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Noodles - the versatile staple of Asian cuisine

Noodles - the versatile staple of Asian cuisine

A staple of south-east Asian cooking, the noodle is one of the most simple yet versatile of ingredients. It is widely believed that the noodle originated in China and that the first noodles were eaten there 4,000 years ago! Noodles were then taken to Italy, and from there pasta was born. So if anyone wants to know how Italian pasta was invented, it actually originated in China as the humble noodle.

Noodles are popular for many reasons. They can be made using simple, staple ingredients that are inexpensive and can be made in large quantities. They are very versatile, as they go with everything and are so quick and easy to cook. And, most importantly, they taste delicious.

There are many different types of noodle, and in Chinese cuisine, it is not uncommon to come across wheat, egg or rice noodles. In Vietnam, noodles are most commonly served in a spicy soup or broth, creating a healthy, filling and delicious dish which is perfect in its simplicity.

At Caphe Guests on Chiswick High Road in West London, we specialise in fresh, authentic and delicious Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine, and the noodle features heavily on our menu. Alongside warming noodle soups, you will find that many of our classic dishes feature fine egg fried noodles. Don't be fooled by the name - our egg noodles don't actually contain any eggs and this name has been given to the noodles due to their golden yellow colour. So these noodles are egg-free and therefore suitable for our vegan customers.

This type of noodle is incredibly versatile, and it perfectly complements a wide range of meat, seafood, fish and vegetables, allowing us to create tasty, filling dishes, with something for everyone.

For vegetarians, we not only serve our noodles with a healthy range of mixed vegetables; you can also go for the tofu option which goes perfectly with the noodles and gives real texture and flavour to the dish. Fish lovers can opt for prawns or be more adventurous with mixed seafood, and of course, chicken and beef are both available for those who like their meat.

But for something really special and a bit different, you must try our Mi Vit Tiem - a beautiful duck broth containing roast duck, bean sprouts and - of course - those delicious fine egg noodles.

If you want to try a different type of noodle, then why not opt for our fine vermicelli noodles? Also commonly known as rice noodles, these particular noodles are very thin indeed, and are also extremely versatile. In many Asian dishes, these noodles can be found in salads and, perhaps most commonly, in soups, as they are the ideal ingredient for adding bulk and texture to a spicy broth. Here at Caphe Guests restaurant, we prepare our vermicelli rice noodles in two key ways that are traditional to Vietnamese food - Bún and Bún Xả.

The Bún noodle dishes are prepared with fresh herbs and vegetables, and then you can choose the grilled meat of your choice to top the dish. Some of the dishes even come with spring rolls, to add an extra dimension to your meal. Bún Xả is very similar, although the main difference is that the meat is not grilled, and can therefore by prepared much more quickly, making this a very popular choice for lunchtime diners who may have less time on their hands. The Bún Xả option comes with tofu for our vegetarian diners, and we highly recommend our very special Bún Tôm Mực Xào Xả - rice noodles with prawns and squid.

Finally, on to flat rice noodles. As you might expect, these noodles have a flat shape and are similar in appearance to Italian tagliatelle pasta. At Caphe Guests, our flat rice noodles are simple and delicious. Known as Hủ Tiếu Xào, you can choose to have these noodles simply prepared with vegetables, or opt for chicken, tofu, prawns, beef or mixed seafood. We keep the tastes fresh and simple, creating a very delicious dish that is full of flavour.

Noodles are such a versatile ingredient, and we hope our diners at Caphe Guests enjoy the full range of noodle dishes we have on offer.

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