Fortune Noodle House blends tastes in the Highlands

Fortune Noodle House
Fortune Noodle House's Phnom Pehn style rice noodle soup hits the spot on a chilly winter day.
— image credit: Tracey Compton, Renton Reporter

The owner of Kent’s popular Saigon Rose has opened a new and similar restaurant in Renton’s Highlands. Huong “Shawn” Tran opened Fortune Noodle House in December, after closing Saigon Rose last April.

Tran said he can’t escape his love for cooking, which brought him back into the restaurant business.

“It’s like my passion, you know,” he said. “Even when I’m at home I cook.”

Tran has been cooking in restaurants for 33 years, ever since he came to the U.S. from Vietnam.

Tran came to America by way of a refugee camp in Thailand, escaping communism in Vietnam. He spent nearly a year in the refugee camp, but said it was one of the best times of his life. He was 17 years old and didn’t have to pay any bills, he said.

And even back then he began picking up on Thai tastes, which he now incorporates into his menu.

Tran eventually made it to Olympia, where he began cooking in a Chinese restaurant. He isn’t formally trained as a cook, but said cooking has always been a hobby that he’s learned from different people throughout the years.

In 2001 he opened Saigon Rose in Kent, his first restaurant, which he says was successful in business for 13 years.

“I got tired and it’s a little far away from home, so I sold it in April 2013,” Tran said.

But after four months, Tran felt he needed to do something, so he and his brother Tony Tran opened Fortune Noodle House closer to his home in Renton.

The menu features an ample selection of dishes from many Asian cultures from pho to teriyaki. Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese noodle dishes are equally popular, Tran said.

The restaurant’s Phnom Penh Style Rice Noodle soup ($7.95) is a Cambodian dish that’s popular in Vietnam and here in the states, Tran said. Each bite of the complex soup has a different taste depending on what ingredients you nab. The steaming broth has shrimp, barbecue pork slices, fish balls and quail eggs. The barbecue pork adds a sweet and savory taste, while the quail eggs add a nice rich texture. Add the spices that come with the meal and the soup is a spicy feast for the adventurous.

The Wonton soup ($6.95) with pork and shrimp wontons is also a top seller. The soup is flavorful and fresh with hearty pieces of bok choy.

Both soups are perfect for a chilly winter day.

Fortune Noodle House also features an extensive Thai menu full of curries and an equally lengthy menu of chef’s specials, including Mongolian Beef, Kung Pao Chicken and Dancing Tender Beef.

The restaurant is located at 4004 NE Fourth St., Renton. Fortune Noodle House is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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