The Szechuan Noodle bowl is a little restaurant in the International District that would be easy to pass by. The windows are plastered with sun faded menus and it is hard to guess what kind of noodle magic is occurring within. But once inside the tiny quiet restaurant you can see the secret: there is a woman there, sitting at a table, quietly cranking out homemade dumplings.
The restaurant is also extremely reasonably priced, underpriced possibly, and we ordered liberally. Our first appetizer was Seaweed with Garlic, which had a pleasing texture unlike that of any land vegetables, but tasted a bit too fishy for my liking.
We also ordered "Peanuts", for $2, which came to the table boiled soft with spices and salt and the distinct flavour of anise.
Next we ordered Cold Noodles with Sesame sauce and Vegetables (around $5.00). The noodles were fat and square and homemade, and were perfectly chewy in texture. The sauce was similar to a rich peanut sauce, but was made with sesame seeds instead. The vegetables were carrots and cucumber and a little chopped green onion.
Then came our dumplings, and I am delighted to report that they have 2 vegetarian dumpling choices, including the wonderful Spinach and Tofu, which I ordered with a hot and spicy sauce. A (filling) bowl of 10 dumplings cost $5.75.
Each dumpling had a belly full of delicious perfectly steamed and lightly seasoned spinach with bits of tofu, and was surrounded by another example of homemade noodles done right. They were soft and chewy and firm at the same time. The sauce was really tasty too... a little bit spicy, a little bit vinegary, a little bit oily.
What a delight to find such inexpensive, good simple food. I think that when I go back I'm going to skip straight to the dumplings.
Szechuan Noodle Bowl
420 8th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104