Maybe when I was a kid I went to Navina Cinema hall once, one of the oldest and popular single screen cinema halls in south Kolkata besides Menoka and Priya. But my love for Priya has always over shadowed other cinema halls in this area, I really can travel some distance to watch a movie at Priya. Also there is one more reason which I realize has been playing a key role catalyzing my love for Priya. It is the huge array of food stalls present outside Priya which has always fascinated me! Few days ago I went to Navina Cinema and was pleasantly surprised to see one of my current day favorite brands – The Noodle Story, just outside the movie hall. Now I am sure I will be at this place a bit more often to pair some movie with a box of delectable noodles from this QSR. Now let us quickly check out my experience at this newly opened outlet of ‘The Noodle Story’ at Navina Cinema, Prince Anwar Shah Road.
I had been to other branches of The Noodle Story and my experience had been pretty pleasant. I had even treated my buddies at this place and they also liked it. So, for the ones who are not aware of the model in which this brand works, let me tell you this is a Quick Service Restaurant which operates out of kiosks at city Malls and Movie theaters. They do not have seating arrangements of their own. It’s preferable if you opt for take-aways. They have got lovely packaging and there won’t be any leakage or spillage.
The menu is also not very long and wont confuse you with too many options. You can opt for some starters, or go for their Baos. And then you can order some noodles for the main course which you can actually customize to every single bit as per your preference. You can choose each and every ingredient that will go into your meal, so you won’t have to compromise with any ingredient, its taste or aroma that you can’t stand! It is sort of a DIY exercise for your taste buds.
Let me brief you a bit so that this idea of constructing your own meal is clear –
Step 1 – Choose one base (variants of noodles, rice – like yellow noodles, tomato noodles, spinach noodles, whole wheat noodles, soba noodles, udon noodles, rice vermicelli noodles, Thai flat noodles, etc)
Step 2 – Choose vegetables (broccoli, zucchini, pokchoy, bell peppers, tofu, baby corn, etc), every vegetable chosen has price tagged with it.
Step 3 – Choose proteins (like egg, chicken, fish or prawns). Every protein chosen has price tagged with it.
Step 4 – Choose one sauce (here all the sauces are named after one Asian country that represents one typical sauce well known in that geography. For e.g. Malaysia (Malaysian Chili sauce), Indonesia (Spicy hot garlic sauce), Korea (Fragrant bean sauce), Thailand (traditional chili basil sauce), China (homemade Szechuan sauce), Vietnam (sweet and sour tamarind sauce) and Japan (red pepper and sesame sauce).
Step 5 – Choose toppings (like fried onions, fired garlic, sesame seed, peanuts, etc)
And yes, apart from these you get veggies like cabbage, onion, carrot, green capsicum and spring onions in your dish free of cost.
Once you choose all the ingredients, your order gets placed and then it takes really little time for them to put all of those together and to get your meal prepared.
For the starters I tried their Panko Crusted Fish which was simply amazing. The thin crisp covering was rightly balanced with fresh and flaky fish inside. One of their signature starter items which you can’t really miss.
I had tried out their Baos and believe me; I will go back to them for these lovely Chinese buns. Right now they have got four kinds of Baos which are served in pair per plate. These amazing steamed starters have generous filling inside them and I loved the Mushroom Cheese Bao and definitely the Char Sui Chicken Bao, which was insanely good!
Coming to the mains, I tried the Udon noodles with red pepper and sesame sauce, and it was loaded with our choice of proteins and veggies that included button mushroom, tofu, red/yellow bell peppers, fried egg and chicken. I opted for a fried garlic topping which happens to be my favorite. This was basically the Japanese sauce which I tried in my noodles, you can opt for Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, etc flavors as well. So they basically try to bring in flavors from various countries of the East Asia on your plate.
Surely I was there not to test the authenticity of those world cuisines they’re offering, that would have been a bit too much to ask for from a kiosk outside a movie hall. I really wanted to taste the food keeping in mind the setting where it is placed, the crowd whom it is serving, the pricing which they have to maintain at any cost to stay alive in this competitive market. And keeping all these stuffs in mind, I guess the food was worth a second visit. Only I would love to see them serving the food a tad faster, since it is a QSR.
So, if you spot any outlet of The Noodle Story, surely do try them out. Hope you get a quick trip ‘round the noodlehood that you have been dreaming ‘bout!
P.S. The writer was invited to this outlet of ‘The Noodle Story’ for review purpose