When world famous Chef Martin Yan opens a restaurant, he wants his guests not only to experience excellent food and service, but also to discover true Chinese culture and tradition. M.Y. Noodles has it all. Opened in 2013, the restaurant features a large bar area, a dual-level dining room and an open kitchen where you can view Executive Chef Tony Wu’s master hand-pulled noodle making in action (seriously, this guy is one of the fastest in the world—he can take a ball of dough and, in only a few minutes, make 16,000 strands of deliciously thick pasta noodles unlike any other I’ve ever tried). And don’t think you won’t get to see how he does it if you aren’t seated up close—he’s known for walking out and entertaining those seated at the dining room tables. When we visited, he did it to the song “Gangnam Style,” so, of course, we had to shake around a little bit, too. Super fun.
It’s this kind of enthusiasm and care that makes M.Y. Noodles unique. And don’t let the name fool you, either. The menu travels the Chinese continent to include a wide array of styles and choices. Let’s take a ride.
Big surprise, we ordered some specialty cocktails first: The caramelized pineapple margarita (salty and sweet) and a sassy Mai Tai (topped with Kraken black spiced rum). We were off to a great start. They were served with some off-the-menu appetizers, which were presented so beautifully, each one looked like a miniature sculpture. The tender Kobe beef in “fruit wine” (white wine with fresh mango and berries in it) was served on skewers with sweet onion in wine glasses and was a standout.
For dinner, we chose Simi Chardonnay (citrus notes, nice body), which paired really well with the food. Meals are served family style, with most everything coming out simultaneously and smoky chili paste sauce on the side (there’s Sriracha sauce on every table, too). We went for a combination that involved four of the eight sections of the menu (not including dessert). The wild boar scissor cut noodles features the aforementioned hand-pulled noodles along with wood ear mushrooms, scallions and bean sprouts. The noodles are cut fairly short and have a doughy texture (not like Italian pasta at all) and the dish as a whole was savory and not over-sauced, so its natural flavors shone through.
Sautéed garlic pea shoots smelled outstanding when they arrived, and their bright green color, fresh flavor and generous amount of garlic didn’t disappoint.
The “pork juicy dumplings” came out steaming hot, and we were instructed to poke a hole in them with the chopstick first, then pour the accompanying red vinegar sauce on top and dig in. Each meat-packed bite was served on a spoon for easy eating.
Wasabi walnut prawns were another favorite. The jumbo-sized prawns were perfectly cooked to a golden brown and mixed with sweet, crunchy walnuts, all topped with traditional honey walnut sauce that had an untraditional yet delicious and unique kick.
Dessert was “sugar puffs with dips.” Picture the most airy, soft, fresh and light doughnuts ever, then take that thought even lighter and cover it with granulated sugar. Of the chocolate, crème Chantilly and raspberry sauces, our favorite was the Chantilly because we could best taste the doughnuts with it (to me, they didn’t need any sauce at all). And with that, our virtual tour of China was complete.
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