“The proprietors are on to a winning combination”

92 NOODLE BAR: FORE STREET, IPSWICH

TIMING: WEEKDAY LUNCHTIME

Having been through many commercial incarnations, this Fore Street venue now plays host to 92 Noodle Bar, a family run Asian restaurant.  Boasting a tagline of ‘The Art of Chinese Food’, we sent in our mystery diner Danielle, to see if the food was indeed a masterpiece or in fact a dud.

92 Noodle bar, ipswich

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

It’s a slightly off-putting location; on a very busy one-way system and conscious of not wanting to slow down to take a proper look, I had to double back along the Waterfront to find a parking space.  However, if you can park on the Marina, it’s free for 3 hours.  SCORE 3.5/5

AMBIENCE & GREETING

The building is of historical significance in the area and upon pedestrian inspection, does have a welcoming charm about it.  My companion and I were greeted immediately upon our arrival, with warmth and sincerity.  SCORE 4.5/5

SERVICE

The speed of service was perfect for a lunch visit.  Enough time to peruse the menu, but efficient with the drinks order and then the dishes of food.  The friendly & professional combination was perfect.  SCORE 5/5

MENU

Annoyingly, the owners have decided to display the menus in freestanding Perspex holders and this unnecessarily cheapens the experience.  However, the choice is excellent and just about enough different food to whet the appetite.  The dishes average around £7.00 each and add to this the fact that every single main dish comes with two (small) sides and the proprietors are on to a winning combination.   SCORE 4.5/5

FOOD

Our table opted for Udon noodle soups; one with won tons and one with meats & king prawns.  The won tons, well-sized prawns, meats and vegetables were all delicious, but (as I have often found in Asian soup cuisine), the chicken broth was under-seasoned and a little bland.  SCORE 4.5/5

TOILETS

The venue has a unisex toilet which was adequately presented, but on the basis that the venue has undergone extensive refurbishment, should have had more money allocated to it from the budget.  So often, toilet facilities are poorly conceived and this was no exception.  SCORE 3/5

STANDARDS & DÉCOR

The building is full of character and has been well-restored over the years, added to by some well thought out touches by the new occupiers.  It most certainly isn’t oriental in its ambience, but this doesn’t detract from the overall experience.  SCORE 4/5

92 Noodle Bar offers a great alternative in the Waterfront area for lunch (and dinner) and should do well.  The food is very good in terms of taste & value and if management does more to advertise the venue from the main road - as well as its display boards on the Marina - then it should quickly get a loyal client base.

Overall score 4.1/5