My hours at work changed recently which gives me an earlier lunch time. I now lunch from 11:30-12:30. For a lunch time blogger, this has been an excellent change. I can now hit the more popular restaurants before the lunch time crowd gets there.
Next Noodle Bar is one of those places. On my 12-1 lunch times I was never able to eat here as there would be a line up by the time I made my way up Robson St. Now, I can walk right in and get a seat. I have taken advantage of this on more than one occasion now. This will be an amalgamation of three lunches! (spoiler- I like this place)
The restaurant is fairly large, long and narrow. There is plenty of seating for two available plus some larger tables for groups. They have some bar seating for singles, but I have never seen them use it.
It was a fairly chilly spring day on my first stop to Next Noodle House so I was feeling the need for something warm. Soup! The menu has quite a few options with a regular menu and a lunch specials menu. I was drawn to the War Wonton Noodle Soup. $8.50
This soup reminds me of my Dad as he loved War Wonton soup. I wish I could remember the place in Chinatown that he used to go too... I liked most of this dish. The wontons were perfect and I liked the broth. It was really flavourful and not too salty. The BBQ pork and the veggies were nice. I didn't enjoy the noodles. I believe it was an egg noodle and they were impossible to separate and eat. They just clumped in the bottom of the bowl and when I tried to pick them up with my chopsticks, the whole noodle ball would lift up. I don't know if there is a trick to eating this type of noodle, but I made a huge mess trying to separate everything and eat them.
They also offer a nice selection of Dim Sum. I went with with the Scallop and Shrimp Dumplings- $3.00.
I liked the presentation with the steamer and the mustard/hotsauce plate.
They kind of look like eyeballs! I found them tasty but again, hard to eat. They were too large to eat in one bite, but fell apart completely when trying to bite through them.
Another trip for lunch and I went with one of the lunch specials. Spicy Schezwan beef on a crispy noodle $7.95.
All of the lunch specials are served with a little egg roll, a salad, and the soup of the day. My soup that day was a corn chowder. This was my favorite of my lunches. The beef was tender and there was just enough spice in the sauce. I loved the noodles in this form! Much easier to eat than in the soup. The side dishes were nice and made for a very filling meal. I enjoy the presentation of this meal as well. A really good value, in my opinion.
My third trip was for more soup. I decided to go with a dish without soup noodles so I chose the Wonton Laksa Soup.
I really enjoyed the idea of this soup. Wontons in a laksa broth. The broth really coco nutty and a nice level of heat. Every once in a while I would get a hit of fish that I couldn't figure out until I got down to the bottom of the bowl where I realized there were little, clear shrimp in the broth. A tasty addition but kind of surprising as I figured out what they were when one stuck to the side of the bowl and looked up at me.
I like the food at Next; the service is always quick and efficient if not exactly friendly. They fill up very quickly at lunch time but I believe they can do take out as well if you don't want to wait. The tables seem to turn over fairly quickly if you want to wait.