A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend a private tasting at Origination Noodle House in Markham (North Scarborough, South Markham). This is their second location as the original one is located in downtown Chinatown. The restaurant specializes in cuisine from the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan. Walking into the restaurant, it looked really colorful and cozy. The walls are clad in ceramic plates, and diners are greeted with hanging bright lights. Its refined designs has strong Yunnan inspirations, as several decorative pieces and items were brought over from the city.
Our group of 7 started off with some drinks; passion fruit soda and lime soda. The drinks were served in plastic bags, which is reminiscent of the night markets in China. Not the best for the environment, but the drinks themselves were refreshing and sweet.
In addition to noodles, Origination Noodle House has a pretty good selection of appetizers. Out of all the ones we sampled, my favorite was the Deep Fried Squid Balls ($6.50). I enjoyed its chewy texture and the flavoring was on point.
I am actually not a fan of Marinated Pork Hock ($6.90), so I didn’t really like this dish.
We opted for the Cucumber Salad ($6.90) – with soy and sesame sauce as our vegetable appetizer. Cucumbers add a lot of crunch and refreshing flavor to many salads such as this one. The large chunks of cucumbers were covered with shredded carrots, drizzled with peanut butter sauce, and topped off with peanuts.
The Chilled Shredded Chicken ($5.50) – Chinese vinegar, green onion and tofu slices was simple, but it was the perfect appetizer for summer. However, there should be a little more pieces of chicken and less of the tofu slices.
One of their specialties is the Origination Yunnan Rice Noodle, which is their version of the “Crossing The Bridge” noodles. No MSG is added and it’s made completely from scratch. They have a few soup options, but my go-to soup will always be the Tom Yum Goong ($11.90) – rice noodle with coconut milk, lemongrass, bass, fermin serrano ham, pork, black fungus and tofu skin. The soup base had a nice spicy kick to it without being overwhelming, and no additives. Additionally, the portion was very generous, and one bowl could easily feed two people. You can also customizes your noodles with the complimentary cart carrying an array of spices and sauces.
The Tofu Rice Noodle ($8.90) – tofu, pickle, and minced pork was a rather bold dish with a lot of flavors. It came with a lot of vegetables and tofu. Make sure to mix it well before you enjoy the dish.
Another favorite of mine was the Yunnan Style Fried Rice Noodle (beef) ($11.90). Rice noodle is a staple in Yunnan cuisine, and this dish was relatively vibrant in flavor.
Chilled Rice Noodle ($9.50) – with chicken with cucumber, carrots, chicken and minced pork
For dessert, I got the Bubble Lu ($3.20). It had a pleasant coconut flavor (from the coconut milk), and was pretty sweet. I find that the Asian palette towards desserts is that they like subtle sweetness. So, some people might find this dessert too overly sweet.
Red Bean Yogurt ($4.20)
Overall, Origination Noodle House is a pretty solid restaurant as it’s affordable, portions are generous, and their food was good that I’d come back again.
Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.
Address: 633-661 Silver Star Blvd, Scarborough, ON, M1V 5N1