First there was the sausage. No, wrong beginning. Now it is the noodle. Asian noodles have become popular in Vienna. There is a stand that sells Asian Fast Food Noodles almost everywhere. Still, these noodles are pretty much junk food nothing more. They don’t reserve the right of being of high quality food-wise. But there is an alternative: XO Noodles.
It first opened on Hoher Markt but had to close down since the building it was at became a construction site. So now they moved to the Ringstrassen Galerien on Karlsplatz – Oper and re-opened a few weeks ago. And since I first tried these noodles when they closed I had to try them again now they re-opened. Now the Ringstrassen Galerien are a Shopping Mall Deluxe so the atmosphere is different than in a regular restaurant. The new XO Noodles are in the atrium part of the mall so people can look down on the place from above. It is not like a regular Asian Noodle fast food place. You just don’t go there order your fried noodles with crispy duck and leave. It is a bit more complex than that. They use a module system.
First you choose what you want to eat: either their wok or their noodle soup. Then you decide with what you like to have it, e.g. veggies, tofu, beef or seafood. Then you choose what kind of noodles and what kind of sauce. From the beginning I knew I’d like to have the wok with udon noodles, as they are my favorite noodles (supposedly the noodles are homemade and fresh every day). With the sauce I was kind of undecided. I didn’t feel like spicy but then there is only sweet-sour and peanut-lime creamy sauce left. Well, I decided for the peanut one cause I don’t like sweet n’ sour. Somehow it is unfortunate because I had hoped for more options from the non-spicy side but then there are only five sauces to choose from anyway.
Still ordering is not that easy. Because I was heading straight towards the counter which is most prominent and that was were you got your food from. So I was send from there to the correct one. For newcomers it might be challenge. So I explain. First, you need to go to the booth were you order the food and there you also get your drinks, then you get a coupon, you sit down and wait until you see the number on the coupon on the screen above the counter where you get the food from. Simple, no? Yes, in the end it is not that complicated. Maybe they expect lots of people and have the fear of traffic jams if they use just one counter. So decided to introduce this system of having two counters.
Anyhow. I ordered my food at the correct counter and I sat down. And: I didn’t have to wait for too long. Niiice! But ok, there were only a few people. It was five in the late afternoon. So I guess I should not expect to wait for too long. The size of the meal is decent, the prices are: well, it is not an Asian fast food place somewhere at a U-Bahn station so it is more expensive. The taste is great! Yes, the ingredients are of higher quality than at the fast food places. But it is more like a snack than a full meal.
Info: XO Noodles at Ringstrassen Galerien; Kärntner Ring 11 – 13, A-1010 Vienna; internet http://www.xo-noodles.com; mail firstname.lastname@example.org; phone +43 1 533 83 90; fax +43 1 533 83 90 – 16; opening hours Mon to Sat 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; you can pre-order your noodles on their website to eat it there or pick them up for take-away