Shanghai Wonton Noodle
Address: 178 Rideau St, Ottawa
Hours: 10:30am – 9pm (M – F), 11am – 9pm (Sat – Sun)
Website: Nope, not even socials!
Shanghai Wonton Noodle is an unassuming little shop located in the Byward Market, on Rideau just past Dalhousie. As you as you step in, you can tell that the décor is not a focal point here and that’s alright. A few random pictures and posters promoting local Chinese businesses dot the walls of this long, narrow restaurant, and that’s it.
The restaurant is counter service, so you’ll have to head to the back to check out the menus and place your order, but your food will be brought out to you.
The menu is pretty compact and comprised of several different wonton soups, and a few noodle dishes and sides. If you’re looking for vegetables, Shanghai Wonton Noodle is not your place. Meat and carbs? They got you.
On my first time there, I had to go with their two namesake dishes – wonton soup and noodles.
The pork and mushroom big wonton soup lived up to its name, with several hefty wontons filling out a bowl that was topped up with a lightly seasoned broth. My taste buds were somewhat scorched by the blisteringly hot broth, so my critique here should be taken with a grain of salt. The wonton wrappers had a pleasant chew and the tender meat inside showed no signs of being overcooked. The purported mushrooms didn’t register on my palate, but please refer to my previous statement regarding mouth burns. Garnishes of cilantro and green onion added some vegetal pops to the dish.
The beef hot and dry noodles weren’t quite what I was expecting, but they were still very good. There’s no broth here, but the noodles were coated in a thick, peanut-based sauce. Topped with a generous portion of tender slices of beef, it’s a hearty dish with lots of flavour. The “hot” part wasn’t apparent to me, but a few scoops of the tableside chili crisp changed that quickly!
On a return visit, I eagerly dove into the side dishes and put my newly-healed taste buds back to use.
The deep-fried pork dumplings may not have had the nice folds of jiaozi, but these hefty bois were crisp on the outside and packed with moist, tender pork. What’s not to like?!
With the marinated chicken, you get exactly what you ask for, nothing more nothing less – one marinated drumstick. It’s fall-off-the-bone tender, salty and savoury, and if Shanghai Wonton Noodle had a liquor license, it would be great drinking food!
Call it a hidden gem, a diamond in the rough or whatever cliché you want, as long as you recognize how good Shanghai Wonton Noodle’s food is.