Today’s visit to Mama Asian Noodle Bar restaurant in the Promenade at Coconut Creek is actually our third time here. Of all our visits, this one was the best, but there are still a few areas that need just a little work.
The location of Mama Asian Noodle Bar makes for a lot of walk-by traffic as it sits inside the popular shopping/entertainment plaza. Outside terrace dining is offered here and on a cool night, takes advantage of everything South Florida.
The inside of Mama Asian Noodle Bar is modern with an emphasis on the color red. It’s quite a comfortable spot to relax and enjoy some Thai inspired dishes as well as some sushi. There are booths and tables along with some seating at a ‘bar’ with some stools.
Today we decided to sit inside as it just finished raining. We got here just in time as a rush of diners arrived behind us. Our server greeted us and went over the beer special, Chang Beer tower for $20 and a bomb for $33 (a tower and two sake). We passed as we just got our craft beer fix just next door at World of Beer. Jeff ordered the green iced tea and I got a soda.
The menu is mostly Thai cuisine with some deviations to include sushi and other Asian varieties from Japan to Vietnamese. We found the sushi rolls to be a bit expensive as compared to other places, so we decided to stick to small plates and split an entrée. Our server was actually really great, which is a little different than we found on our last visit. He was friendly, attentive and even asked the order we preferred our orders to come out. As a side note, after we ordered, we noticed that the sushi rolls were quite large, so it’s possible that the higher price does allow for a larger portion.
The orders came out of the kitchen at the perfect speed, with our soups arriving first, then our two small plates, then our entrée. All the time our drinks were refilled and our server checking on us and almost anticipating our needs. Now onto the food.
Wonton Soup ($5) – Classic shrimp soup with wontons. This was a nice sized bowl of soup and was still so hot when it arrived I had to wait for it to cool a bit. The menu said it was ‘shrimp’ soup, but it was a very delicate, light broth that had great flavor, but I didn’t see any shrimp. It wasn’t overly salty, which I liked and there was some toasted garlic in it as well as some cabbage. The wontons were very large and cooked perfectly.
Seafood Tom Yum Soup ($6) – Shrimp, Squid, Scallop, chili paste, lemon grass, lime leaves, galanga, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Jeff loves this soup almost everywhere he goes and Mama Asian Noodle Bar is on that list. The soup is a bit on the spicy side and the contrast of the lime makes for an interesting tang. The seafood was very fresh and not overcooked.
Vietnamese Fresh Rolls ($7) – Shrimp, imitation crabmeat, cucumbers, bean sprouts, lettuce rice noodles, basil, rice paper, and sweet chili sauce. These rolls are not fried, but in soft rice paper, so they are very light and healthy. Mama Asian Noodle Bar’s version is spot on with lots of flavor.
The basil was fresh and very strong in flavor. Everything inside was fresh and bright with a slight crunch. The one thing when eating these, by the last bite, it seems to always fall apart, but then it almost turns in to a mini salad. The shrimp was very fresh too.
Spicy Three Buddies Salad ($9) – Conch, octopus, imitation crab, masago, scallion, sliced cucumber in a spicy sauce. While the imitation crab seems to the norm at most Thai/sushi spots, we didn’t really mind it here. The sauce tied everything together well and was vinegar based with a spicy kick. The octopus was fresh, and not as chewy as expected, a nice surprise. The conch was sliced thin and was tender as well, with a slight bitterness to it. While we did like this dish, we would probably try a different salad on our next visit.
Chicken Stir Fry in Basil Sauce ($12). Chicken, ginger, onion, pepper, straw mushroom, celery, carrot, bean sauce. The vegetables were outstanding and were very fresh and not overcooked at all. The chicken was all white meat which we really liked to see.
The ginger flavor seemed to be missing, or maybe the basil was so strong it totally took over the dish. Well, it is called a basil sauce, so I guess it makes sense. The flavor of the sauce was packed with flavor and went really well with the fluffy jasmine rice, but we did thing it was a bit greasier than it needed to be.
The prices here at Mama Asian Noodle Bar have quite the range and your total bill can easily creep up. If you watch what you order, or go during lunch, you can keep the total bill low and still enjoy some good food. The noodle broth dishes are huge and make for a great option as we have had those in the past. The service can be hit or miss as found in our past three visits with two out of three being quite good. Our server even asked Jeff if he wanted a refill on the tea and a ‘to-go’ cup. Nice touch.