One of them makes their noodles from scratch, while the other uses them in traditional Malaysian, Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese recipes.
EXTRA COURSE: NOODLE DELI HAS MORE THAN JUST NOODLES
Lunchtime fills up pretty quickly at the Asian Noodle House in Hoffman Estates. The kitchen has the skill to make dozens of dishes, most from Southeast Asia.
"About 35% Malaysian food. We also have udon, pho noodle, a lot of these noodles are from Southeast Asia like Vietnam, Singapore," owner Kevin Lim said.
Curry Laksa, a Singapore standard, is both rich and spicy, made aromatic with lime leaves, a pair of noodles, both egg and rice-based, serve as a soft, springy base for the seafood-laden bowl. Char Kway Teow is a Thai dish with thicker, wider rice noodles, a bit of chili sauce and crunchy bean sprouts. Other highlights include a version with handcut "pin" noodles.
"Pin noodle is like a pinch, you drop into the water is how you make it. And this is just a braised noodle," Lim said.
Less than a mile away, The Noodle Deli is primarily Chinese, but they make pretty much all of their noodles, one of them, the sliced noodle, is shaved directly into the pot of water.
"We also have the sliced noodle, which is a giant piece of dough and they slice with a knife. We also have buckwheat noodle, which is a machine-pressed noodle," Manager Chris Yao said. "And we also have the scissor-cut noodles; they make into little pieces and they cut it into even smaller pieces with the scissor."
The dishes are inspired by the Xi'an Province in China. The sliced noodle dish is surrounded by roast beef and vegetables, swimming in a rich beef broth. The scissor-cut noodles are also served in broth.
"Some noodles do come with broth, and some noodles are dry noodles. Typically guest would choose the broth they want, then have a choice of what type of noodles to choose from," Yao said.
Then there are the biang biang noodles, cut into strips then pulled and stretched, almost like a jump rope, until they're tossed into water to cook.
"You pull it up and down and more outwards and that stretches out the noodle," he said.
These are plated with an assortment of vegetables, including egg and tomatoes, plus a drizzle of hot oil across the top. The noodles are named due to the sound that's created when making them.
"Because the sound it makes when it hits the table, it makes the biang biang sound," said Yao.
So there are at least five different types of noodles to choose from, plus several broths, including beef broth and tomato broth, lots of ways to customize the noodle experience at Noodle Deli.
In Steve's Extra Course Video, he takes a look at the unique chicken wings at Noodle Deli.
Asian Noodle House
844 N. Roselle Road, Hoffman Estates
2 Golf Center, Hoffman Estates