Noodle House's beef noodle soup (photography by Kevin Marple)

Restaurant Reviews: Royal Sichuan, Lion City Cafe, and Noodle House

My family is Taiwanese. Growing up, this meant we—like many typical Asian-American households—dined at Old Country Buffet, Furr’s cafeteria, and every disgusting, since-abandoned Chinese buffet within a 25-mile radius of my childhood Carrollton home. Only after Hong Kong Buffet finally puttered out after four years on life support did we begin to regularly eat at mom-and-pop Chinese restaurants. Places like Royal China were too fancy and expensive for us. They never made it into our rotation.

With the Asian food trend (Tanoshii Ramen + Bar, Monkey King Noodle Co.) spreading across North Texas, people always ask me where to find the best Chinese food in Dallas. Here’s the secret: it’s not where you think it is. Sure, Yao Fuzi has killer deep-fried halibut, but something feels off-putting about a Chinese waiter bringing ice water to your table (without asking) and addressing you, a Chinese speaker, in English.

The places I frequent—Royal Sichuan, Lion City Chinese Cafe, and Noodle House—aren’t known for their attentive staff. To be frank, two of them have notoriously bad service. They’re brusque, the customer’s not always right, and nobody’s going to kiss your golden toes. Really, the only thing preventing you from sticking a chopstick in someone’s eye and threatening to never eat there again is the ridiculously addictive food. A few bites of Lion City’s plump, green Hokkien noodles will transport you to the East—with its crammed streets, millions of people, uncomfortable plastic stools, warm water, and hot tea. Even in the sweltering summer heat, drinking ice water is a Chinese dining sin. We’ll swear on our sweat-covered brows that it causes indigestion.

Read the rest of the review here.