Super happy and excited for my friends and the debut of SKAL and also to bring a little bit of Iceland to NY. Before it was SKAL, the space used to be Les Enfants Terribles, which a lot of us had been to during our time in grad school.
If any of you had been to Les Enfants Terribles, you would remember that giant U shaped bar, which I thought was unnecessarily big for that tight space, and how dim the place was. So I was surprised, when I got a sneak peek of the place, at how airy and light the space is now. I totally love what my friend did to the space and it was great to see his vision of SKAL come to life. While there, we were also given a sneak peek of the drink and food menus. True to his Icelandic roots, there are a lot of seafood…raw and cooked.
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Sure, the place is called Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles, but on a recent visit I had the knife cut noodles. If you’re not familiar with the technique, they take a big hunk of dough and use a knife to slice off thin, ragged noodles of various lengths and thickness. Since each noodle is unique, you never know what you’re going to get. I got them fried, instead of in a broth, which this type of noodle I think is the right way to go. Less interesting were the cucumbers in vinegar, which were surprisingly bland — they can’t hold a candle to the ones we had at Biang!
Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles — 1 Doyers St., NYC
Lily Ng, the manager of May Wah Vegetarian Market (and daughter of its owners), is not a vegetarian. Or, as she put it, “not yet.”
May Wah was created by Lily’s mother, who came to New York from Taiwan. Raised as a Taoist vegetarian, Lily’s mom was disappointed with the options for vegetarians in New York. In Taiwan she had hundreds of different vegetarian foods available to her, but the most she could find here was vegetables and a little tofu. Determined to bring some of vegetarian Taiwan to NYC, she created the shop in 1995 and began importing vegetarian products from Taiwan.
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On a quiet street in the sort of empty area in Chinatown sits a tiny restaurant, Cheeky Sandwiches. Definitely one of those places you’ll miss if you blink. The space is small and the door to get in is smaller but the owner is all heart. He’s super friendly and makes one of the best fried chicken sandwiches in town. This is one of those places I regret not going sooner.
Delicious fried chicken on a bed of slaw topped with gravy and between a biscuit. What better combo?
– Cheeky Sandwiches 35 Orchard St, NYC
At the moment I have 83 places saved on my To Eat list. Everyone has one. The problem for me though is that a good half of those places are way out of my budget so therefore I will probably never gonna go. But a good handful, I’m sure I will..someday. Like just few days ago, I was able to cross off 2 from the list. Cheeky Sandwiches (which I’ll post about later) and Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine. Funny thing, I have walked by Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine so many times but never once did I think to go in. It took someone else to write about it, then I read it and then found myself looking for it after eating at Cheeky Sandwiches.
They’re known for their fish balls, heck “fish ball” is part of the name but since I already ate, I decided to get a plate of their rice noodles with peanut butter sauce. For $2, you get a plate of warm slightly chewy rice noodles with peanut sauce on the bottom and a bowl of soup. The peanut sauce was really nice and definitely loved the chewiness of the rice noodles. I never had this dish, warm, it is always cold or at room temperature but it was delicious.
Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine 118 Eldridge St, Chinatown
After attending the Dirt Candy book release party our friend Melissa joined us for dinner at Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles in Chinatown. (As I mentioned, we didn’t get much to eat at the party.) On the way over we kept going back and forth between going there or to Great New York Noodletown, and by the time we arrived at the restaurant I was really craving some noodles. I was glad to see that they offered a vegetarian broth along with their tofu noodle soup, which came with the tofu on the side. I didn’t learn until afterwards that you can order your hand-pulled noodles in different thicknesses, but the default ones were awfully good — silky smooth with just a hint of chewiness. The broth was a bit mild, but some chile oil and cilantro brightened it right up. I’d love to go back for some of the pan-friend noodles, and I’ll definitely go for some thicker ones next time.
Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles — 1 Doyers St., NYC
There has been much chatter over the internet about finding the best wontons in the city. This is how I found about Noodle Village in Chinatown. I sat down and ordered the wonton and fishball with lai fun. Next to wide/flat noodles, lai fun is my next favorite. It is more smooth and silky than other noodles.
The lai fun at Noodle Village was definitely smooth but a little chewier than I wanted, but still quite good. The two slices of fish cake were pretty standard stuff. As for the fishballs they were good but lacked the bouncy texture…the snap you get when biting into one. Though of course I was there to try their wontons. So how were they? They were delicious!! Seriously delicious. The wontons were on the smaller side of wontons but had a nice snap to them. Overall a great bowl of noodles but wished it was a little bit bigger, I’m a big boy you know.
– Noodle Village 13 Mott St, Chinatown