It does take a bit of faith though, as this is not a restaurant that scores highly on the decor or service meters. Not that staff are rude or unfriendly, but it's not really what this place is about. It's about simple food, prepared with care and served at low prices, the sort of food you can happily eat every day.
Given that this place makes its own noodles and dumplings they were of course top of the list of things to try, but there are a number of other smaller snacks available. While Ms Counting Her Calories was adamant she didn't want to try the pigs ears, we did order both the spring onion pancake and the tea stewed eggs. Spring onion pancakes are a bit of a personal favourite but there seem to be some regional variations in how it is made. This version is thin and crispy, with a strong greenish tinge from the spring onion. Not my favourite style as I like it a bit lighter and more fragrant, but still fine. The tea stewed eggs were again of a perfectly acceptable standard, although I would have preferred a stronger tea flavour to have permeated the eggs.
The noodles and dumplings though were very good given the low prices. First up were the prawn and pork dumplings. With pieces of prawn you could actually see the fillings were moist and full of flavour. The skins too, while looking a bit thick originally, had none of the starchy glugginess you so often get from places selling cheap and nasty dumplings. A little smaller than in many places, but definitely of a better than usual quality.
The noodles come either dry or in soups, and we ordered one of each. The stewed beef noodle came in a very generously sized bowl, the soup nicely flavoured with the herbs and very tender beef. While I thought the amount of noodles was a little disappointing, there's no doubting the superior taste and texture of fresh, handmade noodles.
If noodle soup isn't your thing, you can always go for a dry version. For us that was the fried noodle with pork. The noodles came with a nice, slightly chewy texture, although I'd probably try one of the other varieties next time.
If you don't care that the setting isn't fancy, and are willing to accept service which is quick rather than fawning, One Noodle Friendship is a great choice in the Preston area. And while I don't usually compare different places, if you are interested in trying different styles of noodles you could do much worse than visiting here and Shaanxi-style restaurant in Box Hill. Both handmade noodles, but both quite different in style.
Food - 8
Ambience - 6
Service - 6
Price - 8
417-419 High Street
Preston VIC 3072
Tel: (03) 9478 4590