Anyway we were shown to a table for two. The place looks new. It's airy and bright but the tables are pretty close together. It doesn't really stand out from any of the other cheap and cheerful Asian joints in the CBD. There is a window at the back of the room where you can see some ladies in hairnets making something but you can't see what as they are too high up. My guess is they're making dumplings. There's also another "glass cage" at the front of the restaurante facing the street where the noodle man makes his noodles. Always a crowd puller so I expect this place will get busy.
Anyway we order a small tapas like dish of jelly fish to begin which I ate because it isn't Steve's thing. It's ok flavour wise but lacks the bounce and chew that I like. It's a bit too mushy and comes with too much liquid.
Steve goes for the stewed beef noodles and I choose the Shanghai rice cakes in chicken soup. We also order some pork dumplings. Steve's bowl is pretty good. Noodles are bouncy, beef is flavoursome enough as is the broth. My rice cakes are pretty bland and there's not much meat in the dish so it's just ok. I wouldn't order it again. The pork dumplings take a while to arrive and they're a different style to the xiao long bao but pretty enjoyable. We struggle to finish them though so take them home and I'm pleased to say they were still good re steamed later on in the day.
I think Noodle Kingdom is not a bad choice on the Swanston Street strip. If in the area I'd happily return but I'd stick to noodle dishes and not the rice cakes.