Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fen Ku Guilin Rice Noodle

Fen Ku Guilin Rice Noodle
Shop 20D, Market Square, Sunnybank 

Rewind back in time and it surprises me to think that our wedding was now 6 month ago. I'll risk making the ultimate cliche but this year certainly is flying by. I spotted a new restaurant at Market Square, Sunnybank that reminded me of our favourite honeymoon stop. Guilin is one of the most picturesque cities I've been to in my entire life.

While we were there, our wonderful local guide explained to us a few aspects of the local cuisine. He was very passionate about their rice noodles and even gave us historical reasons as to why rice noodles were so popular in that region. Marc and I tried some rice noodles while we were in town and thoroughly enjoyed them. This is why seeing Guilin Rice Noodles offered in Brisbane was very exciting to me.

I went there with my mum and dad for lunch one weekend a while back. We ordered two bowls of noodle between the three of us to share. The serving sizes are quite large so this was still more than enough. If you're super hungry, there are free top ups of rice noodle too.

The restaurant is small but the idea is to eat fast and move on so there are usually seats available. We sat near the wall and the bench was covered with various garnishes you can add to your dish, including salted veggies, chili, pickles etc.

The menu focuses on rice noodle dishes and aside from their 'original' with pork, there are rice noodle dishes with/without soup and with other proteins. We chose one original and one beef brisket noodle.

Beef brisket rice noodle soup

The brisket in the noodle soup was very tender but the soup was otherwise quite plain. My dad is a huge fan of the slippery texture of the rice noodles themselves. I added a lot of heat to the soup in the form of chilies and pickles. It was tasty but not outstanding.

Original braised rice noodle with crunchy pork

The original rice noodle dish was much more like the version I tasted in Guilin. Here, the rice noodles are braised in stock and served dry, separate to the soup component. The noodles are instead tossed with some seasoning and covered with house made crunchy pork slices. I thought this dish was delicious and fairly unique.

Fen Ku offers a great rendition of the Guilin rice noodle. I personally liked the original version better than the soupy version but I guess it comes down to what you're in the mood for on the day. Service is speedy and serving sizes are hearty. I think this is a reasonably healthy lunch option too.

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