Noodle Nation or is it oil orbit?

Noodle Nation: 1-3 Bourbon Street, Aylesbury, Bucks

Noodle Nation is a fast-paced Chinese restaurant specialising in rice and noodles. In fact, that’s pretty much all you can have. The restaurant is light and, thankfully, much warmer than the wintry weather outside. Service is friendly and efficient, if a little confused between staff at times as they all try and seat, serve and talk to you.

If you don’t like to cuddle up to other diners then this may not be the place for you. A couple may be squeezed in between two groups of four or the group of four may be squashed, with embarassed smiles, against the single couple by the window. It can be annoying but the staff do their best to seat you comfortably and, as it’s a fast-turnover, you won’t be getting to know your dining neighbours well anyway.

So on to the food. Garlic and chilli chicken with yo min noodles (wheat and egg) was a vast portion. I mean huge. For roughly £7 it’s not bad but for your stomach it might be painful. The noodles were separated from the chicken which lay in thick chunks – not so great for scooping up between chopsticks with your noodles and beansprouts. The food was cooked well but soaked in oil, even the sauce glinting with the stuff as it began to separate upon cooling down. Hunks of garlic gave great flavour but all in one go instead of being spread out through the dish, and the same went for the chilli. A side of satay sauce was strong but a little gloopy.

Despite the name, I was rather disappointed at the variety of food on offer, the noodle-bar section seeming particularly sparse though you can have noodles from the rice-bar section if you wish.

It’s great value here and for a quick meal or causal get-together it’s a lovely choice. However, be prepared to cosy up with both oil and fellow noodle-lovers.

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