It was Friday night and there was no way in HELL I was going to cook anything! It had been a long week, it was getting dark, there was no meat in the fridge and we were hungry. We didn’t feel like pizza, or BBQ chicken, or kebabs… so I suggested that place that I’ve been meaning to try in Preston – One Noodle Friendship.
Tucked away in the middle of the arcade that connects the Preston Markets carpark with High Street, One Noodle Friendship looks like a very modest eatery. Upon entering, we were greeted by a very smiley noodle maker that looked like he could have been an extra on Monkey Magic! He motioned for us to sit down, so we did. We waited a bit for some menus and tea cups but nothing came. I had to go back up to the counter and the noodle maker apologised for forgetting us.
The menu had the typical dumpling and noodle dishes, but there were also some Japanese options as well. We went with the pork and prawn fried dumplings, fried noodles with beef, and the five spice beef.
The five spice beef came out first in a little boat! It was cooked slices of beef in a thin sauce with spring onion over the top. The cold beef was delicious and tender. Most of the flavour came from the sauce, which may have been a mixture of Chinese 5 Spice (probably cinnamon, coriander, star anise, cloves and peppercorn), with some soy sauce, possibly peanut or sesame oil and ginger. Really yum and refreshing.
Next up was the fried noodle with beef… but where’s the beef?! There were tiny morsels of slow-cooked tender beef, but the majority of the dish was tender house-made noodles, bean shoots and cabbage pieces. The flavour was a little bland so we poured the leftover 5 Spice sauce over the noodles to give it a bit more bang. It wasn’t a terrible dish, but it was lacking.
By the time the dumplings came out, our appetites were proper whet. The pieces of happiness came out on an unnecessarily large plate, making the serving look unnecessarily small, but we still had 5 pieces each.
The first thing I noticed about the taste was its similarity to toast. The outer casing was fried to a golden crisp and had an excellent crunch and flavour. Inside, it wasn’t an nondescript ball of meat – you could actually see a prawn tail! It was juicy and well seasoned, with no hidden grisle or other spooky crunchy bits.
These dumplings were excellent, despite being smaller than most, and they disappeared quickly. It would have been nice to order another plate but we were comfortably full and ready to go home to the couch.
I’d love to come back for more dumplings, but I definitely want to try a bowl of soup with their noodles. Afterall, the place is called One Noodle Friendship. Even though the service was a little forgetful, the smiling noodle maker was just so kind that all was forgiven. I wasn’t expecting 5 star service anyway.