Eating Alameda: Ark on Park

My friend and I were headed to Alameda one weekday evening to grab a bite to eat. Park Street is filled with lots of restaurants and it appears more and more restaurants have been opening up there lately. Although Ark Chinese Restaurant has been in the neighborhood for a long time, it is a place I never noticed. But when my friend said they have hand pulled noodles, I was convinced to try it.

The last time I ate at a restaurant where you can actually watch noodles being pulled was when I was in Hong Kong.

We were sadly just a party of two and I say that because I would have liked to have been able to order more items to try. We still ordered four items, way more than we could eat.

We had the xiao lung bao which are the dumplings that hold meat and soup inside. As you bite into them, you get a nice squirting of delicious soup. For that reason, they are also known as juicy buns. The ones at Ark have thicker skins and overall were satisfying.

Although reviewers talked highly of the garlic noodles, these were not the hand pulled noodles. We decided on the chicken noodle soup instead. The hand pulled noodles were soft, thin, and tasted great. The broth was light and it had the right amount of thinly sliced white meat chicken. My only complaints were that the bok choy was overcooked and the temperature of the dish could have been hotter.

The Ark braised egg tofu came out next. I assume they attach their name to it because it’s a signature dish. It definitely tasted like one. The tofu has a light crispiness to it on the outside but a delicate softness on the inside. It was mixed with two kinds of mushrooms in a brown sauce. This is an excellent vegetarian option.

I wanted an additional vegetable so we ordered the stir fried string beans. Although it was cooked with garlic, it was flavorless.

Overall I enjoyed Ark. I look forward to more visits so I can try more items like the green onion pancakes, crispy chicken wings, and garlic noodles!