Restaurant Review: Restaurant Review

Not-to-be-missed noodle house outdoes the owners' first establishment, Tien Hong

TC Noodle House

10901 N. Lamar Ste. B-203, 512/873-8235,
Daily, 10:30am-9:30pm
Restaurant Review
Photo by John Anderson

TC Noodle House

10901 N. Lamar Ste. B-203, 873-8235
Monday-Sunday, 10am-9pm

When I first started enjoying dim sum in Austin, the place to go on a Sunday afternoon was Tien Hong to chow on crispy duck and pan-fried dumplings while sipping chrysan­the­mum tea. As time went by, Tien Hong slowly fell off the radar. Quality of food and service were also declining, and I started to frequent other places on Sunday mornings. Happily, on a recent visit to Austin's Chinatown Center, I discovered TC Noodle House, a haven for Asian noodle lovers that happens to be the newest venture from the same family that owns Tien Hong. In a brand-new, superclean space with very friendly and efficient service in addition to an interesting menu, I sense an upcoming resurgence for the longtime Austin restaurateurs.

The menu at TC features culinary specialties of the Teochew people native to the Guangdong province in southern China. Because of geographical proximity, their cuisine is highly influenced by that of Vietnam, so the menu features an incredible variety of both Chinese- and Vietnamese-style dishes. A house specialty, the Teochew spiced meats are braised and flavored with Chinese five-spice, star anise, garlic, and other exotic spices, then served atop a thick and spicy soy sauce. Cuts vary daily, and our choices were hard-boiled eggs, pig ear, stomach, and duck. We chose the latter, which was probably the best duck dish I've ever had. Another Teochew specialty is rice porridge, a "comfort" dish that can be garnished with a variety of ingredients, and at least four styles are represented at TC.

The emphasis, however, is on a mind-boggling array of egg noodle, rice noodle, and lo mein noodle dishes. Egg and rice noodles are found in deliciously nourishing soups, made with three different fragrant and rich broths. On a cold afternoon, I swooned over an egg-noodle soup with a whole braised duck leg so tender I took it apart with chopsticks. The broth was redolent of five-spice with just a hint of star anise that did not overpower. Garnished with a slice of fresh tomato, a whole plump shiitake mushroom, stalks of crisp Chinese broccoli, and a pickled plum, the soup combined every texture and flavor profile – sweet, salty, bitter, and tart. As I write this plagued with cedar fever, I sure wish someone would bring me a bowl of that stuff right now. Another excellent soup combines egg noodles, homemade wontons, and big, plump shrimp in a flavorful chicken broth, perfect for less adventurous diners.

There's also a wide assortment of pan-fried and stir-fried noodles with a variety of meats, seafood, and veggies, which make hearty and satisfying one-dish meals. Among the rice dishes, the outstanding boneless chicken thigh stuffed with shrimp forcemeat and fried to a perfect crisp, served with hot steamed rice, homemade pickled vegetables, and fish sauce on the side, was the most pleasant surprise at TC and a dish that I'll be back to eat many times. Traditional desserts, exotic drinks, and pearl teas round out the menu at this inexpensive and authentic not-to-be-missed establishment.

Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

If you want to submit a recipe, send it to

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Food Reviews
A Trio of Mediterranean Dining
A Trio of Mediterranean Dining
Just when you thought you couldn't possibly get any shawarma, right?

Wayne Alan Brenner, Sept. 4, 2020

Hot Sauce: Your Lifestyle Is the Target
Hot Sauce: Your Lifestyle Is the Target
What does your favorite condiment reveal about who you are?

Wayne Alan Brenner, Aug. 28, 2020

More by Claudia Alarcón
Savory Characters
Savory Characters
Cooking up the next generation of cocktails

Feb. 6, 2015

Calling the Shots
Calling the Shots
The women defining Austin's cocktail culture

Jan. 23, 2015


TC Noodle House, dim sum, Tien Hong, Teochew, noodles, rice porridge

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle