On our first visit to Ocean City, we noticed that the space was split into two different dining areas: one is a large dining room that serves mostly Dim Sum for lunch, the other is a small noodle house. The second area, called Ocean City Restaurant II, Noodle Cafe, seemed separate enough that it deserved its own visit, so today we headed out with a comfortable group of seven to give the sequel a shot.
Luncher: GearyLunch: Congee with Pork and Thousand Year Old Egg + Chinese Doughnut - $4.50+$2.50
The Noodle Cafe is part of the same building as the large main dining room and shares a main kitchen, but it has a separate entrance, its own small kitchen for noodles and soups, and its own menu. In fact, we were given three menus. In addition to the Noodle Cafe menu, we were given a short lunch specials menu and the full Ocean City menu. It's a nice cozy space, about the size of Mike's or HHKC, but with no crowd. It's perched up half a story above the street with lots of big windows that give a nice perspective on the lunch traffic walking and driving past.
Since the few other guests were eating noodles, I figured it was safe to skip the lunch specials without violating rule #2. I missed out on the congee at HHKC so I went with the Congee with Pork and Thousand Year Old Egg and added in an order of Chinese Doughnuts for good measure. The food arrived quickly and we dug in.
The congee was good with ample pork and egg enhanced with spices including slivers of lemon grass. The doughnuts were great, larger and crispier than the ones we have had at previous spots. If you are not familiar, the Chinese Doughnut (Youtaio) is not sweet. It's a crispy deep fried log of dough cut into large bite size chunks each a couple of inches long and the circumference of somewhere between a nickel and a half dollar (these were in the half dollar range). It is very light and full of holes, sort of like a miniature loofah. The doughnuts are often served alongside congee and eaten like crackers in clam chowder.
Mike's and HHKC have a better selection for noodles and congee, but for if you want a less crowded alternative with good food and friendly service then Ocean City's Noodle Cafe is a great option.
Luncher: EmmettLunch: BBQ Pork Dumpling Noodle Soup - $6.25
Ocean City, like Jalisco, has a sibling - Ocean City II. This place is more my style - quiet, nondescript, good food. It also exemplifies the goal of our quest - to find good eats otherwise overlooked. In fact, we almost overlooked this place as it is housed in its Dim Sum serving brother. Good thing we didn't - this place was awesome.
We were seated at a large table in the back of the small, bright place. I had a seat by the window, and had a nice elevated view of Weller. They have three different menus - a Noodle menu, a Lunch Special menu, and a regular dinner menu. I went for the Noodles, and got BBQ Pork Dumpling Noodle Soup. The soup was fantastic. The broth was flavorful, the noodles were tasty, the dumplings had a nice consistency, and were plentiful. The BBQ Pork was the highlight - sweet, juicy, melt in your mouth delicious. They didn't skimp on the puerco either.
I have noticed I tend to give all of the places that serve noodle soups a higher than average rating. Other restaurants should heed this advice - you can't go wrong serving a delicious noodle soup. I'll be back.
Luncher: AdamLunch: BBQ Pork Braised Noodle Soup - $5.95
After Ocean City's mediocre showing for Dim Sum, I didn't know what to expect. Although, they weren't showing their true guns like they should, because this Noodle place is actually a Meat in Window joint! My favorite kind of joint.
I had to hurriedly pick my food from one-of-the-three menus because I was late to this lunch party. I picked the first thing on the first menu I was handed: BBQ Pork Braised Noodle Soup. The star of this show was definitely the BBQ'd Pork. It had an excellent flavor. Wasn't fatty. Wasn't too salty. And one side had a gentle crisp to it. ZOMG, I'm in love.
The braised noodles and soup that came with it were good, but nothing too special.
If you're heading into Ocean City, you'd do well to turn left into the Noodle place.
VIP Luncher: Joe from Joe's BlogLunch: Roast Duck Lunch Special - $7.95
The MSG150 folks were kind enough to let me tag along for today's lunch at Ocean City's unassuming little annex. It's a cramped dining area which is either called Ocean City II or Noodle Cafe, depending on which one of the three different menus you want to believe. The only remarkable feature of the place is an enormous roasting oven that takes up about 3/4 of the kitchen counter, just tempting you to order one of the birds or swine hanging inside.
Unable to resist that power, I ordered the Lunch Special with roast duck. It included a cup of hot & sour soup that might have been the high point of the meal. It was perfectly hot in both senses of the word, and chock full of the stuff that goes into hot & sour soup (bamboo?). The broth was thick and savory, just the way I like it.
The main course came with a scoop of fried rice that was pretty standard, an egg roll that I didn't eat, and about 8 small pieces of roast duck, still on the bone. The duck pieces were rather inconsistent. Some were crunchy, others soft. Some were choice meat, others fatty or sinewy. The one consistent thing among all of them was the delicious roasted skin covering the whole thing.
The portion was on the small side. I probably wouldn't come back here a second time. Also, no fortune cookies! What was the deal with that?
Luncher: JeffLunch: Roast Duck Lunch Special - $7.95
I missed the original voyage, so my only frame of reference is the sequel: Ocean City Part Duex!
The cafeteria style venue had me wondering how "take out" this was going to feel. I decided to order directly off the lunch special menu – which seemed to be written specifically for visitors looking for standard unintimidating Chinese food.
That said, I ordered the Roast Duck which was probably the most adventurous of the pre-fab lunch plates. To be fair, the H&SS soup was good. Not the best I've had in the ID, but better than main-stream Chinese in the suburbs. The generic fried rice left a lot to be desired. It was pretty bland. At least the texture was good. The Duck was pretty darned good. The ducks themselves were only 10 feet away in the roaster so my confidence was high. The duck was nicely prepared and flavorful. I was glad I ordered it. My only complaint was the quantity. They gave me a ton of rice – but not much Duck when you remove the bones from the mass served. For $7.95 it wasn’t the most affordable of the lunch specials – but I didn’t feel it was over-priced either.
Luncher: MichaelLunch: Roast Duck Won Ton Noodles - $5.95
Given the choice of going to OC1 or OC2 I'm going with Ocean City 2. Fast and cheap with a side of awesome. My soup was just right, with savory wontons and chunks of duck to chew on. The dim sum next door was really nice, but this is what lunch is supposed to be. I stole a chunk of Adam's bbq duck when he wasn't looking and it was amazingly tender and fresh. Next time I want duck and pork!!
Luncher: TorreyLunch: Roast Duck Won Ton Noodles - $5.95
Ocean City II: Noodle Cafe PhotosOcean City II, Noodle Cafe
Noodle Cafe Menu
Inside the Noodle Cafe Menu
Congee w/ 10k y/o Egg & Pr0k
Roast Duck Lunch Special
BBQ Pork Dumpling Noodle Soup
Roast Duck Won Ton Noodles
Roast Duck Won Ton Noodles
BBQ Pork Braised Noodle Soup
Noodle Cafe Shrine
04/15/08 - Fixed typos. Thanks Rob.