Hand-pulled noodles were brought to New York City by Fuzhou immigrants who arrived around early 1990s.
Since stumbling upon hand-pulled noodles in NYC, I have been trying out Fuzhou noodle shops that I come across in Manhattan's Chinatown.
One of them is Sheng Wang on Eldridge Street.
Sheng Wang 东方兰州拉面 is a small basement food shop. Bare bones, hand written menus on the wall, spartan but it was reasonably clean, comfortable and welcoming. The sights, sounds and aromas here are like the little mom and pop eateries of Bejing or Shanghai.
I ordered a hand-pulled noodle with ox tail in soup at USD6 nett.
The freshly made hand-pulled noodles were slightly softer than my preference. They were slurpy smooth and clean tasting.
The ox tail were thin slices which were slightly stiff and chewy. Not much beefiness or juice as the meat was most likely deep frozen.
The broth was light and slightly savoury sweet. The tastiness of the broth is easily fixed with a bit of Sheng Wang's homemade chili sauce in oil.
I only have a limited time in NYC, so I won't normally make repeat visits to the same restaurant as there are just too many places to explore.
But, this chili oil was so good, that I had to come back to try a dish that lets me use more of it ;-p
On my second visit the next day, I had a plate of hand-pulled noodles fried with eggs and some leafy greens for USD4.50 nett.
The same smooth, soft slightly bouncy noodles. As expected, the dry noodles held it's firmness better than the soup version. The nicely fried noodles were mildly savoury and tasty.
The real reason why I am back.
To me, everything tastes nicer when my taste buds are
I liked the chili so much that I couldn't resist buying a small tub of this home made spicy chili and oil for USD5. Sure beats industrial bottled chili sauce by miles ;-D
Sheng Wang is located on Eldridge Street which is known to locals as "Fuzhou Street 2". Eldridge Street is also sometimes referred as Dumpling Alley due to the number of dumpling shops here. Most Fuzhou food shops here, including Sheng Wang, sell a combination of dumplings, hand-pulled noodles, noodles in peanut sauce and Fuzhou fish balls.
Restaurant name: Sheng Wang 东方兰州拉面
Address: 27 Eldridge Street, NYC New York (basement shop)
Hours: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Date visited: 6 Jan 2015
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