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Mike Sula

Pan-Asian restaurant serving some Malaysian dishes, a rarity in these parts.

Our Review

Far to the north, in frozen Hoffman Estates, exists an innocuous strip-mall storefront noodle joint that at first glance appears to be nothing more interesting than another pan-Asian dilettante dishing out wontons, pho, udon, and chow mein with equal abandon, rarely a good indicator of a place that does any of them particularly well. But Asian Noodle House also features a small list of house specials that overwhelmingly skew Malaysian. Curry laksa, the most common member of the Malaysian family of rice-noodle soups, has two varieties of noodle, thin rice vermicelli and a spaghetti-bore wheat noodle, both of which come swimming in a thick, spicy, coconut-based broth with shrimp (mushy), tofu, fish balls, bean sprouts, and shredded chicken. The broth's lack of depth is considerably improved with the addition of some shrimpy, spicy sambal, so be sure to ask for that. Asian Noodle House's roti canai, a Malaysian flatbread, is terrible—stale, lifeless, and seemingly reheated. But steamed Hainan chicken, a Chinese dish in origin, is silky tender and served with the traditional ginger-scallion dipping oil. There's also Malaysian-style chow fun, the dry stir-fried rice-cake dish char kuay teow mae, and on weekends, the pork rib and mushroom soup bak kut teh.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$
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