Noodles has been serving pan-Asian noodles, curry dishes and dumplings to Smith College students and Northampton locals since 2008. Like restaurants in Korea and Japan, Noodles has plastic replicas of steaming bowls of noodle soup on display in its entrance way. This nod to authenticity is as about as close as Noodles gets to passing as a legit noodle stand in Japan or Korea.
The Dumplings: the appetizer section of the menu is home to fairly wide array of dumplings, all of the frozen industrial variety. Noodles sells Steamed Vegetable Dumpling, Shrimp Shumai, Thai Chive Dumpling, Gyoza, Kimchi Dumplings, Tiny Dumpling (Beef and chicken), and Steamed Wonton (Chicken and shrimp).
The steamed kimchee dumplings were a light, mildly flavored snack. But compared to the full on, fermented glory of kimchi stuffed dumplings I have had in Korea, these were more like starter kimchi dumplings. With a real steamed kimchi dumpling, you can see the red of the chili glowing through the dumpling wrapper. For Noodles version, think standard veggie dumplings with a little kimchi minced into the filling mix. These and several other dumplings on the menu are vegan.
Dipping Sauce: The sauce was a light sweet soy based dipping sauce, nothing exciting.
Location: Noodles is on the main drag in Northampton MA, near the Smith College campus.
This confirms what we suspected from first visit a couple of years ago.
Now we’re waiting till the Return is over, the students have settled back in again, and we can get up to Oriental Flavors once more for dim sum.