Frequently Asked Questions - Food

Is there any way I can find out the nutritional value and calories in Noodle Nation dishes?

Noodle Nation is committed to providing freshly made, great value, oriental food to our customers. Although, we can't provide specific calorie or nutritional specific information at the moment, we do have plans to do this in the future. However, wok stir frying allows for less oil to be used in the cooking process and the ingredients retain more nutrients
Because we make our dishes to order, customers do have the option to tailor there dishes to suit the requirements. If you want to reduce the calories in your meal, you can ask for your dish to be made with less (or without) ingredients that are naturally higher in calories.

Noodle Nation uses traditional wok stir frying to prepare dishes. Does this have any health benefits?

The wok offers a quick, healthy way of cooking. While preparation and organisation are involved, this is usually offset by quick cooking times – stir fries are an obvious example. In terms of health benefits, the woks wide surface area means that less oil needs to be used to cook food. Also, the fast cooking of stir fries retains the nutrient values of the ingredients to a larger extent than other cooking methods.

Does Noodle Nation cater for customers with special dietary requirements, allergies or food intolerances?

At Noodle Nation, we cook all our dishes freshly and we'll always try to amend our dishes to suit our customers special dietary needs. We often get asked questions regarding the following:

Allergies & Food Intolerances:
Although we do cater for customers with mild allergies and intolerances, we are extremely aware of the risks involved in our business and our style of cooking. Traditional wok stir frying is an extremely vigorous process and we cook our dishes to order. We have both seafood and nuts in our kitchens and there is a slight but very real risk of cross transference of ingredients during the cooking process on the wok cooking range.
We have catered for customers with allergies since we opened our restaurants 10 years ago but we do feel that customers should be aware of the very real risk in our kitchens. For this reason we do have a notice on all of our menus, making sure our customers are aware. However, when a customer states they suffer from an allergy, our procedure in store should prompt a manager/supervisor to actually speak to the customer regarding our cooking process. Also, all of our staff on starting are taken through an allergy awareness worksheet and are taught how to process an order for a customer with an allergy.
Generally, if a customer makes us aware of an allergy, we will ensure that we use certain woks, certain oils and avoid using certain ingredients. Similarly, we will take extra vigilance in our cooking process. Again, although this does not completely stop of any traces of a certain ingredient being in a dish – it does limit them to highest level we can attain in our cooking environment. However, as stated, customers should be aware of this issue and make a free choice to eat with us knowing these facts.

We do have an ingredients/allergens guide in store but due to the above factors we re-iterate this is a guide only.

Vegetarians:
To let you know, we are and always will be happy to serve vegetarians at Noodle Nation. In fact many of our staff (and customers) are vegetarians. We are one of the very few oriental/asian restaurants who use vegetarian oyster sauce and vegetarian chilli oil and although we have a 'not a vegetarian restaurant' warning on our menu, this is to make our customers aware of the very minimal risk which exists in our kitchen. This risk exist in other restaurants but they do not always make their customers aware. We however feel it is only right to make vegetarian customers aware of the issue.

We do use the same woks to cook meat and vegetable dishes but please note, we wash all woks thoroughly between uses - i.e. a dish that was used to cook a meat dish would be used to cook a vegetable dish but only after a thorough cleaning process. This is exactly the same process that is used in other restaurants. Also, we only use vegetable oil in store to fry goods and have a vegetable stock in our soups.

In regards to preparation, we use separate equipment to prepare our raw meats, cooked meats, dairy & vegetables - this is best practice and common sense in any restaurant, as it avoids cross contamination of potentially dangerous bacteria.

As you may or may not know, we cook the vast majority of our dishes fresh to order using the searing effects of traditional wok stir-frying. This is an extremely vigorous process which literally tosses the ingredients in a wok. During this process, we have identified a minimal but real risk that ingredients may be transferred between woks. Over a 10 year period this has happened rarely. However, the risk still exists. As we care about our vegetarian customers, we felt it was right to put a warning on the menu – which highlights this risk – However, all noodle nation vegetable dishes never knowingly contain any meat or poultry or ingredients of meat origin.

Halal:
At Noodle Nation we use halal chicken breast. However, we do not consider ourselves a halal restaurant.
This is because there is a very slight but real risk that different ingredients can be transferred during our cooking process. Traditional wok stir frying is a very vigorous process and during the action of 'throwing the wok', ingredients could be 'tossed' between the different wok stations. Although we thoroughly clean our woks between cooking every dish, the very slight possibility of this cross transference does exist - Therefore, we do not advertise ourselves as a halal restaurant, despite the fact our chicken is halal.
We employ a wide variety of employees and I can confirm that many of our waiting team across the business and also a few of our managers are Muslim. They regularly eat chicken dishes and are aware of how we cook and where we source our chicken.
Other meats in our business are not halal. We strongly feel that unless we can make our kitchens 100% halal safe (from the minor risk that exists), we will not advertise this fact. Please note that we are currently looking at sourcing more halal products at the moment and may change this policy if we can confirm that all ingredients are halal safe.

Gluten Free Diets and Coeliacs
We can cater for customers who have wheat allergies. Generally, as we cook our dishes to order we can take out any wheat based ingredients. Customers with wheat allergies should be aware that soy sauce contains wheat. However, our rice noodles (mai-fun and ho fun) do not use wheat flour and are safe for those with wheat intolerance to eat.
Some dishes may use wheat based ingredients in the preparation process and unfortunately, we can not amend these to order. If you do have an intolerenace to wheat, please do make our managers aware during your visit, before you order and they will be able to help.

Are your prawn crackers vegetarian?

Our prawn crackers do contain prawn and are therefore unsuitable for vegetarians.

Does Noodle Nation serve authentic oriental cuisine?

Noodle Nation has been serving our version of Oriental Food for over 10 years. All the directors have grown up in the Chinese Restaurant Business and have great knowledge of Chinese food. One of the main reasons we opened our restaurants was to make good value, Great quality Chinese food accessible to the majority. You won't find our restaurants 'exclusive' but you will find our menu is packed with 'chin-glish' classics and also traditional dishes too. Whether your a traditional Chinese foodie or simply love good British Chinese classics we think you'll find something to love on our menu.

Does Noodle Nation have a executive chef?

In regards to our senior chef team: Peter Man our Area Chef has grown up in the British Chinese restaurant industry and has worked over 20 years in Chinese kitchens. David Birch our buyer has a formidable cheffing resume having worked in the RAF catering core around the world for decades before joining us. Shi Zhao Wang our area chef has over 20 years of cooking in restaurants in both Beijing and Peking. This dedicated team of chefs are in constant contact with the head chefs of each of our stores, thinking of new dishes to put on the menu or how to improve what's already there.

I have a suggestion for your menu. What should I do?

We are really passionate about our food and love to get feedback and ideas from our customers. If you have a suggestion, please do send it into us. Remember to add as much detail as possible and we'll see if we can re-create the dish. If your lucky, it may make it onto the menu or one of our specials boards.

I love your food and would like to try cooking them at home. Can you help me with the recipe?

Our senior chef team would be happy to help you with recipes. If you you want to get some tips on cooking chinese food, please feel free to e-mail in.
Later this year, we hope to bring out Noodle Nation cook book to show you how you can cook great Noodle Nation style dishes at home. We'll also begin selling authentic oriental ingredients to help you get started.

I would like to bring a group of children to Noodle Nation. Are you happy with this and do you have a childrens menu?

We love having children in our restaurants and feel it's our duty to increase their Noodle Knowledge! Our portions tend to be quite large, so we've created our Noodle Nippers Menu (under 10's only). We've taken some of our most popular dishes and made them into mini kids versions.
You'll also find loads of noodle games on the back of our table menus – hopefully, this will entertain the kids whilst you tuck in! We regularly entertain big parties of children and have plans for bringing out some specific party packages later this year.

Can we take alcoholic drinks away that I've bought at Noodle Nation? Can I have a beer while I wait for my take out meal?

Noodle Nation restaurants have licenses that allow us to serve alcoholic drinks with food that's going to be eaten in our restaurants. We're really sorry but we can't let you take alcoholic drinks away from our premises – it's against the law.

Similarly, were not allowed to serve a customer a beer or wine whilst they wait for their take out to be prepared. This is against the law and could end up with us losing our drinks license outright.

Why does the Noodle Nation menu change from time to time?

We always try to keep our menu constantly evolving at Noodle Nation to meet our customers needs and taste preferences.Therefore, certain dishes may come off of our menu if they are not popular, to make room for dishes we feel our customers will like.
We also bring out a specials menu 4 times a year, to give our customers new flavours and taste experiences. If the dishes on these specials menu are popular enough, they may even make it as a permanent fixture on our menu. If you have any opinions on our dishes, please do tell us.

I ordered a take out/delivery - Why was my meal not ready within the suggested time?

Please know that our propsed collection & delivery times are our best estimates. We try really hard to get your food prepared and cooked as soon as possible. It's worth noting – we don't sell fast food...we serve fresh cooked food as fast as possible. Consequently, there may be a wait while we cook your order. Generally, we aim to have all collections and deliveries ready within 45mins – however, times may be longer subject to quantity, level of business and type of dishes ordered.

Why can't I add extra ingredients into my dish like extra veg or prawns?

At Noodle Nation our rule is basically, 'we can take ingredients out but don't add extra ingredients to dishes' (the only reason we take ingredients out of dishes on request, is that some customers may have an intolerance).
We take great care in making our dishes the way we think they should be served, and generally don't add any ingredients or change specification in dishes. However, our menu is pretty comprehensive, so we do think that you should be able to find something you like.
The only things that we can add to dishes as an extra are are chilli and garlic, as we view these more as flavourings than ingredients.
If you feel our dishes and the ingredients in them should be changed on the menu, please tell us using the contacts page.

Why don't you do kids meals to take away?

Unfortunately, we don't do kids meals for take out or delivery. However, we have plans to introduce a noodle nippers take out option in the future. Our portions are pretty big though, so you may find there is enough to share.

Why are my sides here at the same time as my mains?

We don't serve starters at Noodle Nation. We are an Oriental canteen and we serve our side dishes at the same time as our main meals. If you would like a side before your main to whet your appetite, please make sure you ask your server at the time of ordering – if not you will receive it as a side order to accompany your main meal.

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