In the wet and cold New York City Fall, it wasn't long before I needed a comfort food fix. The taste, aroma and feel of steamy egg noodles are what I turn to for comfort food.
There are many noodle shops in New York City's Chinatown in Manhattan. I randomly decided on Noodle Village 粥麵軒 along Mott Street. Perhaps it was the rustic looking signboard that attracted me as I was hungry and hurrying along Chinatown's crowded, narrow, grey streets looking for a quick escape to warmth and comfort.
Inside Noodle House 粥麵軒, the decor in the small narrow restaurant was straightforward with the appropriate Chinese touches. It felt welcoming.
Noodle Village has an extensive menu of noodles, rice and congee, but for today I shall try just the noodles, which came in the dry and soup versions.
Service though not warm was efficient. Hot Chinese black tea was served in a clay cup, the moment I sat down.
The restaurant was busy and I waited about 30 minutes before my order of dry wanton noodles 幹麵 was served.
The wanton noodles arrived nicely plated.
The large mound of blond angel hair egg noodles were garlanded with blanched choy sum greens, topped with large shrimp dumplings, garnished with a sprinkle of chopped spring onions and drizzled with a dribble of brown sauce.
The slender angel hair egg noodles were eggy with a slight "lye water" alkaline taste 鹼水. Many people dislike the taste of "lye water" but I actually enjoy a light touch of alkaline in my wanton noodles. It's the way I remember wanton noodles were in my childhood. (When I was a child, my next door neighbour was a wanton noodle seller who made egg noodles in his tiny flat.)
The texture of Noodle Village's noodles was springy and crunchy which are the marks of good egg noodles.
I liked these noodles.
But, the savoury sweet brown sauce was quite sparse. Despite vigorously tossing and folding, I couldn't fully coat the generous amount of egg noodles on the plate with the brown sauce.
Fortunately, the chili sauce came to my rescue.
The gritty chili sauce was savoury balanced with mild spiciness and slight sweetness. The sauce was held together by mildly spicy chili oil.
I enjoyed this chili sauce and heaped several teaspoonfuls onto my noodles. This helped to make up for the sparse brown sauce to coat the noodles with flavour.
The noodles came with five of these good size shrimp wantons.
The shrimp wanton was average. The eggy wanton wrap was thick, the shrimps were slightly mushy and didn't have that coveted bouncy crunch of fresh shrimps.
The accompanying soup was a watery and mildly savoury sweet broth. The soup was likable (and did not have MSG in it).
I am happy with my visit to Noodle Village 粥麵軒.
For my next visit, I shall try Noodle Village's soup version of wanton noodles 湯麵. I think it would be perfect for me. Slurpy noodles in watery, savoury soup would not have the problem of wiry dry noodles.
Restaurant name: Noodle Village 粥麵軒
Address: 13 Mott Street, NYC, New York, USA
Hours: 10:30 am – 11:00 pm
Tel: (212) 233-0788
Date visited: 20 Nov 2014
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