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  • Writer's pictureThe Linguistic Foodie

Han Noodle Bar 汉面吧: Is it worth the hype?

Han noodle bar has a reputation in the Rochester area. People absolutely love it! One girl I talked to said she drives from Buffalo just to eat at Han Noodle Bar. After that, I decided that I needed to try it out for myself!

Because Chinese food is commonly eaten as takeout, I decided to do takeout instead of eating there. Therefore, I can't comment on the ambience of the restaurant. I ordered it on grubhub and it came almost 20 minutes later---that's record timing considering it was a Saturday night and we live 10 minutes away! To me, its both good and a little worrisome that it came so fast.

For an appetizer, I got the crispy tofu, veggie spring roll, and the scallion pancake. The tofu was especially flavorful and I really liked the dipping sauce that came with it. The spring roll and pancake were also tasty, but the same as any other Chinese restaurant (part of me thinks that the pancakes are just microwaved because they are literally the same thing at every Chinese restaurant I've gone too).

For the main course, I chose to try the spicy crispy tofu bun, the General Tso's Tofu, and the stir fry rice noodle. The spicy crispy tofu bun was good but I think it definitely could have used more flavor. The other tofu dish had a very good flavor that kept my mouth wanting more. However, I couldn't help but think if I was going to get food poisoning the day after. It isn't the freshest Chinese food I have ever tasted. For a place that has "noodle" in their name, I was disappointed by the noodle dish. It was very greasy and barely had any flavor, but maybe I just didn't order the right kind. Additionally, I immediately had to spit out the egg fried rice that came with the tofu because the egg was super funky. I threw out the rest of the fried rice because I didn't want to risk getting sick.

Han Noodle Bar is completely Americanized but we can still learn things about Chinese culture and language from the food. With over a billion speakers, Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world so there is no awareness to be raised regarding Chinese. However, China is a massive diverse country that is home to many languages. For example, many people who open Chinese restaurants in America are from the Fujian province of China and speak Fujianese. Because of Mandarin Chinese, there are hundreds of minority languages in China that face the threat of extinction. Some of these languages include Manchu and Bouyei. Since 90 percent of Chinese are Han, minorities are forced to learn Chinese. As a result, language and culture in China are becoming dramatically less diverse. The Hezhen, Oroqen and Ewenki in China's northeast are particularly under threat. Many do not grow up speaking or hearing the languages of their ancestors. Learn more here:

Overall, I had an average Chinese food experience at Han Noodle Bar. I liked the tastes and some of the flavors so I may return for another try--I think they are opening a new location that looks cool--but I definitely don't think it is driving all the way from Buffalo for it. I also recommend Red Sun Chinese Restaurant and Dumpling House. Both of these restaurants also provide decent Chinese food.


Goodbye in the Manchu Script of Manchuria in Northeast China (Sirame achaki)

-Goodbye in the Manchu script of Manchuria in Northeast China (Sirame achaki)

-The Linguistic Foodie :)

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