We stopped by John’s Noodle Village today for a quick lunch in Victoria and realized that we didn’t have our Lumix with us. I usually keep it in my purse and take it wherever I go since it’s so compact — which is one of the reasons we made the switch from an SLR a couple years ago. We did have Gary’s brand new iPhone 5, so we thought it’d be the perfect chance to test its camera quality.
Located on Bay Street near Blanshard, John’s Noodle Village serves “fine Asian cuisine”. Asian could mean a plethora of different types of fare, but this is essentially a Chinese restaurant. The restaurant’s decor is that of a typical Chinese eatery and looked clean and tidy. Our server was very welcoming and friendly and let us sit wherever we wanted. She then brought me a fork for our meal, but not Gary. We found this gesture rather amusing.
Dumplings (12 for $6.95) – This handmade special of the day included an assortment of beef, pork and chicken filled dumplings accompanied by soy-vinegar dipping sauces. Although northern China-style dumplings usually offer dense doughy skin, these weren’t too thick and had a good dough to filling ratio. After being boiled in water, they retained a really juicy inside texture, although not soupy like steamed xiaolongbao varieties. John’s Noodle Village claims there’s “nothing like them in Victoria”, which we’d have to agree.
Shrimp Wonton Noodle Soup ($6.95) – These additive-free noodles are freshly made using the restaurant’s in-house noodle extruding machine. Unlike the fresh hand-pulled noodles at Legendary Noodle House in Vancouver, the noodles here are prepared by placing the dough into a mechanical press and forced through holes by a hand-crank. The result is fresh, beautifully thin strands of noodles.
In terms of the broth, it tasted like something grandma would make. Some might say it was under-seasoned, however, I actually appreciated the lightness as it was a pleasant departure from the usual heavily MSG laden dishwater served at some not-to-be named restaurants. To balance the broth, the wontons were nicely seasoned and contained an adequate amount of crunchy shrimp meat.
We can see ourselves returning to John’s Noodle Village the next time we’re craving “healthier” Chinese food on Vancouver Island.