Updated 18th Nov 2014; The restaurant had changed it’s name from Sha Lin to Shaolin according to Urbanspoon.com.
It was another one of those days when we had to send the boys to their Olympic Ceremony practices. We had given up trying to get any info from them. Our fear is that we will NOT be able to watch it on TV on the day of because we could end up having to wait to pick them up after the Olympic closes. We’ll see.
Oh talking about the Olympic Ceremony, the response to the Olympic Opening Ceremony Dress Rehearsal give away had been overwhelming. So far we have over 230 responses after 2 days. Just a reminder that we will cut off all entries at 12:01AM this Thursday.
This time we went to Sha Lin Noodle House for a late lunch after the boys practices. Sha Lin is on Broadway near the intersection with Cambie. If you want to come here the next few weeks, you should know that Broadway is designated as an Olympic lane — and that means no more street parking. The best way is to take the SkyTrain and get off at the Broadway/City Hall station.
Sha Lin Noodle House had always been a very popular eatery. The main draw is the good authentic Chinese food and the prices. They had been operating here for a long time already — at least 10 years old.
Many customers will stand and gawk at the poster at the entrance of their popular dishes before going in. We did. All of them looked delicious. Makes us want to get all of them.
Don’t expect much from Sha Lin. The place is rather spartan and does shows its age. The place was full even when we were there after lunch hours at 2PM.
Service here is bad — really bad. Most of the waiters and waitresses have really bad attitude and walk/talk so listlessly. Youngsters! It is like they hate their job, their life or something. If not for the great service of that lone tall slim waiter who tried his best to placate us, we would have left.
This is the kind of place that had success gone to their heads. They have so many customers that they can’t handle, they seem to think that they don’t mind losing customers. This is sad because their food is pretty good. I hate to say this but we like the food for the most part.
For starters we ordered the Sliced Rolls (fried). This is just $2.95. I recommend you order this.
The fried rolls is served with condensed milk as a dip. So it is a very sweet dish. The deep fried bread dough was just perfect — crispy outside, soft inside.
We know that our boys will like it but they will always instinctively reject anything we order for them. Especially Nanzaro, who will put up an act when we asked him to try other food. He will put both his hands over his mouth and make it look like he is going to throw up. He is very convincing in doing this but not to us. He had been doing this ever since he is a toddler and is now a habit.
We normally let them be but this time we were extra assertive that they must try a piece. Guess what? They loved it.
Arkensen said it tasted like donuts. I never thought of it that way before but he is right. And Nanzaro? He flashed me a thumbs up and said “You rock, Dad”.
See? Dad knows best when it comes to food. Nanzaro knows that but he just doesn’t want to give his dad the credit he deserved.
We also ordered 2 sticks of Kabob to share. They were cumin flavoured and were very spicy — we asked for the hottest they can make it.
The meat was a bit dry and tough but it was OK. It took a bit of chewing to down them but it was the whole point because you really can taste the full flavour of the kabob.
Sha Lin is well know for their hand made noodles. They classify them as dragging, cutting, rolling and pushing noodles.
Arkensen ordered the most common type, the dragging noodles. The one he had came with beef and bean sprout in soup which is $7.
Served on the side is a plate of … cilantro, bean sprout and pickled vegetables (Ja Choy). I like that they served this separately although they were not exactly fresh.
The broth is clear, light and flavourful.
These are hand pulled (dragged) noodles. They do not have consistent thickness as you can see. The noodles is springy and tasted great by itself.
I am quite sure they make it in house even though I could not see it from where we sat.
Our favourite has got to be this one. This is the Zhajiang Pork with Cucumber with Cutting Noodles (also $7).
Cutting noodles are like shaved noodles. Instead of pulling and stretching the lump of dough into long thin noodles, these type of noodles are cut with a cleaver from the lump of dough.
We like this one better because it is more chewy due to the thicker noodles. If ever we were to come back again, we will definitely order this type of noodles.
This was what got me all worked up with that fat waiter who had such a bad attitude.
You see, I saw the sandwich board outside the restaurant that says that their special of the day is the Stewed Pancake. So I asked the waiter what it is. He stared at me, shook his head, let out a “tsk” and then looked at his order slip — and refused to say anything. Can you believe that? I was so mad that I gave him a piece of my mind and was about to storm off until this other guy intervened. Anyway … he was not too happy with me. I wonder if he spits into our food before it is served. I see that happening in movies. Yucks!
The soup was good. The pork is like one of those overnight roasted pork that they salted to make it last longer. The pork was salty — not good.
The “pancake” apparently is very much like the thin pancakes that they used to make beef wrap. That sort of thing, except that it is thinner. The texture is exactly like pancakes although it is cut into strips of flat noodles. The texture is rougher than rice noodles obviously.
Not too good.
Nanzaro ordered from Sha Lin Specialties section of the menu. It is called Dragging Noodles with Pork ($9).
For some reason, this one took an awfully long time to come. By the time it came, we were almost done with our noodles. I could see from Nanzaro’s face that he did not like the look of it. This is like chow mein with lots of sauce and nothing else. Well, there are broccoli but he pretends to throw up if we force him to eat it.
Look at that … all clumpy. He did not enjoy this and did not even finish it. This is a bad choice.
Hit and miss is what I would say about the food. Some of them we enjoyed tremendously but others were really bad. The service sucks big time. We will NOT come back again simply on account of the rude service.