Issei Noodle, Carlisle, PA

54 West High St.
Carlisle, PA 17013

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Issei Noodle

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(717) 243-7826
Open Tuesday - Saturday
Lunch: 11am - 2:15pm
Dinner: 5pm - 8:15pm Last Order

by Danielle Bussone

Issei Noodle restaurant is a unique merging of cultures, authentic Japanese udon and ramen noodles side by side with Vietnamese Pho.  The restaurant comes by it honestly as owners Robert Pham, is Vietnamese and his spouse and partner, Naomi Pham, is Japanese.  Their two daughters, Chané and Tash create a perfect fusion of the two. This is a first generation family owned business.

Rich and I ate at Issei Noodle about a year ago when passing through Carlisle, Pennsylvania and have not forgotten the experience. It was reminiscent of our years in Japan where we often took a train to Tokyo just to slurp down a hot bowl of ramen noodles or udon with fresh vegetables.  Imagine our delight to find an authentic Asian noodle restaurant right in the heart of Carlisle! This year as we made our annual trip to Central NY to visit family we made it a point to revisit Carlisle and to visit Issei Noodle.  It did not disappoint. We even witnessed a young Asian man holding his bowl to his mouth and drinking the broth directly from the bowl in true Japanese fashion and other Asian customers sucking down noodles from heavily laden chopsticks making slurping noises which would have made our parents grimace. It was truly an authentically Asian experience though the restaurant was filled to capacity with western diners as well. Not all dishes are vegan, there are plenty of options for your carnivorous friends as well.

There are three vegan appetizer options. The first is a spring roll of lettuce, rice noodles, daikon and basil leaves wrapped in a rice wrapper and served with a plum sauce with peanuts for $4.00. The second is a vegetable gyoza, a fried crescent shaped pasta filled with tofu and vegetables served with soy sauce. You may also order boiled edamame.

For the entree, there are five vegan options.

I had the vegetarian Don-Buri ($9.00) which consisted of seasonal vegetables and tofu with a sweet house sauce over rice. I asked for extra vegetables and no tofu, which was no problem. You can add a side of miso soup for an extra $2.00.

Rich ordered the Yasai Udon Yaki ($9.00) which are pan fried noodles tossed with fresh seasonal vegetables in a creamy miso sauce.  This had a curious flavor of cream and cheese, though there were no animal products involved.  It was really quite delicious.

Rich and I usually share our meals. I couldn’t decide which I liked best, they were both so good.

The next day we decided to visit Issei’s for lunch. I wanted very much to try their vegetarian Pho ($8.00) as I am a great fan of Pho. We splurged and ordered three entrees including the Vietnamese Vegetarian Pho in a veggie broth with Asian mushrooms and an assortment of fresh vegetables, bamboo shoots, cilantro and green onions.

We also had a cold  Vermicelli Noodle Salad for $8.00 which features rice noodles with sliced onions, lettuce, fried shallots, roasted peanuts, spearmint, cilantro, cucumber and bean sprouts topped with fried vegetarian gyoza served with ginger and  a sweet soy sauce. I did not expect to like this as much as I did. I couldn’t imagine cold noodles as something so appetizing.  It was great and one of my favorite dishes there.

The Veggie Tofu Ramen, at $9.00,  was very good as well. These are Ramen noodles cooked with fresh seasonal vegetables, tofu and wakame seaweed. Needless to say, we practically waddled out of the Issei Noodles but we were a couple of happy vegans.

Issei Noodles is a must if you are traveling anywhere in the vicinity of Carslile, PA off  Interstate 81. We plan to return as Robert and Naomi have agreed to do a cooking video for us in the near future.

 

 


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