There just aren’t enough good noodle joints in Oxford (please set me right if you disagree) so I was thrilled to see the sign for the new Tse Noodle café on Ship Street, where Heroes Sandwich Bar used to be.
Should I immediately pop in for a quick slurp of spicy soup? Oh yeah!
The bottom line: my bowl of Chongqing Spicy Noodle was flavoursome, the pork slices on top were meltingly soft and delicious, and the thin wheat noodles had a firm texture. The whole dish gave me a satisfying street-food vibe. But while there was some heat to the dish, I wanted more Sichuan fire, the kind that numbs your lips and then sends you back for another bite, and another, and another.
Unfortunately, as it’s a one-man operation there was no-one to ask about additional condiments and I never did get the extra spice I wanted. This is the main caveat about Tse Noodles. It’s cosy and warm inside, but as the chef shuttles back and forth between cooking and taking orders I found the service very, very slow. When I first entered, he handed me the paper menu and a pencil to mark my choice, but the wait afterwards was much too long, especially as fragrant orders arriving at tables next to me stoked my hunger.
In the end, I just got up and gave him my menu as he cooked; the same operation worked for payment at the end. If you do visit, and I suggest you do, don’t be shy about pursuing what you need. And find out where the extra sauces are hidden!
PS, it’s cash only.
According to Google, opening hours are 12-3pm and 5.30-9pm 7 days a week. If you visit, let us know what you think!
8 Ship St, Oxford OX1 3DA