Rice Noodle Roll (腸粉) at the Jadeland Restaurant in Ottawa
The Jadeland Restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown has been around for a very long time. It generally serves pretty decent food, although, in all honesty, not so memorable as to make it one of my favorite restaurants in the area. Their Rice Noodle Roll probably typifies their overall level of quality insofar as it managed to rise above the level of mediocre, but wasn’t as good as other versions I have had.
The Jadeland Rice Noodle Roll appeared on the menu as 蝦米腸粉 (Xiāmǐ Chángfěn), which was actually something of a misnomer. The second two characters, 腸粉, which are more commonly rendered in the Cantonese pronunciation as ‘Cheong Fun’ (or some variant on the spelling) refers to the Rice Noodle Roll itself, but the first two , 蝦米, indicate the use of tiny Dried Shrimp, and generally mean that these little shrimp are cooked right into the noodle itself. Here though, there were absolutely none of these 蝦米 present, but there were fresh shrimp stuffed into the roll instead.
The shrimp, in this case, were supplied in generous amounts and were plump, nicely textured and tasty. The noodle was also quite thick, if a bit sloppily rolled, and while it was just a tiny bit glutinous and sticky, it was not overly so, and was otherwise tender and properly steamed.
I wasn’t too terribly keen on the sauce used here, which was a sweetened, soy-based blend. It contained a touch of five-spice seasoning, which I don’t much care for due to the inclusion of Star Anise. Still, I can’t really criticize the sauce because of a personal taste issue, but it did affect my enjoyment of the dish too a small degree. Still, despite a rather messy presentation, I generally though that these 腸粉 weren’t all that bad.