Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series: Noodle Topia
We were told you all needed a break from wings, so enjoy these noods!
Dublin is already home to a broad array of Asian food, but we were excited when we heard about the opening of Noodle Topia next to 101 Beer Kitchen. Don’t let the banner over the Mimian sign fool you, Noodle Topia is definitely open. Those of you that went to Mimian Asian Grill will still feel it haunting Noodle Topia a bit, with the same circular wall images, but the overall mood is totally different starting with a wall as soon as you enter and a dimly lit atmosphere.
The above photo was stolen with no ill will from Alex White via Google, but this was a better layout shot than what we took. It gives a nice view of the chalkboard in the background showing specials and other menu items (some sold out). Noodle Topia also gives you the entertainment of watching one of their cooks making the noodles. If you’ve never watched someone slap noodles around and turn a small amount of dough into long stringy noodles, you need to get yourself to Noodle Topia. As someone incapable of making simple pasta, watching the hand pulled process of noodle making is and will continue to be awesome.
Now that we’ve set the stage, time to get to the spicy dishes.
We started with the By-Gee-Mo (Pork Bun) with pork belly meat in a baked Chinese bun. We’ve had pork buns before, but this one was a bit different. Not only is the bun baked and more of an English Muffin style bun, but the pork belly appeared to be diced into tiny chunks. Fatty bits of pork with some other trimmings made this easy enough to split between myself and the lady of the farm, but could easily be eaten by one person. While it doesn’t look the most appetizing, the pork is packed with flavor and a perfect use case for the pepper paste below.
We also took down the Soup Dumpling with juicy pork meat inside, but smashed through those before remembering to snap a photo. Overall good quality and came out super hot (temperature-wise), so watch for that. I ended up dunking mine into my noodle broth, which you’ll see shortly. You can also apply the tableside pepper paste to any of your dishes or plop a dollop into your soup.
See that? It’s beautiful. Great smell, excellent layer of heat to add to any dish. We put it on dumplings, we tossed it into the pork bun. The lady of the farm even dropped some into her Braised Beef Noodle.
If you’re looking for the spiciest dish on the menu, it has to be the Szechuan Noodle. Spicy beef broth, fried ground pork, soybeans, ground garlic, peanuts, preserved Szechuan pickle, green veggie, cilantro, green onion and sesame seeds. We were warned that it was pretty spicy, but I pulled out my pepper pro badge (not a real thing) and assured them it would be fine.
When it came out I got an immediate flavor of the szechuan peppercorns, a spice I’ve grown more accustomed to over the past year. Looking deep into the bowl I noticed the noodles aren’t quite uniform, with different thicknesses, reassuring you that “yes, these are in fact hand pulled.” A little more cilantro than I typically like, but it was time to mix all of the ingredients and try this dish out. Also, props to u/lol_admins_are_dumb for setting us straight regarding the peppercorns. There are other peppers afoot in this dish, but the szechuan peppercorns primarily provide flavor and some numbing.
The first punch in the mouth comes after the savory taste of the beef broth. The pepper rides the back of that wave, waits for you to lower your guard, then POW, right to the back of the throat. All of the little flakes you see floating around in the above picture are parts of the peppercorns and other peppers. They taunted me, encouraging me to continue consuming, so I obliged. The noodles are perfect. Great texture, easy to bite through, and as long if not longer than your forearm. My nose had started to run and from time to time a pepper flake would hit me, reminding me of the heat and a couple times making me cough in surprise.
Noodles gone, I drank the remainder of the broth, partially because it was delicious and partially to rescue the chunks of ground pork that were hiding at the bottom of the bowl. Like sunken treasure, each drink of broth got me closer to those little nuggets that had been soaking up the liquid my entire meal. Finally, I uncovered them and finished them off quickly (using the spoon a bit because chopsticks are hard with ground meat).
Broth gone, belly warm, nose running and mouth slightly on fire, I sat back and thought hard about where this dish ranked. It was not quite to the intensity of the Level 4 Red Dragon Ramen from Fukuryu, but was definitely above Meshikou and their Mala Ramen. Noodle-wise we cannot recommend this place enough and for me at least it could be the best noodles we’ve had in the city. With the pepper paste on the table, you could crank this dish up several more notches, but without that, we’d place the Szechuan Noodle at #16, just ahead of Tweeters Devil’s Breath Wings and below the Quaker Steak and Lube Triple Atomic Wings. It’s not the spiciest dish in Columbus, but we’re all for new tasty noodle spots in the city.
We overheard one of the hosts saying that they are still technically in a soft launch, but if you’re in the mood for some noodles, give Noodle Topia a shot. Noodle dishes with a spicy broth are the perfect way to warm up as we get into the cooler months. You can find Noodle Topia at 7541 Sawmill Rd, Dublin, OH 43016.
Look below for more in our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!
You've read about spicy, now try the spicy
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