water, wait for it to come back to the boil and then add half a pint of cold water three times. allowing it to come back to the boil after each one. Then, when they are tender. drain them and rinse quickly under the hot tap. Somen are the same as udon but thinner, and are cooked in the same way, but only add cold water twice. Good eaten cold. sprinkled with flakes of toasted nori seaweed by dipping into tentsuyu sauce mixed with a some finely chopped spring onions and a little wasabi (Japanese hot horseradish


Soha are Japanese buckwheat noodles,. usually only available dried in this country. Slightly speckled and beige in colour. they are straight and flat like udon and come in similar packets. Cook them the same way as sonten. Often served on ice. but also in soups.

Henry Tse has decided that Scotland is ready for noodles. and has opened the Oriental Dining Centre on Morrison Street in Edinburgh. opposite the MGM cinema. There are three eating places; a posh ground floor restaurant, a basement dim-sum bar with Chinese karaoke, and the first floor Ho Ho Mei Noodle Shack. Ho Ho Mei means delicious. by the way. The set up is quite fast food-like. the Pizzaland of noodles. and the menu is a mix and


match one. You choose your noodles at the moment they have Shanghai thick egg noodles, Hong Kong thin ones, Cantonese n'ce vermicelli and thick white udon and have them as a fried chow mein, or as a noodle soup with one of the nine toppings, all of which are familiar carry out menu classics. He plans to add more types of noodles to the menu when we are used to these ones. At the moment they buy in their noodles but soon they will make them on the premises.

Some specialised Peking restaurants make their own noodles which they stretch by hand. Mr Wong at the Premier Mandarin restaurant in Edinburgh gave me a impressive demonstration of this incredible technique, to which he devoted two years of his training in China. He makes a simple dough out of plain flour mixed with water, salt and a little drop of lye water. He then proceeds to throw the dough in the air. stretching it between his hands and waving it up and down like a skipping rope. Once he has done this about 300 times he begins to fold it. doubling the number of ropes and stretching them thinner each time. Within minutes he has a handful of 500 perfectly uniform noodles which he throws into a pan of boiling water and they are ready to serve Peking

_Noodles. Makes sorting through the

Chinese supermarket noodle shelves look like a walk in the park.

Finally, when eating your choosen bowl of noodles. don’t forget to slurp. In Japan, it’s taken as a sign of enjoyment and appreciation.

Places to eat noodles


Peking Court. 283 Sauchihall Street. 353 1003

Peking Inn. 19] Hope Street. 332 8971. Edinburgh:

Ho Ho Mei Noodle Shak. Oriental Dining Centre. Morrison Street. Premier Mandarin. Abercroniby Place. 556 232].

Places to buy noodles


Chinatown. 42 New City Road. 353 2338.

Chung Ying Chinese .S'upermarket. 254 Dobbies Loan. 333 0333

Lim's Chung Ymg. Chinese Supermarket. 63 Cambridge Street. 332 9399.


Sakura F uji. 28 Glasgow Road. Japanese noodles of every type.

Pat ’s Chung Ying Chinese Supernurrket. [99/201 Left/1 Walk. 554 0358.

Real Foods. 37 Broughton Street and

8 Broughham Street. 557 1/9].



I Puppet Theatre 1 1 Ruthven Lane. 339 8444. The inimitable McCullough designed the Puppet Theatre. only this time the McCullough in question is not Ken. designer of One Devonshire Gardens and Malmaisons. but his cousin Ron. A variety of different rooms evoke different moods and feelings the conservatory is Gaudiesque. bright and modern; the Altar room is dominated by. well the name says it all really and the Mirror room allows you to observe your own eating habits. Many dinners ago the restaurant was a farmhouse, then it became Poachers restaurant before it was transformed into its present incarnation. Douglas Painter. head chef and Ian McMaster. sous chef have looked to the Mediterranean for the inspiration behind their dishes and believe in letting the flavour of the ingredients speak for themselves. Their quest for perfection has led them to procure their free range. com-fed chickens from France as they have a fuller flavour than many of the anaemic. battery- bred broilers readily available in Scotland. The menu changes according to the seasons and the rich winter menu

has just started its run. Expect to pay around £35 a head for a full evening meal with wine.

I Eat Out at GHQ. 8-10 West George Street. 332 7060. At long last. Glasgow has its own lesbian and gay cafe/restaurant to complement its expansive night-time scene. Eat Out is open seven days a week from l0am to lOpm serving up everything from coffees (free refills!) to Scottish salmon en croute at £8.25. All tastes are catered for with thick. warming veggy soups to winter salads of stir fried beef for the carnivores.

The team had three days to get the cafe ready and after much sweat and lost sleep. they’ve ended up with masses of stained wood seating. a textile exhibition on the wall and lots of brash. bold colours contrasted with some warm terracotta.

The staff are all charming and are pulling in a varied crowd from older blokes to young guys and gals. The atmosphere is relaxed and there are no mean stares if you want to sit and spin a cup of coffee out over the afternoon while flicking through the day’s papers. For those who prefer to skip the trash and get onto the hard news of the day. the in-house copy of Hello! should prove fruitful.

I The Big Blue 445 Great Western Road. 357 1038. Sandro and Stefano Giovanazzi. the brains

behind Paperino’s and La Parmigiana. are the instigators of this new bar/restaurant crossover. Having been diving at the Great Barrier Reef. Stefano seized upon an underwater theme for the brothers’ latest venture and after watching Jean Luc besson’s film The Big Blue several times. the idea crystallised into the bar’s unique interior. Describing it would take several pages ofsmall print. sojust imagine you're a fish swimming about lazily in the Med. Easy eh?

The Big Blue is

primarily a bar but simple.

value for money pasta dishes are available from noon to 7.30pm for anyone who fancies something a little more filling than a pint of Theakstons. There‘s a strong ltalian atmosphere, with sixteen types of Grappa on offer. ranging in price from £1.90 to £6.70 for the Grappa Cabernet Monovitigni. Alternatively buckle on your sea legs and go for the Sailor’s Rum. weighing in at a hefty 70 per cent alcohol and sold in halfgills at £3 a time. Forget any preconceptions you might have about trendy. pretentious bars. According to Sandro. The Big Blue ‘isn't a young peoples' pub or an old man‘s pub. It’s a cosmopolitan pub’. If you ask nicely he'll tell you about Marco Polo taking pasta to the Chinese.

es 4 t rant

Le Sept

7 Old F ishmarket Close Edinburgh

lunch and dinner Monda to Thursday all day Friday and turday Sundays dinner only

telephone 081 225 5428

9 :- breakfast e morning coffee e lunch 0 afternoon tea 0 pie show meals 0 evening meals re}.- 0 cakes 81 pastries 0 bar late SERVING EXCELLENTFOODAMJDRIM AMDEBELEC‘TIONOFINTERNATTOML WIhES.8PlRTT8NDBEEm OUTRAOEOUSBARPROWTlONB AWONJERFULLYRELAXEDND



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cafe/bat r

350 Sauchiehall Street. Glasgow. GZ 3J0 tele ~ 041 332 7864

The finest teas, coffees and infusions from around the world - just around the corner!

43 William Street West Tel: 031 226 6617






TEL: 041-334 5007

The List 2| October—3 November I994 91