In Everett, we are steeped in Vietnamese pho restaurants. I have tried many and loved them all. However, I have been missing something in my noodle experience, in fact, lusting after large bowls of noodles with broth, fresh vegetables and meat.
So when I heard of King Noodle House, I high-tailed it over there and knew I found what I had been craving: King Noodle House specializes in hand-pulled noodles.
When you walk in you are met with a large golden carp, a golden Buddha and a golden maneki neko cat figurine. Very welcoming and good feng shui.
We were seated promptly with our menus and hot cups of tea -- it was below 32 degrees outside.
From our seats I could see the window into the kitchen where the chef was pulling noodles. It was amazing to watch him pull and twist the dough to lengths as long as his arm span.
You can order from the menu or create your own soup by picking and choosing what you want to go into it from an order card, for $6.99. You get your choice of broth, noodles, two vegetable items and two other toppings like meat, tofu, seafood or seaweed.
That is what my husband did. He selected beef broth, udon noodles, beef brisket, sliced pork, mushrooms and leeks.
I ordered the special beef noodle bowl ($8.25) with hand-pulled noodles, beef broth, baby bok choy, daikon radish and carrots.
And we ordered steamed dumplings to share ($4.95).
Our dumplings came out first. There were eight dumplings with a dipping sauce. The dumplings were wonton-wrapped minced pork and were steamed very well. The dipping sauce was flavored with soy, vinegar and a little sugar -- good on its own and exceptional with dumplings.
Our food came quickly after our dumplings. My noodle bowl was gigantic, filled to the brim with broth and noodles.
The noodles were thin like spaghetti but with a delicate flavor and a good bite to them. My brisket was a delight. I could tell it was braised for a long time in Chinese spices and it turned out good and tender. I loved every bite of it. The large chunks of daikon, or white radish, were a challenge to eat out of a soup bowl as was the whole baby bok choy. The broth was savory and comforting, a little light on seasoning to give patrons the option of adding flavorings such as chili oil.
My husband's soup was similar to mine but with different veggies.
On a second visit, I picked the Szechuan spicy broth with spinach noodles, Chinese cabbage, bean sprouts, beef brisket (again) and barbecue duck. When the bowl came out I thought it was going to be really spicy with many dried chilies floating on top. But the burn was manageable and you could add more chili paste to it if you are an adventurous type.
The duck was not what I expected. Instead of duck breast, the duck was leg and back bone. I wasn't quite sure how to eat the duck so I just plucked the bones out of the soup and ate the meat off it like I would a chicken wing. The taste was what counted: like dark meat on a chicken. I enjoyed it immensely.
So, final notes. The service is utilitarian. Make sure you put your table number on your order card for your custom soup (the number is on your napkin holder). Don't be afraid to ask for water. They do not use MSG in their cooking. They also make orders to go.
For vegetarians who eat fish, you will find something to eat here, but they do not offer a vegetable broth. Some of the stir fries are vegetarian.
Overall, I love King Noodle House. I'm so glad we have a place like this in Everett.
King Noodle House
7518 Evergreen Way, Everett, 425-513-8888; www.kingnoodlehouse.com.
Specialty: Hand-pulled noodles.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Vegetarian options: A few.
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