• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
lxt

Great NY Noodletown

50 posts in this topic

As I am not a seafood expert by any means, I wondered if a better (food-per-value) Soft shell crab entre exists in New York. I have been continually impressed with the size and quality of Soft-shell Crabs at GNYNT for several years running. Does anyone do two huge SS Crabs better for $15, or is GNYNT the place?


Edited by mascarpone (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went there for dinner tonight at 8 ish.. There was a five minute wait for a table of four..

gallery_15057_2971_21280.jpg

They were out of BBQ Baby Pig so we ordered the roast pork.. This is just so good.. Crispy salted skin, the meat was not dry and had a sweet soy/wine flavor..The skin had a great crunch to it..

gallery_15057_2971_103982.jpg

Next, came egg rolls which are not pictured.. Actually they were duck rolls.. Please get them when you go there.. They are really good with the red vinegar also.. After the duck rolls came salt baked shrimp.. We asked for a side of ginger scallion sauce.. It also comes with the poached chicken but we think it goes very well with the shrimp..

gallery_15057_2971_92456.jpg

Poached chicken with ginger scallion sauce.. This is a white sauce with ginger scallion as opposed to the ginger scallion in oil sauce we ordered with the shrimp ..

A simple poached chicken breast..Really nice dish..

gallery_15057_2971_143002.jpg

We had also ordered snails in XO Sauce, but they were out this evening.. Finally this dish was for the little one.. Its your basic pan fried noodle.. As good as you would have it anywhere..

gallery_15057_2971_29125.jpg

The place is solid and not too expensive.. The roast or barbecued pork and duck are amazing.. The spareribs as well.. The duck rolls are worth the trip alone.. All the food with 4 beers was 65 bucks.. But thats the thing about Chinese Food or Family style for that matter.. Whether its three or six of you the price is going to be basically the same.. Its right on the Bowery, I parked in a lot outside and walked half a block to the restaurant..

For dessert we went to Blau Gans down on Duane St.. A couple of coups and I am too full to move..


Edited by Daniel (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've eaten here about a dozen times over the last few months, most recently this past weekend for dinner.

While there have not been a lot of posts in the last year or so, many of the older comments still apply. Several of the dishes are great, but others are average or worse ... while this is my favorite Chinatown restaurant, I definitely would not recommend Noodletown to someone without giving them specific advice on what to order. (For instance, despite the name, the noodles are actually not the highlight in my opinion.)

Roast baby pig is outstanding, just like others have described with the thin layers of crispy skin and fat to go with the tender meat. They didn't have it the last time I was there, and in my opinion, the roast pork is not worth getting as a substitute (although I'll admit that what I tried didn't look as good as the roast pork in Daniel's picture, so maybe there's some variability here).

Roast duck is also great, better than any of the other places I've tried in Chinatown; I think it's best with either the flowering chives or pea shoots instead of as a stand-alone. I've also tried the pea shoots with other meats a couple of times (once chicken and once scallops), and these disesh were nowhere near the same level.

Most of the salt-baked seafood is great as well, except for the scallops, which are no good. So get the shrimp or soft-shell crab.

Finally, I tried the congee last time and thought it was very good, but I'm ashamed to admit that's the first time I've had congee, so I don't have much basis for comparison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's DEFINITELY variation in the roast pork. Sometimes it's excellent, sometimes it's not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The suckling pig here is quite good. Their noodle dishes are ok. I really want to try their version of e-fu mein with lobster. It looks great but I don't think I'd be able to finish it off by myself!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's why God invented cardboard cartons.


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, but you know that Chinese noodles never taste as good as when they're served hot and fresh. The appeal of e-fu mein is the "al dente" texture. I'd still take it home but you know how it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's really the noodle soups that are great here - but I prefer the stand-alone wonton soups without noodles - their wontons are so stuffed with shrimp they're practically bursting and there are a lot of 'em in a bowl of soup!

Roast pig is a better bet than roast pork...and they also have baby/suckling pig every day, it's just that they're usually sold out of it after lunch.

Salt & pepper squid, shrimp and when soft shells are around are all good choices.

Plain greens - gai lan or similar are a nice addition.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you mean by e-fu?

My wife and I had wide noodles there on Saturday night. We really enjoyed the Wide noodles with Chicken and Vegetables. My wife, who is Japanese, commented on the al dente texture of the noodles and the distinct egg flavor. These are qualities that many Japanese find appealing in ramen noodles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The skin and layer of subcutaneous fat on the baby pig is where the action is. The meat itself is a bit bland, perhaps due to the animal's age, and doesn't quite have the punch that one often expects in roasted staples like duck or red-cooked pork. My ideal roasted plate here would be two parts duck, one part baby pig, and a small dish of raw ginger/scallion to help cut the fat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been to NY Noodletown in several years, but I'm in NY this week and went for a 3pm lunch. That must be the quietest time of day, since that's when lots of kitchen staff were eating. Spectacular early season salt baked soft shell crabs! Big BIG juicy, perfect. The staff were all eating piles of garlicky pea shoots, so that's what we ordered. Love them. Roast duck also very good. Two big crabs for $18. I'm not used to quite so much salt, but then we're talking about eating Chinese food. Walk carefully, I think they wash the floors with duck fat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds fantastic. I'm texting a friend who is on his way to NYC as I write to let him know he should make a stop for the soft shell crabs. I'm sure he thanks you for the heads up.

Ordinarily I get their wonton soup, but after a bowl of that, I can barely eat anything else. I'd swap soup for soft shell crab, though.



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been to NY Noodletown in several years, but I'm in NY this week and went for a 3pm lunch. That must be the quietest time of day, since that's when lots of kitchen staff were eating. Spectacular early season salt baked soft shell crabs! Big BIG juicy, perfect. The staff were all eating piles of garlicky pea shoots, so that's what we ordered. Love them. Roast duck also very good. Two big crabs for $18. I'm not used to quite so much salt, but then we're talking about eating Chinese food. Walk carefully, I think they wash the floors with duck fat.

You ordered good. Still my 1st or 2nd or 3rd fave in Chinatown.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a classic. Great late-night location too.

I've been going for probably 20 years now... 25?

(Was there once a Little Noodletown? I seem to remember something of the sort...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

some pix from earlier this year:

8335882998_ffdfbda516_z.jpg

roast duck and wonton noodle soup


8334828341_b583c851d2_z.jpg

seafood noodle soup


8334828001_832caaf737_z.jpg

baby suckling pig

yes, I'm in love...


8335882002_01236aa3f5_z.jpg

oyster and chinese bbq pork sizzling casserole

we thought this was the least successful dish of the bunch we ordered


8334827219_97548f280e_z.jpg

stir-fried pea shoots with garlic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, and I'm sure you know this -- New York Noodletown is also BYOB. we had a nice Spanish white wine to go along with most of what we ate. very reasonable corkage fee too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this was at like 1 or 2 am Friday night

8912216346_f18164272e_z.jpg


“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice... their soft shells are awesome...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Their super-simple dishes are also amazing. Congee with fish has raw bits of fish slipped into boiling-hot congee, with the perfect amound of slivered scallion and a bit of soy sauce and, I think hoisin. By the time it's cool enough to eat, the fish is perfectly cooked.

 

The last time I was there I had an amazing appetizer combo - a bit of everything that was hanging in the side window.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been there, once a week for the last 4 weeks.   Every time I come back from a trip, I usually land later in the evening, I stop in there.. It stops me from eating some garbage McDonalds at the airport, knowing I have this on the horizon.  

 

The latest time I was there, last Sunday, i went with 8 people.. 8 people is the perfect number to go with as, those circular tables hold 8 adults comfortably.  I have seen more but, 8 is great.  

 

We ordered lots of things on the menu.  The only new dish we ordered was the oysters and pork.. Fried oysters, roasted pork with mushrooms in this thick brown sauce.. oysters were fried well and very large.. it was a good combo for sure. 


Edited by basquecook (log)

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been dreaming of that crispy pork pictured above.

And fried soft-shell crab.

I think I need to go there soon again....

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      An old friend from England contacted me yesterday via Facebook with a couple of questions about Five Spice Powder.

      Thought there me be some interest here, too.

      Is there anything more typically Chinese than five spice powder (五香粉 - wǔ xiāng fěn)?
       
      Well, yes. A lot.
       
      Many years ago, I worked in an office overlooking London’s China town. By around 11 am, the restaurants started getting lunch ready and the smell of FSP blanketed the area for the rest of the day. When I moved to China, I didn’t smell that. Only when I first visited Hong Kong, did I find that smell again.
       
      In fact, FSP is relatively uncommon in most of Chinese cuisine. And if I ever see another internet recipe called “Chinese” whatever, which is actually any random food, but the genius behind it has added FSP, supposedly rendering it Chinese, I’ll scream.

      I get all sorts of smells wafting through the neighbourhood. Some mouth-watering; some horrifying. But I don't recall ever that they were FSP.
       
      But what is it anyway? Which five spices?
       
      Today, I bought four samples in four local supermarkets. I would have would have preferred five, but couldn’t find any more. It's not that popular.
       
      First thing to say: none of them had five spices. All had more. That is normal. Numbers in Chinese can often be vague. Every time you hear a number, silently added the word ‘about’ or ‘approximately’. 100 km means “far”, 10,000 means “many”.
       
      Second, while there are some common factors, ingredients can vary quite a bit. Here are my four.

      1.


       
      Ingredients – 7
       
      Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Orange Peel, Cassia Bark, Sand Ginger, Dried Ginger, Sichuan Peppercorns.
       
      2.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Cassia Bark, Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Coriander, Sichuan Peppercorn, Licorice Root.

      3.
       

       
      Ingredients – 15
       
      Fennel Seeds, Sichuan Peppercorns, Coriander, Tangerine Peel, Star Anise, Chinese Haw, Cassia Bark, Lesser Galangal, Dahurian Angelica, Nutmeg, Dried Ginger, Black Pepper, Amomum Villosum, Cumin Seeds, Cloves.

      4.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Pepper (unspecified – probably black pepper), Sichuan Peppercorns, Star Anise, Fennel Seeds, Nutmeg, Cassia.
       
      So, take your pick. They all taste and smell almost overwhelmingly of the star anise and cassia, although there are subtle differences in taste in the various mixes.
       
      But I don’t expect to find it in many dishes in local restaurants or homes. A quick, unscientific poll of about ten friends today revealed that not one has any at home, nor have they ever used the stuff!
       
       
      I'm not suggesting that FSP shouldn't be used outside of Chinese food. Please just don't call the results Chinese when you sprinkle it on your fish and chips or whatever. They haven't miraculously become Chinese!

      Like my neighbours and friends, I very rarely use it at all.

      In fact, I'd be delighted to hear how it is used in other cultures / cuisines.
    • By liuzhou
      For the last several years Cindy's* job has been to look after me. She takes care of my residence papers, my health insurance, my travel, my housing and associated repairs. She makes sure that I am supplied with sufficient cold beer at official banquets. And she does it all with terrific efficiency and great humour.
       
      This weekend she held her wedding banquet.
       
      Unlike in the west, this isn't held immediately after the marriage is formalised. In fact, she was legally married months ago. But the banquet is the symbolic, public declaration and not the soul-less civil servant stamping of papers that the legal part entails.
      So tonight, along with a few hundred other people, I rolled up to a local hotel at the appointed time. In my pocket was my 'hong bao' or red envelope in which I had deposited a suitable cash gift. That is the Chinese wedding gift protocol. You don't get 12 pop-up toasters here.
       
      I handed it over, then settled down, at a table with colleagues, to a 17 or 18 course dinner.
       
      Before we started, I spotted this red bedecked jar. Shaking, poking and sniffing revealed nothing.
       
       
      A few minutes later, a waitress turned up and opened and emptied the jar into a serving dish. Spicy pickled vegetables. Very vinegary, very hot, and very addictive. Allegedly pickled on the premises, this was just to amuse us as we waited for the real stuff to arrive.
       
       
      Then the serious stuff arrived. When I said 17 courses, I really meant 17 dishes. Chinese cuisine doesn't really do courses. Every thing is served at roughly the same time. But we had:
       
      Quail soup which I neglected to photograph.
       
      Roast duck
       
      Braised turtle
       
      Sticky rice with beef (the beef is lurking underneath)
       
      Steamed chicken
       
      Spicy, crispy shell-on prawns.
       
      Steamed pork belly slices with sliced taro
       
      Spicy squid
       
      Noodles
       
      Chinese Charcuterie (including ducks jaws (left) and duck hearts (right))
       
      Mixed vegetables
       
      Fish
       
      Cakes
       
      Fertility soup! This allegedly increases your fertility and ensures the first born (in China, only born) is a son. Why they are serving to me is anyone's guess. It would make more sense for the happy couple to drink the lot.
       
      Greenery
       
      Jiaozi
       
      There was a final serving of quartered oranges, but I guess you have seen pictures of oranges before.
       
      The happy couple. I wish them well.
       
      *Cindy is the English name she has adopted. Her Chinese name is more than usually difficult to pronounce. Many Chinese friends consider it a real tongue-twister.
    • By liuzhou
      A few days ago, I was given a lovely gift. A big jar of preserved lemons.
       
      I know Moroccan preserved lemons, but had never met Chinese ones. In fact, apart from in the south, in many parts of China it isn't that easy to find lemons, at all.
       
      These are apparently a speciality of the southern Zhuang minority of Wuming County near Nanning. The Zhuang people are the largest ethnic minority in China and most live in Guangxi. These preserved lemons feature in their diet and are usually eaten with congee (rice porridge). Lemon Duck is a local speciality and they are also served with fish. They can be served as a relish, too. They are related to the Vietnamese Chanh muối.
       
      I'm told that these particular lemons have been soaking in salt and lemon juice for eleven years!
       

       

       
      So, of course, you want to know what they taste like. Incredibly lemony. Concentrated lemonness. Sour, but not unpleasantly so. Also a sort of smoky flavour.
       
      The following was provided by my dear friend 马芬洲 (Ma Fen Zhou) who is herself Zhuang. It is posted with her permission.
       
      How to Make Zhuang Preserved Lemons
      By 马芬洲
       
      Zhuang preserved lemons is a kind of common food for the southern Zhuang ethnic minority who live around Nanning Prefecture of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China. The Zhuang people like to make it as a relish for eating with congee or congee with corn powder. This relish is a mixture of chopped preserved lemons, red chilli and garlic or ginger slice in soy sauce and peanut oil or sesame oil.
       

       
      Sometimes the Zhuang people use preserved lemons as an ingredient in cooking. The most famous Zhuang food in Guangxi is Lemon Duck, which is a common home cooked dish in Wuming County, which belongs to Nanning Prefecture.
       
      The following steps show you how to make Zhuang preserved lemons.
       
      Step 1 Shopping
      Buy some green lemons.
       
      Step 2 Cleaning
      Wash green lemons.
       
      Step 3 Sunning
      Leave green lemons under the sunshine till it gets dry.
       
      Step 4 Salting
      If you salt 5kg green lemons, mix 0.25kg salt with green lemons. Keep the salted green lemons in a transparent jar. The jar must be well sealed. Leave the jar under the sunshine till the salted green lemons turn yellow. For example, leave it on the balcony. Maybe it will take months to wait for those salted green lemons to turn yellow. Later, get the jar of salted yellow lemons back. Unseal the jar. Then cover 1kg salt over the salted yellow lemons. Seal well the jar again.
       
      Step 5 Preserving
      Keep the sealed jar of salted yellow lemons at least 3 years. And the colour of salted yellow lemons will turn brown day by day. It can be dark brown later. The longer you keep preserved lemons, the better taste it is. If you eat it earlier than 2 years, it will taste bitter. After 3 years, it can be unsealed. Please use clean chopsticks to pick it. Don’t use oily chopsticks, or the oil will make preserved lemons go bad. Remember to seal the jar well after picking preserved lemons every time.
    • By liuzhou
      Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, where I live, is sugar central for the country. Over two-thirds of China's output of sugar is grown right here, making it one of the largest sugar production areas on the planet. I have a second home in the countryside and it is surrounded by sugar cane fields.

      Much of this is produced by small time farmers, although huge Chinese and international companies have also moved in.
       
      Also, sugar is used extensively in Chinese cooking, not only as a sweetener, but more as a spice. A little added to a savoury dish can bring out otherwise hidden flavours. It also has medicinal attributes according to traditional Chinese medicine.
       
      Supermarkets have what was to me, on first sight, a huge range of sugars, some almost unrecognisable. Here is a brief introduction to some of them. Most sugar is sold loose, although corner shops and mom 'n pop stores may have pre-packed bags. These are often labelled in English as "candy", the Chinese language not differentiating between "sugar" and "candy" - always a source of confusion. Both are 糖 (táng),

      IMPORTANT NOTE: The Chinese names given here and in the images are the names most used locally. They are all Mandarin Chinese, but it is still possible that other names may be used elsewhere in China. Certainly, non-Mandarin speaking areas will be different.

      By the far the simplest way to get your sugar ration is to buy the unprocessed sugar cane. This is not usually available in supermarkets but is a street vendor speciality. In the countryside, you can buy it at the roadside. There are also people in markets etc with portable juice extractors who will sell you a cup of pure sugar cane juice.


       
      I remember being baffled then amused when, soon after I first arrived in China, someone asked me if I wanted some 甘蔗 (gān zhè). It sounded exactly like 'ganja' or cannabis. No such luck! 甘蔗 (gān zhè) is 'sugar cane'.
       
      The most common sugar in the supermarkets seems to be 冰糖 (bīng táng) which literally means 'ice 'sugar' and is what we tend to call 'rock sugar' or 'crystal sugar'. This highly refined sugar comes in various lump sizes although the price remains the same no matter if the pieces are large or small. Around ¥7/500g. That pictured below features the smaller end of the range.


       
      Related to this is what is known as 冰片糖 (bīng piàn táng) which literally means "ice slice sugar". This is usually slightly less processed (although I have seen a white version, but not recently) and is usually a pale brown to yellow colour. This may be from unprocessed cane sugar extract, but is often white sugar coloured and flavoured with added molasses. It is also sometimes called 黄片糖  (huáng piàn táng) or "yellow slice sugar". ¥6.20/500g.
       


      A less refined, much darker version is known as 红片糖 (hóng piàn táng), literally 'red slice sugar'. (Chinese seems to classify colours differently - what we know as 'black tea' is 'red tea' here. ¥7.20/500g.


       
      Of course, what we probably think of as regular sugar, granulated sugar is also available. Known as 白砂糖 (bái shā táng), literally "white sand sugar', it is the cheapest at  ¥3.88/500g.



      A brown powdered sugar is also common, but again, in Chinese, it isn't brown. It's red and simply known as 红糖 (hóng táng). ¥7.70/500g


       
      Enough sweetness and light for now. More to come tomorrow.
    • By Dejah
      [Host's note: This topic forms part of an extended discussion which grew too large for our servers to handle efficiently.  The conversation continues from here.]
       
       
      Supper: Yeem Gok Gai:

      Mock Fried Rice - grated cauliflower

      Baby Shanghai Bok Choy and ginger

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.