Some three weeks ago, a local restauranteuse named Karen Carrier added various noodle dishes to her Dō sushiya, expanded to lunch hours (and extra evening dinners) and branded the venture Noodle Doodle Dō
(the link is to a Memphis Flyer article on the restaurant, which doesn't really have its own website). Since Memphis has a dearth of decent pan-Asian noodle shops, I was excited about the chance to try something new from someone who's generally been pretty adventurous with food (her other restaurants in town consistently get positive recommendations, if not rave reviews). Thanksgiving and the general tendency to have things slip my mind kept me from trying it, but when a midtown friend suggested lunch I figured it was high time to give it a try.
The window says trendy but unassuming. Or rather, it says noodledoodledōnoodledoodledō...ad infinitum
, and says "STATE FARM" in reflected letters from the agency across the street if you look at a larger size. Showing up five or so minutes before my lunchin' partner gave me a chance to be ill-mannered and photograph the appetizers
and the noodles
off the menu to share with my readers. My companion showed up, and with one glance at the menu she knew she wanted the Tom Yum--I'd previously decided I wanted to try the Thai Kobe beef in star anise ginger cinnamon fennel broth. Unfortunately, the waitress heard only "Kobe Beef" and brought out the Kobe Beef Curry, which looked AMAZING, but wasn't what I'd ordered and so there was a bit of a delay while changes were made. Still, the Tom Yum had arrived, and they brought out some complimentary edamame to compensate. Maybe I looked angry or something, although I thought
I was being cool about it.
The Tom Yum was delicious--a bit milder than expected, but with a very complex flavor and that hint of vag that characterizes the soup. The black sesame seeds added to the rice were also a nice touch. The edamame was similarly good; I don't know from fancy salt unless it comes in larger than table-salt size crystals, or is pink or black or something, but I have a feeling that there was special
salt on the edamame. Or I could just be pretending because I'm an idiot when it comes to stuff like that unless I'm told. About five minutes after being informed of the error in the order, my corrected Kobe beef soup arrived:
How can you tell if something's Kobe beef? I have no idea--$35 steaks leave me feeling robbed nine times out of ten. The thin pieces in the ($8) soup, however, were wonderfully rich, and practically melted in your mouth; the charred bits added a depth that's missing from your garden variety Pho Tai
(which is still a wonderful soup).
If you're one of the local folks who pick this up through the ChowMemphis Twitter feed (or other means), let me recommend paying a visit soon
. It was easy to get a table and relatively quiet for lunch today; that may not be the case once word gets around. It is as good a lunch as I've had anywhere else in town, and has fewer than ten tables (although they may do a brisk bar business for solo diners). Of course, it will never be as popular in Memphis as any place that offers a buffet, so there's that.