I was itching to try a new spot for lunch earlier this week. I was over in Convoy and decided to hit up a new restaurant called Facing East Noodle & Bar. I saw a few photos and reviews. What piqued my interest is that they have Xiao Long Bao, or soup dumplings!
Facing East Noodle & Bar is in one of those tiny lots off Convoy. It’s in the same lot as Mapo BBQ, Nozomi Sushi, and Friend’s House Korean. The tiny lot has a security guard that makes sure you’re actually dining in that complex. I’m sure he’d kick you out if you weren’t.
It’s fairly small inside, this photo shows half of the space. To the right of this photo there are a few more tables.
My waitress brought me a bottle of water plus a glass of ice with a lime in the bottom. A nice little touch.
Facing East Noodle & Bar has a pretty extensive menu. Here are the links to the menu if you want to take a look:
Manager Specials | Appetizers | Dumpling Menu | Rice Dishes | Noodle Dishes | Freakshakes and Drinks | Teas | Iced Milk Teas | Desserts
There’s a good variety of food to choose from. While I knew I wanted xiao long bao, I wanted to try one other dish to compliment it.
It was an easy choice for me and I quickly decided to get the Noodles with Sesame Sauce [$8.50] since it’s a dish I love to order at other Chinese restaurants. The noodles come topped with lots of peanuts and sauce. I loved the green onion on top that mixed in nicely to give the noodles an extra little burst of flavor. The sauce has almost a peanut buttery aspect to it since it’s quite nutty. There is a little bit of heat in this dish as well. The heat was on the lowdown though. I could taste a little spicy sensation but it was not overwhelming. The only weird thing was when I got towards the bottom of the bowl therew as a big pool of oil in the bottom. The dish overall didn’t tasty oily but it was weird to be left with this oily bottom. The noodles are nice but not as good as I’ve had at other places that do hand made noodles. It was still a good dish and I would order it again.
I actually finished my sesame noodles and still had a wait before the Pork Xiao Long Bao Dumplings [$10] arrived at my table. It was at least a 30 minute wait for the dumplings! I wish there had been a note or that my waitress would have told me it would have taken that long to get the dumplings since I would have ordered something else on my lunch break. Nevertheless, I did manage to enjoy a few of the dumplings before I had to take off and get back to work.
The dumplings were freshly made and piping hot! I carefully ate the top off to break into the soup dumpling and drank the soup inside. The soup itself had a bit of an off-flavor. I couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was though, just that the soup had an odd taste to it. Luckily the pork filling made up for it. The pork filling was tender and juicy and had a wonderful seasoning and flavor. The skin of the dumpling was nice and chewy as well and thankfully none of the skins on my dumplings broke.
Facing East Noodle & Bar has passed my “will I bring Jake here?” test. Now I can return with him and try more stuff!
Facing East Noodle & Bar
4647 Convoy Street #101c
San Diego, CA 92111