Chinese Small Bites

Went to a new “izakaya” in the Far East. I was excited because I loved going to Japanese bars after work and getting BBQ meat in skewers (yakitori). Unfortunately, Grill Noodle Bar is not an izakaya. They don’t have their liquor license yet and their food is decidedly not Japanese, but Mainland Chinese…👲

The cuisine is Chinese shaokao (BBQ) or xiaochi (small bites) which consists of skewers of meat, seafood, or veggies heavily spiced with Chinese Five Spice Powder or Cumin. 🍢

When I say it’s heavily spiced, it is almost unbearably spiced here. The spices overpowered the actual food and I guess it would even out if there was actual beer to wash down the extremely salty items but there was only a weak boba milk tea that was entirely flavorless. 🥤

We got most of the skewers and my favorites were the fish balls and prawns. The chives were inedible. The mutton was also so dry it was jerky-like on a stick, extremely hard to eat. They heavily use the same spices so everything started tasting alike, but just with different textures. 🍡

Between the food, the service and the price I wouldn’t come back unless they work out the kinks. We were there for almost 1.5 hours and 30 minutes was wasted because they forgot to put in our food order. The baos are obviously frozen and microwaved, then put on a steam bamboo tray so presentation is good, but the food isn’t great. I had high hopes too. 😓

I’m hoping it’s because they’ve been open less than 2 weeks and like other restaurants, are severely understaffed. They did give us some custard baos as a sorry for the fiasco. I see they’re trying, so I might come back when they have their liquor license and see if having a beer to wash down the food would change the experience. 🤷‍♀️

Grill Noodles Bar
2301 N Zaragoza Rd Ste 209, El Paso,
(915) 300-0039

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