Grand Noodle serves up Canto-Western cuisine from a corner unit of Commerce Gate. Its kitchen churns out both Cantonese and HK-style Western food, with many of the dishes creatively modified to the nth degree.
I recognize the space occupied by the restaurant immediately: it's had its share of different tenants throughout the years, ranging from a café to a hot pot joint. In its current incarnation, it's extremely spacious and brightly-lit.
I start with an order of Deep Fried Tofu with Spiced Salt ($4.95). The tofu is seasoned well, lifting the unmistakably humble dish to a higher level than most.
The Deep Fried Fish Skin ($4) is a winner for me. Lightly salted, its perfectly crunchy with no fishy aftertaste. Dunk them in the accompanying pork bone broth to get a slight soggy-crispy textural interplay.
When it comes to mains, there are two types of dishes that Grand Noodle stakes its reputation on. The first is the noodles. The restaurant lets you build your own soup noodle dish by offering a large selection of customizable options ($8.75).
I pick the house special noodles (a non-chewy take on the semi-curly noodles you often find at ramen restaurants) and the spicy broth. I add pork jowl, matsutake mushrooms, and luncheon meat, as well as spicy pork ribs from the premium ingredients list (+$2.25).
The result is a fantastic spicy noodle soup that has elements of Szechuan spice but with a richer flavour profile.
Submarine Rice dishes are also the thing to get here. I go for the Baked Curry Chicken ($10.50), a dish I can best describe as a massively elongated bread bowl that has been baked with fried rice, chicken and cheese and then topped with a generous helping of mild curry sauce. It's equal parts tasty and Instagram-worthy.
The Lava Cheese Pork Chop ($12.95) are two thin and tender pork chop cutlets with melted cheese that are fried together and served with either tomato sauce or curry sauce. My advice is to actually eat it straight up without the sauce as the richness of the cheese and the flavour of the pork are best kept unadulterated.
Grand Noodle also serves up a classic Hong Kong dish of the sixties that is rarely seen these days: Choy Sum with Lard. Now THIS is what I call eating your veggies. The choy sum is stir fried in pork oil, and is very fragrant. Bits of crunchy fried lard, an old-school favourite that you can't even find these days anymore, complete the dish.
Make sure to try the awesome Iceless HK Milk Tea. It's cold HK-style milk tea with the ice contained OUTSIDE the glass. The result is a cold beverage which retains its flavour and doesn't become more diluted as dinner progresses. Smart idea.
For a much lighter beverage, the Ribena Soda with Lemon ($3.95) is refreshing and fruity.