Recently, we decided to take advantage of Downtown Cleveland Restaurant week by visiting Noodle Cat for dinner for the first time. I’ve attended a few special dinner events there, but we have never actually gone and eaten off the regular menu. During restaurant week Noodlecat was offering one Goyza, any two bowls of noodles, and one desert for only $30. This deal was too good to pass up!
The Goyza we were offered was a seafood variety. We mentioned that my fiancée doesn’t care for seafood so our waiter offered to check if they had another variety they could substitute. Within a few seconds he was back and offered us the pork Goyza, which made us both very happy. This crispy take on a Japanese dumpling were very flavorful and were amplified by the peanut based dipping sauce. We both enjoyed this very tasty starter.
For my fiancée’s noodle dish, she picked the College Ramen ($9). This came with poached chicken, shiro chicken broth, corn, peas, chive, scallions, & chicken salt. The first comment she made was about how this really did bring her back to her college days at Bowling Green. The flavors in the dish were all well balanced and the poached chicken was very tender. The corn and peas added a little sweetness to the dish. The noodles themselves were cooked perfectly and were delicious.
My noodle dish was the “Roscoe’s” Fried Chicken and Ramen (Priced at $13 with two pieces of chicken). I ordered this dish because I was very curious as to how they would prepare the fried chicken after reading the description. It came with two pieces of fried chicken that were coated in panko breadcrumbs, butter, hot sauce, and maple syrup. The noodles came with kale & fried chicken broth. I’ll start by saying the noodles, greens and the fried chicken broth were outstanding. I loved how “slurpilicious” this dish was. It not only had flavor, but it was very fun to eat! The fried chicken however was on a totally other level. The ultra crispy skin was both packed with heat and sweet notes that simply were amazing! After biting through the skin, I found chicken that was perfectly cooked and very moist. This dish for me was a homerun and I really look forward to getting it again.
After these two courses we were both pretty full, but we couldn’t pass up on the olive oil cake desert. The cake was light and moist with a subtle orange flavor. A nice ending to a very filling meal.
Noodlecat offers Happy Hour every day of the week! It was still Happy Hour when we arrived. The happy hour prices on drinks is a great deal. They only have 4 draft beers, but they are all of good craft quality. I had a Dogfish Head 60min IPA, but they also had the Victory Greenhouse Tavern Lager, Sapporo, and a 4th draft that slipped my mind! In addition to these drafts they carried at least a dozen different canned beers and a dozen different bottled versions too. If you are in the mood to share a brew, they also offer 22oz and 750mL bottles. For how small of a restaurant Noodlecat is, I give them props for offering a very respectable craft beer selection. Of course it wouldn’t be officially a noodle house if they didn’t offer some Sake! I’m not an expert in the Sake department, but from the looks of the extensive list I’m sure you can find something that will suit your needs!
Atmosphere and Service
Noodlecat is a fun place to eat. The décor features many pieces of recycled metal and lumber which looks kind of rustic, but it also has a modern feel as well. The service for the night was excellent. We were clearly ahead of the dinner rush, because the restaurant was not really busy. That being said our service for the early evening dinner was excellent. Our waiter was quick, prompt, and very knowledgeable about the menu. Being knowledgeable about the menu was very helpful for us because we don’t eat at many Japanese restaurants.
Overall our first official dining experience at Noodlecat was a success. We loved the food, my beer was tasty, and the service was excellent. We look forward to going back to Noodlecat, especially once Cleveland Indians Baseball season starts! Go Tribe!