Called to the noodle bar

Full House Noodle Bar, Common Garden Street Lancaster.

Full House Noodle Bar, Common Garden Street Lancaster.

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FANCYING something different for tea, the Lakin family headed out into Lancaster a couple of Fridays ago to sample the food at the recently opened Full House Noodle Bar in Common Garden Street.

The restaurant is situated on the first floor of the building, above K.F Oriental Food Store, formerly of Lancaster Market, which specialises in Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, Filipino, Korean and Japanese products.

We’ve used the shop for base ingredients for Chinese recipes in the past and had the restaurant upstairs on the eating out list since it opened.

Planning on having a nice warming meal before trundling along the city’s streets to catch the delights of Light up Lancaster, we arrived at the shop at around 5.30pm and headed to the back where steps lead up to the restaurant.

We were unsure at first whether it was open – there were a couple of kids drawing at a desk at the top of the stairs, and a hoover blocked our path.

We enquired and were assured that it was indeed open, and the hoover and kids were quickly removed to allow us access.

We had to leave our daughter Zoe’s pram downstairs due to another set of steep stairs but undeterred we hastened up into the restaurant.

Before the kids came along, my wife Liz and I spent 10 days in Malaysia, visiting the capital Kuala Lumpar, the island of Langkawi, and the Taman Negara rainforest, the oldest living rainforest on the planet.

Here we sampled the delights of the country’s cuisine, which ranged from beautiful curries to fish head soup, depending on where we were.

Strangely, the fish head soup wasn’t all that bad, as I remember.

But there was no fish head soup on the menu here at The Full House, with an excellent choice of Malaysian and Chinese dishes on offer all at decent prices.

We ordered meat spring rolls, a dim sum selection, seafood chop suey and a Malaysian Laksa curry with noodles.

For drinks I went for a sour plum juice and Liz ordered a Chinese tea.

The spring rolls were excellent, hot, crispy on the outside and stuffed full of mince and vegetables on the inside.

The seafood chop suey was also very tasty, but perhaps could have done with a couple more king prawns. Despite this, it easily fed my son Will and I, who enjoyed it and finished it despite his four-year-old tastebuds.

The Laksa curry was fantastic. It had the consistency of soup, slightly creamy and was full of chicken and noodles.

It also had a great kick to it and certainly did its job in warming us up. I particularly enjoyed the sour plum juice, which had an unusual sweet taste but was very refreshing.

The dim sum arrived a few minutes after we finished the meal, which wasn’t a problem as we were told it would be a little while longer.

I have to say I wasn’t enamoured with the flavour of the little parcels of meat and vegetables but they were hot and nicely presented in a wooden bowl, and they all got eaten.

The environment in the Full House Noodle Bar is certainly informal.

It has a row of stools along a bar at the front window and formica topped tables spread throughout the rest of the room, allowing us to make a bit of a mess without worry.

The restaurant gradually filled up with people as we took our time over the meal and what stood out was the range of nationalities coming to eat here.

The service was friendly, knowledgeable and no-nonsense, and the waitresses and manager made a fuss of the kids which, as always, is greatly appreciated.

The bill came to £25.80, very reasonable, although, I’ll admit we took Will to get a McDonalds cheeseburger a bit later on – those four-year-old tastebuds again!

The Full House Noodle Bar is a great place to go if you fancy a change from the norm, a quick meal at lunch or in the evening, or somewhere informal and new to take the kids.