soup was a thick beef gravy and almost syrup like in texture with bits of beef throughout giving it a grainy like texture. It’s savoury, not really as sweet as I assumed, but actually quite tangy with a spicy kick.
  • The soup is a beef broth, no use of beef bones in the recipe, and I could taste a hint of licorice from perhaps Star Anise. I think they could have used some preserved Asian prunes in it too because the tang was sharp and infused throughout.
  • They put pickled cabbage on top which is great because it added a refreshing crunch, and it also cuts the heaviness of the hearty soup that is a bit gelatinous from all the slow braising of the beef.

  • The big chunks of beef brisket are tendenous with little bits of surrounding fat, although it’s not that fatty for Asian standards.
  • I might not be the best person to judge for this because I can’t stand chewy gelatinous tendons or fat that aren’t boiled or braised to the point of falling apart tender.
  • Nonetheless I have had falling apart tender beef brisket before, and this one was not.
  • Out of 6 pieces about half of them were tender with layers of beef brisket alternating with sticky gummy soft tendons which all melted away quickly with minimal chews. Those were excellent! (That’s coming from someone who doesn’t really take pleasure in eating beef tendons either)
  • On the other hand some other beef pieces were actually quite chewy and tough and I had to dispose of leftover gelatinous parts that just don’t fly with me.
  • This beef brisket bowl is best enjoyed with the made in house thick noodles. They’re actually quite good, but not chewy and a bit soft since in tends to overcook in the boiling hot broth.
  • The noodles are soft, starchy and doughy and they remind me of thick dumpling skins. They’re extremely filling noodles and the soup binds onto them like a sauce.

Cold Braised Noodle with Sesame Sauce (Seasonal)4/6

  • $5.50
  • This was also very fresh and made upon order, but it’s not the best version I’ve had of it.
  • It was almost like a noodle salad with the fresh shredded carrots and cucumbers, but it’s very refreshing especially with the cucumber, yet filling and nice on summer days.
  • I don’t know why it’s “seasonal”, there’s no seasonal ingredients in it and it was February.
  • It wasn’t served cold, but in between cold and warm. I’m kind of glad because I know it wasn’t just sitting in the fridge waiting to be ordered.

  • These come standard with the thin noodles, which were chewy and delicious! They probably would have overcooked with the beef noodles though.
  • The sesame sauce was more like a savoury, tangy, sweet and spicy vinaigrette. It wasn’t as sweet as the beef soup and it’s vegetarian friendly.
  • It had the aroma of sesame, but not the flavour of it and it wasn’t a nutty sauce which is what I wanted and expected. There was some sesame paste and the flavour came more from the sesame oil. I could also taste mirin (Japanese rice vinegar), sweet soy sauce and sugar in this dressing as well.
  • I missed the flavour of actual sesame seeds and I would have liked to have seen them used, if even just for garnish.

**Sliced Beef in Chinese Pancake4/6

  • $5.25 (Ask to get a side of pot sticker dipping sauce)
  • I usually order these when I’m at a Taiwanese place because it’s one of their popular specialties. It’s different than the Shanghainese versions as well.
  • This one was actually pretty tasty!
  • The slices of beef were tender, but not juicy and also not dry. They were gelatinous, but most of it wasn’t chewy, tough or rubbery.
  • Although they were slices there was a shredded texture to the meat and they weren’t very marinated, but the beef flavour wasn’t that strong either.
  • It was a good ratio of home made crispy, flaky, doughy, green onion pancake and beef, but I could have used some sliced cucumber to give it that refreshing crunch and added moisture. There was some green onions which was nice and a little bit of Hoisin sauce, but it needed more of that too.
  • They lacked a bit of flavour so I started dipping them into my beef brisket soup as well as the pot sticker dipping sauce which ended up being delicious!
  • The pot stick dipping sauce added a nice sweet tang that just absorbed right into the wrap without being overpowering.

 

Pork Pot Stickers – 5/6

  • 8 pcs $5.50
  • I was very pleasantly surprised with these Taiwanese style pot stickers, and although different, I enjoyed them more than most Japanese gyozas.
  • The pot stickers themselves were oily, but very good, and what made it even better was the homemade sauce they served it with.
  • The dipping sauce was thicker and syrupy and not your standard vinegar.
  • It tasted like gyoza sauce with sweet soy sauce, mirin, sugar and minced garlic paste which added a slight spice.
  • It was like a fusion of Chinese and Japanese sauces and it was delicious alone or as the dipping sauce for the beef pancake roll!

  • The pot stickers were crispy and stuffed with tender homemade pork stuffing that was mixed with green onion and cabbage.
  • The skins were homemade as well and they were well executed with good wrap and meat ratio.

Pudding Milk Tea – n/a

  • Around $3.50-4.50
  • I didn’t try it, but apparently it was good, but unexpected, so not a typical pudding milk tea.
  • It was more milk than pudding and it was completely smooth so there were no pudding pieces either.

Strawberry & Lychee Slush – 2/6

  • Around $3.50-4.50
  • This was a customized drink because they offer one, or the other, and for some reason it was an order that required confirmation before it was made.
  • It was refreshing and light, but still quite sweet and not made with fresh fruit.
  • There was no fruit puree or canned lychee, but the lychee syrup used was dominant and it was more syrupy and reminded me of a slurpee but not as artificial or sweet.

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