Cupcakes, macaroons, frozen yogurt, hamburgers… and now, Asian boxes. Such is the meteoric rise of food trends in Riyadh. When one starts building, it never stops rising in popularity until the next food trend comes along. We’ve written about Noodle Box a few months ago and before that, we’ve tried Yummy Wok and Wok N’ Flame. And now, here comes Quick Chow, a quaint noodle and rice restaurant in my neighborhood. It wasn’t hard to understand why it opened near the Prince Sultan Medical City. It’s close proximity to shops and banks that cater to the Asian, especially Filipino, communities already has its vantage points.
On the first week of its soft opening, my brother was already in line. He likes discovering new food spots as much as I do and I didn’t have to force him (which I usually have to for other trivial matters like drive me somewhere for instance, haha) to get take-out boxes from this newly-opened store so that we can try it. I guess it was the randomness of his choices that put us off on the first bite. Everything was a mix that didn’t seem to match. You see, in Quick Chow, you have to choose what kind of noodles or rice you want (Noodles: Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, and Hongkong | Rice: Thailand, Chinese, etc.), choose what to mix in Shrimps, Veggies, Chicken, or Beef, choose the sauces, and the toppings later on. My brother just chose this and that and somehow, he got the not-so-great mixes, haha. The coconut sauce made the rice mushy. One noodle box had plain sambal and it sent my tongue on fire. I didn’t want to write something like that because it was like a rookie mistake for us. Haha.
Well folks, try and try so when I went there the second time around, I made sure to ask the cashier to choose for me the bestsellers so far. There’s a lot of freedom for you in Quick Chow and it’s all good; I would have taken the free rein to choose but I already have an experience in that so I relented such freedom to the cashier. He chose Japanese Noodles (with beef), Hongkong Noodles (with shrimp), and Thailand Rice (with shrimps) for me. The sauces probably came with what kind of noodles and rice he chose.
It was also my lucky day that Chef Phat of Quick Chow (and also of Salmon Seafood Restaurant) was around when I visited. I just have to ask his recommendation. “What is your favorite mix in Quick Chow?” He said Chinese Noodles with half Japanese Soya and half Sweet Soya sauces with a dash of Sambal sauce. Well, I’m crazy if I didn’t try a chef’s reco so I ordered it with chicken. He was quick to point out that the restaurant is still in soft opening and they are still open for feedback from customers. Feedback it is!
Among the dishes that I ordered, I like the Hongkong Noodles very much. It has barbecue sauce (and anything with barbecue sauce gets an automatic A-rating from me) and the noodles are just the right thickness. It’s not as thick (and slippery) as the Japanese noodles and not too thin like the Chinese noodles. A pick of sambal would have made it really on the mark because I like my food a bit spicy. The Japanese noodles with soya sauce is a bit salty, much like the chef’s recommendation which has the same sauce slightly tempered with the sweet soya.
The rice is just okay; what fried rice would be like if take up a notch in most Chinese restaurants in the city. I like how tasty every morsel of the rice is and how smooth the flavor is without being too much. It’s a complete meal in itself but I guess perfectly fine too when paired with a viand. If you’re a Filipino who knows his/her way with noodles and fried rice, you will find it lacking in terms of price (costs SR 23 up, depending on your choices of ingredients) but if you have no time to cook and you’re always on the go, then this is the meal in a bento box that will satiate that hunger.
Quick Chow has a small single and family section. I think it’s better of you just take-out the food because one order is good for two not-so-hungry persons. It has a nice red and black interiors, very Asian in a classic way. Their wok station near the door is not yet functioning but in time, it will be and you’ll get to see your food being cooked from there. Some kitchen action is always welcome in an Asian restaurant. 😉
Abu Bakr Ar Razi Street
(in front of Military Hospital)
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia