PARSIPPANY – Always on the lookout for a new and interesting culinary adventure in Parsippany, I found myself at the Noodle Wong Dim Sum seafood restaurant, located in the Arlington Plaza among a row of storefronts on the east side of the Plaza, a few doors down from Home Depot. I’ve never really sat down to a full Dim Sum and my research has indicated that Noodle Wong is as authentic and traditional as it gets. We stopped in a little afternoon on a weekend. It’s not normally my style to eat so heavy this early in the day, but traditional Dim Sum is served as a brunch-like meal, from late morning to lunch, served with ceremonial tea, which is considered just as important as food and is normally done as a community or social gathering of friends and / or family while sharing a diverse assortment of small Cantonese bite-size dishes over an extended period of time. Dim sum dishes include an assortment of seafood, meat and vegetable dishes prepared in different ways: steamed, fried or baked. Noodle Wong offers 54 different Dim Sum dishes to choose from. True to tradition, Noodle Wong only serves Dim Sum early in the morning until 3 p.m. Of course, in addition to Dim Sum, Noodle Wong has a full menu that you can order, including your classic soups, seafood, congee, fried rice, Chow Mein, pork, chicken, beef, family meals and specials from the House. But, for this review, I have focused on Dim Sum, so the rest of the menu will have until another day.
Now if Dim Sum sounds familiar to you you would be right, this is the Chinese version of Spanish tapas. Only, and I apologize to my Spanish friends, Dim Sum has been around much longer. In fact, Dim Sum has a rich history and tradition stretching back thousands of years. Hailing from southern China, especially Guangzhou, Dim Sum literally translates to ‘touching the heart’, and according to the myth that it was created by the heads of the Royal Court centuries ago, to ‘touch the heart’ touch the hearts ”of the Chinese emperors. You might also hear Dim Sum called by someone from China “Yum Cha” which means “Drink tea” and this restaurant is extremely popular in Hong Kong.
Noodle Wong, formerly Noodle Chu, changed ownership in 2016, renovating the dining room around this time, providing an updated and more elegant appearance. The ambience and decoration are simple but comfortable, casual, comfortable, clean and airy. The open and spacious main dining area has attractive ceiling lighting and simple wall decor, creating an Asian vibe throughout. Noodle Wong, to me, is reminiscent of one of those Chinese restaurants you’ll find on Mott Street in New York City. The main dining area has plenty of seating and all the tables are comfortably spaced. Noodle Wong also has another beautifully decorated large party room, complete with gold fabric seat covers and white linen tablecloths, adjacent to the main dining area, with a smaller private room in the back, which would provide a nice venue for a party or event.
On arrival we were greeted by a very friendly manager, Simon, who immediately offered me a nice sized table along the wall. A waiter quickly arrived with a pot of black tea, cups and chopsticks. We thanked him as we went through Dim Sum’s long list of choices. The Dim Sum Checklist is in Chinese and English, so it’s easy to understand. TIP: I visited the restaurant and had the Dim Sum menu the day before and familiarized myself with some of the dishes. I was then able to check off the dishes I wanted before I arrived, and when I handed that list to the waiter, those dishes quickly arrived at our table. It appears to be an all-Chinese wait staff so communication may be a slight issue, but since you order Dim Sum by pointing at the items of your choice while the metal serving carts are constantly running around the room, it works. good. The rolling carts, loaded with dumplings and plates of fried foods, also add to the authenticity of this experience, but be aware that they are only used on weekends. When you receive an item from the basket, your invoice is stamped and you pay for the items you choose at the end of the meal. As for me and my guest, we ordered 10 different Dim Sum dishes and it turned out to be more than enough for both of us. Of course, order as many as you want, but I recommend trying not to get carried away and over-ordering.
The restaurant was quite full and most of the customers were Chinese, which is a Chinese restaurant is always a good sign for me. The Chinese menu, the unique style of service, the endless tea, all added to the experience. The dining room was busy, filled with people casually sharing food, having fun and having lively conversations in a Chinese dialect (not sure which) was fun to see. TIP: When you run out of tea, simply open the lid and set it aside. The server will quickly bring you a recharge. When you want to say thank you, double tap the table with your index and middle fingers. It represents an arc.
Our selections included Siu Mai (pork with shrimp dumplings), ribs with black bean sauce, beef noodles, spring rolls, beef ribs, Siu Mai sticky rice, turnip cake, steamed pork bread and steamed cream bread (sweet).
Despite several trips to Hong Kong in my youth, I am unfortunately new to this style of catering. So it was difficult to choose from all the available selections. So I stuck with some of the more popular types of Dim Sum. staples, which included steamed dumplings, buns, wraps, and noodle rolls; many filled with mixes of fresh seafood, meat and vegetables, as well as cabbage, pies and puddings. They ended up being great choices as we totally enjoyed every dish that arrived from Siu Mai (thin round cup shaped wrappers filled with shrimp and pork), Har Gow (shrimp dumplings enclosed in translucent wrapper) , Xiaolong Bao (delicate soup dumplings), Charsiu Bao (pork buns), Cheong Fun (noodle rolls), or Dan Tat (egg tart), a delicious puff pastry filled with cream (very similar to a Portuguese pastry) that we finished our meal with. The Dim Sum was full of varied textures and tastes and encompassed a collection of sweet, smooth, silky and salty tastes depending on the individual dish. There is no rhyme or reason on how to eat or mix your Dim Sum, just grab your chopsticks and enjoy the experience.
So if you are looking for a different and fun dining experience that you can share with your friends, family or even on your own for a satisfying brunch, this would be a good choice. Very friendly, helpful and attentive staff in a relaxed and lively atmosphere, with moderate prices (depending on what you order and how much you order), as well as a wide choice of excellent food. As I always say, if you don’t have the inclination or the opportunity to travel to a foreign country, visiting some of the many diverse ethnic restaurants in Parsippany gives us a great opportunity to truly experience a different culture through its cuisine. .
“The Chinese say it is better to go without food for three days than to go without tea for a day.”
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Dinner on site – Take out – Pick up at the curb – No delivery; Open 7 days a week – No alcohol – Large car park. Comfort food – Quick bite – Vegetarian options – Small plates.