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Someone’s Using Their Noodle (Noodlebox)

Hello and welcome to another edition of Mastication Monologues! Today I am going to be talking about a restaurant that my Korean coteacher had been raving about for weeks to me that I should try since it had the best Pad Thai and noodle dishes in the world. The place in question is called Noodle Box. It’s a chain that can be found in Incheon and Seoul, but I went to the location in Itaewon since I couldn’t find the one in Bupyeong in Seoul. Here is their website: http://www.noodlebox.co.kr/noodlebox/.

So I found the one in Itaewon quite easily after walking straight out of exit three. I was confronted with a sleek and minimalist exterior.IMG_1724 On the inside, it had the same theme with hard wood floors, stainless steel lunch counters, and slate walls. For some reason it reminded me of a fancier version of Chipotle. Anyway, I was looking at their menu, and I saw the famous Pad Thai that my coteacher had been yammering for ages about. Then again, I want to try something that might be a hidden gem on the menu, so I got the Thai chili noodles (6,300 W). My thirst for adventure was rectified by the end of the meal.IMG_0243 After giving my order to the cashier, I helped myself to some free, cold water which I definitely appreciated on a humid day like yesterday. After about 5-7 minutes, I received my meal in a moderate sized box that ended up being jam-packed with flavor.IMG_0244

When I first opened it up, I was greeted with a thick layer of bean sprouts.

Sprouts on sprouts on sprouts

Sprouts on sprouts on sprouts

They were fresh and crispy, but I soon dove further beneath this superficial layer of cellulose to find the spicy noodles. There were plenty of flat, stir-fried rice noodles that were bathing in a devilishly red chili sauce.

Cultural Note: Even though it's a great pic, sticking chopsticks in food like this is considered impolite.

Cultural Note: Even though it’s a great pic, sticking chopsticks in food like this is considered impolite.

I knew what I was getting into with the three peppers on the menu, and I was pleasantly surprised at the spice level. I would liken it to a very mild habanero like bite. The sauce itself was not overly sweet, and the individual ingredients that were lurking amongst the noodles intrigued me. Just when I thought it was just bean sprouts and noodles, a couple of mushrooms would poke their chewy caps out of the carb laden forest, or some thin but large pieces of sauteed pork would saunter out to be enjoyed . The pork was juicy and tender, and there were even mussels in the mix sans their signature black shells. By the time I reached the bottom of the box, I was quite full and satisfied with my blazing noodles.

Remnants of a delicious meal

Remnants of a delicious meal

So if you’re looking for a quality restaurant that serves more than just japchae and naengmyeon, head on down to Noodle Box to get a little more flavor to savor.

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