Let me show you what mountain bikers eat, I said to my daughter as we pootled around Northampton on our bikes at the weekend.
That’s how we ended up at Mothers Wok and Sushi because it is pretty much directly opposite the bike rack on the Market Square at the end of Abington Street.
Town planners and shop owners please take note. I used a business because I was able to lock my bike up within sight of its front door. There is nowhere along St Giles Street to lock bikes. Real cyclists travel from coffee stop to coffee stop. It wouldn’t hurt to stick some big staples in surely…
Anyway MWS is a one of a growing number of quick and easy noodle joints in the town centre.
It’s not about the decor or the ambience that’s minimal and functional. It’s about another choice for fast food that leaves you change from a tenner at lunchtime but offers you something healthier than chopped up cow and potatoes from a deep fat fryer.
At Mothers there is a Wok option and a noodle soup based option. We went for noodles which then triggered a choice of noodle, a choice of filling and a choice of stock.
We went for chicken and threw in some vegetable sushi and a couple of cans of diet coke to bring the bill for Sunday lunch to well under £20 for the pair of us.
With the benefit of hindsight and having gone the soup route, the drinks and the sushi were completely unnecessary. In fact the noodle soup on its own, which comes with Asian veg and a boiled egg in every bowl, would be a really filling and tasty meal even without the chicken filling.
Sometimes the offering at a noodle place can be a bit sticky and make you feel like you’re going to be up all night high on monosodium glutamate. No fear of that with our soup which was steaming, delicious and came in a generous portion.
My only real complaint would be the plastic cutlery which, notwithstanding the minimalist aesthetic, was just a little too basic to give you confidence it could do the job. You will hunch over and scoop.
Especially if you have kids, if you haven’t tried one of these places give it a go as an alternative to burgers and chips. The build-your-own nature of the dishes is a fun element and you’ll end up with a healthier option becoming part of their diet.
Noodles is also the food of science fiction, so you can hunker down with your Japanese street food and pretend you are in a scene from Bladerunner 3.