Saturday, June 1, 2013

Noodles and Rice Cafe

Noodles and Rice Café (located in the Virginia/Mills District) is a “Hot Pot” style restaurant that has recently opened and has gotten quite the “buzz”. If you have ever been to a fondue restaurant (like The Melting Pot) this is pretty much the same concept, but instead of cooking your food in Oil you are choosing a Broth and cooking your own Soup.

Their website says it best “It’s simple. Just pick your choice of soup flavor, then pick your proteins, vegetables, and noodles then have fun cooking your food.”

From the outside it doesn’t look like much, but inside it is actually quite nice.
As we walked in we were greeted and seated by our server, I wish I had gotten his name because he was terrific. He was very helpful at explaining how things work and making suggestions.

There were three of us and we started with appetizers.
I got the Vegetable Spring Rolls (3 pieces, $2.95), very basic but good.

Then we each ordered our own customized soup from the “Hot Pot” menu.
It is a checklist, so you fill out what kind of Broth you want and then you build your own by adding whatever ingredients you like.
Now there is a price by each item so keep this in mind when you are adding because the total price can really build up.

They bring your Broth (I had the Miso, $3.50) and put it on the burner to heat it up.

Then they bring out you Proteins, Vegetables and Noodles.
I ordered Udon Noodles ($2.50), Fried Tofu ($2.50), Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli $2.25), Bamboo Shoots ($1.95) and Wood Ear Mushrooms ($1.25).
I will say that the portions are rather generous.

Then you add it to the Pot and cook it.

Then head over to their “Sauce and Spice Bar” (complementary) and pick out some things to season and flavor it just the way you like it.

Then ladle it out and enjoy it as a Soup or use the slotted spoon if you prefer it without so much liquid.

Now I feel that if you went as a group and could all agree on ingredients then it might be a little more cost effective, but we all wanted to make our own.

One of my friends had it super spicy, the hotter the better.

But I prefer mine a little milder, with a sweeter sauce.
That way we were all happy.

They also have these little Ice Cream Desserts (made with alcohol), I had the Vanilla Bean with Expresso Vodka. It was very good, and you could definitely taste the Liquor.

With Drink, Dessert and Tip mine came to $25 (and mine was the least expensive of the group), my friend that ordered the most in hers came to about $40.

You should not go here expecting to have both the full experience and still have a cheap meal, but as long as you agree on what to order and share then you will be fine because the portions are definitely large enough to accommodate (The $40 Hot Pot did have two take home containers).

But for the experience itself I think that it is definitely a good place to try, especially if you have never had food prepared this way before.

Noodles and Rice Café on Urbanspoon

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