The Story of The Rice and The Noodle

This will be a quick post. At least that’s what on my mind right now that I’m writing this first sentence (now second). You see, The Rice and The Noodle is a small restaurant that opened in the Tamimi Plaza in the corner of Dabab Street and Thalateen Street. At first, I thought it was one of those wok restaurants again that cooks your choice of noodles or rice but nope, they serve ala carte dishes that’s divided into chicken, beef, shrimps, and vegetables. Actually, they’re more like their neighbor, Panda Express. They offer Chinese dishes but their menu is longer than Panda Express’. However, is it better? I quipped to my friends that it’s a wrong decision for them to open so near Panda Express. Here’s why.

They have schedules for singles and family in their single floor restaurant.

They have schedules for singles and family in their single floor restaurant.

The Rice and the Noodle is a franchise from Amman,  Jordan but correct me if I’m wrong because I couldn’t find a lot of information about it. It has branches in Amman and Doha. It’s a promising Chinese restaurant with a nice space tucked in a Tamimi Plaza in Dabab Street. I like its interiors and how the staff are really friendly and welcoming. Their menu is extensive and it has the staple Chinese food; it also has pictures of the dishes albeit too small (they might as well look all the same to me). But I like how all the dishes are in circle plates and bowls in the menu adhering to their logo which is a circle; a completed yin and yang. The dishes look to be all note-worthy, some are familiar like the Tom Yum Soup, Vegetable Spring Rolls, Yang Chow Fried Rice, Orange Chicken (seems too familiar), and Kung Pao Beef. They also have dishes that are new to Riyadh like Crab Rangoon and Manchurian Chicken.

What an ingenious way of using the wok as lighting fixture.

What an ingenious way of using the wok as lighting fixture.

The first dish that I’ve ever tried in The Rice and The Noodle is the Crispy Shrimp and Cheese Rolls (SR 20). It’s as basic as shrimps and cheese rolled in crispy wanton paper but it’s the creamy wasabi sauce that made this dish irresistible. I nearly finished all before I remembered I have to leave some for my husband, haha. It’s just a great starter to a heavy meal. After this dish, everything that followed seem to be just okay or lacking in depth and flavor. I went again with my friends a few weeks after my first take out from the place. I want to give their other dishes a try.

Shrimp Dynamite with side dishes.

Shrimp Dynamite with side dishes.

Shrimp Dynamite, SR 36

Shrimp Dynamite, SR 36

Their Shrimp Dynamite is not at par with the Dynamite Shrimps of other restaurants in Riyadh. It’s spicy and a bit sour. We also tried their Stir-Fried Udon Noodles with Shrimps. There’s no distinct flavor to this. The noodles are a bit softer than we wanted it to be and they’re tasteless. The Garlic Fried Rice is okay; not a lot of garlic for it to be notable.

Stir-Fried Udon Noodles with Shrimp, SR 39

Stir-Fried Udon Noodles with Shrimp, SR 39

The most-recommended dish is the Shrimp in Garlic Butter Sauce. It’s the first main dish I tried in this restaurant when they just opened. My husband and I ordered for take out and ate it for dinner at home (along with the Crispy Roll I mentioned above). I love how big and robust the shrimps are but I wasn’t wowed with this dish. It does have garlic and butter but I find it lacking in taste and flavor. After eating this, I felt like I can cook a better version of this shrimp in garlic and butter. That’s not a good thing because as you know, I don’t cook a lot and for me to have confidence in my not-so-present cooking skill is an indication that at SR 43, this dish is not worth it.

Our tablescape at The Rice and The Noodle

Our tablescape at The Rice and The Noodle

I have to chew the Crispy Beef slowly because it’s crispy all right but it’s also tough and hard. The strips of beef doused in steak sauce looks good in photos (I checked their Facebook page) but it doesn’t have a distinct taste. It’s a bit salty and again, those beef strips are hard I have to guard my teeth from breaking. The Szechuan Chicken with red chili, garlic, and oyster sauce is just chicken pieces with a slightly sticky sauce that tastes of… oyster sauce. That distinct, bold flavor characteristic of Szechuan cuisine is missing. I noticed that most of the ingredients don’t taste as fresh and as exciting. There’s no “bite” to them. They’re plain and boring.

Crispy Beef, SR 39

Crispy Beef, SR 39

Szechuan Chicken, SR 29

Szechuan Chicken, SR 29

Look, my review of The Rice and The Noodles might read terrible but I want to be honest with my feelings about these dishes. As a matter of fact, I checked Foursquare for feedback from other diners and they seem to like the place and the food of this place but I still went ahead to tell you of my review because if there’s one cuisine that I love wherever I am in the world, it’s Chinese cuisine (of course Filipino cuisine is on top, haha). It’s consistently good any where and so when I find a restaurant serving Chinese dishes that are not as good, then I am offended. After all, The Rice and The Noodles is a stone throw away from Panda Express, one of the popular fast food Chinese restaurants in the world. If it can’t be better than Panda Express, then at least be at par with it. Just saying.

Soda to wash them all dishes down.

Soda to wash them all dishes down.

However, not all is lost. They have a friendly and fast service.

The Rice and The Noodle

Tamimi Plaza, corner of Thalateen Street and Dabab Street

As Sulaymaniyah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia [MAP]

T: 920003885

W: http://thericeandthenoodle.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/riceandnoodlesa/?fref=ts

Operating Hours: 11:30 AM to 12:00 AM

Chinese Featured Food

About Author

Janelle

The Editor-in-Chief speaks 7 languages: Filipino, English, Wit, Sarcasm, Truth, Creativity, and The Pink Tarha.

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