Just steps away from a global lesson in taste in Sheffield
I still delight in the incredible transformation of Sheffield's food scene over the years. Growing up in Sheffield, there wasn’t a huge choice in the types of food you could taste. Now we have the world served up on our doorstep.
That is literally true for Noodle Doodle – Malaysian food just steps from the Telegraph’s office on Trippet Lane.
Other than delicious treats which have been home-baked by a Malaysian colleague, I have never tried that cuisine before so we jumped in with both feet.
We picked our drinks with a determination to have the whole experience – lycee tea including whole lycees and mango milk including bubbles of juice. The latter took some getting used to.
There were pages of drink options but nothing compared to more than 300 dishes on the food menus.
We started with the mixed starters combination platter (£6.30 per person). Everything on the plate – spring rolls, spare ribs, salt and pepper tofu, and sesame prawn toast – was delicious. However, it was hardly an incredibly different taste to what is so widely found across Sheffield. Fortunately, the same wasn't true for the mains.
I chose Nasi Lemak (£8) which is aromatic coconut milk steamed rice served with curry chicken, archar, fried peanuts, boiled egg, sambal and cucumber.
The waitress very helpfully talked us through the ingredients which we didn't recognise. Archar is a spicy pickled vegetable and sambal a delicious dip created from chilli paste, garlic, ginger, shallot, spring onions and lime.
Laksa curry noodle (£7.80) was a recommendation and, as soon as it arrived, we understood why. An unusual combination of seasonings which created a delightful mix. It is served as what could be described as a very chunky soup with king prawns, tofu, fish cake and chicken – as well as the all important boiled egg.
We also ordered roti canai (£2.50 for two people) – a very popular flatbread, which is apparently often eaten for breakfast. Served with a curry dip, it was lovely.
Although we weren’t too convinced by the seemingly mandatory accompaniments of spicy peanuts and boiled egg, we gave all the dishes a big thumbs-up.
There weren’t many desserts available on our early evening mid-week visit so we went with the only unusual option – and that wasn’t even on the menu. It was slightly reminiscent of a slush puppy, flavoured by sweetened, tiny red beans and on top of a green jelly. Interesting!
Each course had become progressively more Malaysian. Noodle Doodle claims to be Sheffield's first restaurant serving Malaysian food. It has certainly been joined by several others since in recent years.
My advice, pick a dish which you’ve never heard of or take tips from the lovely staff. They were happy to answer our very basic questions, no matter how silly. They clearly love sharing traditional dishes with uneducated Sheffield eaters, like ourselves. But if you aren't feeling adventurous there are lots of more recognisable dishes such as noodles, Szechuan, dim sum and Chinese cuisine.
One thing they do need to do is give the toilet area a facelift. It is downstairs and you could be forgiven for thinking you were descending into a dungeon.
All in all, we had a good introduction to Malaysian food, made better by the pleasant attitudes of staff. Our total bill was just £34.
Tel: 0114 2727688.