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The bowl of Seafoood Soup Noodles at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack is enough to share, but why would you? Perfectly cooked shrimp, scallop, squid and sliced fish cake; water spinach and soft, mouth-filling noodles swim in a tasty broth -- good enough to lift the bowl to your lips for the last drop.
That was my dinner at the Chinese BYO on Saturday night, where I sipped tea and my own Korean soju during the meal. I started with a vegetable roll in tofu skin ($2.10), which is served with a fork and steak knife, dipping the pieces in spicy mustard or hot-pepper sauce.
To find Seafood Soup Noodles ($11.95), go to the Lotus Noodle Kitchen section of the menu. There are a lot of other winners here, including Zar Jiang Mein ($7.95), an unusual noodle dish with meat sauce that is a Chinese version of spaghetti Bolognese.
The X.O. Seafood E-Mein ($14.95) sounds promising -- braised, Hong Kong-style noodles with seafood in a sauce made of anchovy, shrimp roe, dried scallop and herbs.
The menu compares the Seafood Soup Noodles to linguine, but in truth, they are thicker and, on Saturday night, they were cooked just a little past al dente -- soft and comforting. They are made in-house.
Lotus Cafe, 450 Hackensack Ave., Hackensack
(Home Depot Shopping Center);
201-488-7070. Open seven days