Use your noodle
SK Noodle Chinese & Vietnamese Restaurant2955 N. McCarran Blvd.
Reno, NV 89431
Upon entering SK Noodle, the word that came to mind was “spare.” They haven’t gone all out on the décor. The walls are mostly bare, with a few pictures (of different colored smoothies, interestingly enough) lining the lengthy side walls. The place is narrow and long, but not confining. There are a few paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, but the whole effect is one of sparseness. Perhaps without meaning to, SK Noodle delicately promotes its take-away option.
But we didn’t want to take away; we wanted to sit and be served. And soon we were, by a young, well-dressed man who explained the menu professionally and patiently. After a solitary day of grading papers, I was hungry. I went for the vegetarian spring rolls ($4.95) and ordered one for my husband, assuming one serving would never do. When they arrived, however, I swallowed in surprise. The spring rolls were extremely large and the peanut sauce more than ample. They were, however, also quite tasteless. Mostly rice, it was up to the sauce to give it a kick, which it did, but it could not compensate for everything. Our friends shared a chicken salad ($6.50), which was also so big they had to take some home to save room for their main course. Their salad was good and the veggies crunchy, but, well, it was nothing to write home about.
Then came our main courses. My husband had the shrimp in Szechuan hot sauce ($8.95). It turned out to be one of the tastiest dishes on the table. It was wonderfully spicy, if salty, and the shrimp were done well. It was certainly, I hate to say, superior to my meal, which was listed under the chef’s specials: walnut shrimp ($9.95). I’m still not quite sure what I ate, but I stopped after eating half of it. On a bed of wilting lettuce, were numerous large, fried shrimp covered in a white sauce that looked and tasted too much like mayonnaise. On top were strewn candied walnuts, which were a nice touch, but nothing could get me over the glut of that thick, white sauce.
Our friends’ meals were great. They had the chicken with cashew nuts ($7.75) and the beef with scallions ginger ($9.95), both of which were to their liking, especially the latter with its interesting blend of spices. The vegetables were fresh and the sauces complex enough. The meat, however, they both admitted, was a bit on the fatty side. It wasn’t bad, they hastened to emphasize, but not the best they’d ever had. Keep in mind, however, that our entire bill was $65, with tax. It was a tummy stuffer, which was what we came for.
SK Noodle delivers and also offers lunch specials between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily. Some of these are quite a deal: Shrimp with lobster sauce ($6.95) and honey garlic chicken ($5.95), to name just two. Although we stuck with water, their drink menu is also quite extensive and interesting, for example, the taro milk pearl ($2.50) or fresh young coconut juice ($1.95), even the name of which is tempting.
SK Noodle isn’t the best Chinese food I’ve had, but it was flavorful and the service was quick and professional. So if you’re in the neighborhood and tired of the same old places, it’s definitely worth a try.