Noodles (Cinnamon Grand).

Noodles is an exciting new restaurant at Cinnamon Grand that promises the best of Asian noodle cuisine, from Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan and Malaysia – the food is good, the service and ambience flawless, plus it’s not too pricey.

Service & Ambience

The waiters and managers here are extremely obliging and attentive. We even saw one of the cooks come out and have a friendly chat with some of the customers. The ambience is very well thought-out: an open kitchen in the center, warm brown and wheat colours, low lighting, and a very cool outdoor dining area where there are high benches, a few plants and a breeze. The tables inside are set up with little tatami mats, chopsticks, ordinary cutlery and a row of white ceramic for chilli paste and other sides. Even though the food was good, we think we had an overall happy experience mostly because of the mood and service of the place. There’s also a very cool lounging area right outside the restaurant.

Food

Crab rice

The menu includes a wide range of noodles, rice and seafood appetizers. They hand you a cool electronic tab where you can click on items on the menu and view pictures of the dishes (godayata magic). What struck us most was the pricing – usually at places that promise cuisine and with this kind of ambience and service, you kind of prepare yourself for an empty wallet. But the prices are quite reasonable – from Rs. 500 to Rs. 700 mostly, with a few dishes going upto about Rs. 1000. The taxes add a bit at the end though (1K for two of us).

Japanese chicken dumplings

We ordered Gyoza dumplings – steamed Japanese ones filled with chicken (you can also ask for shrimp or beef instead). Unfortunately for Rs. 450 we only got four really tiny ones – we were hoping there was a hidden second layer in the container but no such luck. They were very well-done, the chicken was tasty, and the chilli sauce was an excellent complement – but this finger-food was gone in a second. Quite tragic.

Shanghai noodles

They were way more generous with the mains – they came in huge bowls and we were very full at the end. We got the Shang Hai Hai Xian Mian aka Shanghai noodles (Rs. 1000) – which was basically Samba noodles with shrimp, calamari and modha, and the Xie Fan or crab rice (Rs. 650) – steamed rice, crab meat and onions. The Shanghai noodles were very well done: a superb mixture of steamed veggies, seafood and tangy noodles. The calamari was especially delicious.

The crab rice was good but a little bland, they suggested we order a side to spice it up – Cai Thia Xao Tom Kho which is Vietnamese for baby bok choy with dried shrimp. It was good though the specks of shrimp were a bit hard to chew on. If you get the crab rice then mix it up with a bit of chilli sauce to bring out the flavour.

Desserts

The juices were alright; the pineapple juice (Rs. 350) was very watery at first so we told them about it and promptly got a tasty new fresh one. The desserts here were what we were really looking forward to. We ordered their Pandan cheesecake (Rs. 350) and the molten dark chocolate lava cake (Rs. 450) – which, mouth-wateringly enough, promised to be topped with strawberry sauce and served with a side of caramel ice cream. The cheesecake is not worth it, it was alright but was more pudding than cheesiness, so the search for excellent cheesecake in this city continues.

The molten lava cake was as amazing as we expected, though the portion was quite small. We loved the hot-and-cold combo: warm cake filled with liquid chocolate seated in a pool of strawberry and chocolate sauces; the caramel ice cream was creamy and tasted amazing with the cake. Two thumbs up for this, but we wept that it was over so soon.

There are more interesting desserts you could try out here, like the chilled mango soup and the Vietnamese sweet soup.

Conclusion

We’re super excited about Noodles. There are apparently 70 different varieties of dishes promised here, made from 10 types of noodles, cooked up by renowned Vietnamese chef Tran Ba Giang. The food is well done, the ambience is top notch, and the bill isn’t maddening. Definitely worth the visit.

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