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Sep 13, 2006 12:14 AM

NY Noodletown Report

Hi All:

I am bummed to say we tried Noodletown on Sunday and didn't think it was that great at all.

We ordered the Wonton Soup (hold the noodles) and roast pork. The wontons were delicious as was the roast pork, but the broth had an old foot/fishy smell and didn't taste so great.

The duck rolls were great if you like almost burnt rolls that when bit into oozed oil all over your face.

Next up the baby pig over rice. It was good...crispy, flavorful, but the white rice was cold and old.

Next the beef with flowering chives. Pretty much over the top salty beef in a glippy gloppy brown sauce...heavy on the chives and light on the beef.

The chow fun with roast pork was flavorless and oily.

And the sauteed green beans which were supposed to be in a garlic sauce were in a white gelatinized sauce. Yuck.

Lastly was the salt baked shrimp. The shrimp were hot and large and flavorful, but really just tasted like fried salt shrinp. I don't know what all the hype is about them. Is there some sauce that I dont know about?

Could this have been an off day? I know some of you have this place in your Top 5. I kept waiting for the next dish to be great and by the end of the dinner each one of us said this place is very "average".

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  1. I just had the Salt Baked Shrimp about a week ago. I really haven't been able to stop thinking about them they were so good. Very simple but perfect. I think I also had a noodle soup with roast duck which was fine. I can't wait to go back to try the other salt baked items.

    1. No, there's no sauce on the salt-baked items.

      I think that this is a difference of taste, not an off day. You probably shouldn't give the place a second chance, but I really want to hear from you when you find a Cantonese/Hong Kong-style place you like, because I want to go there!

      1. I am really sorry and can only advise you to give it one more try. That said, I have had disappointments there as well and for that reason usually stick to the roast pork wonton (hold the noodles!); the chinese veg in oyster sauce, and soft shells. I think many of their noodle dishes are kind of dull, frankly. BUT I also notice that the broth in the soup varies a lot depending on either the day of the week or, more likely, the time of always seems better at lunch maybe cause it is fresher, I am not sure. I think it might be hard for the place to live up the all the raves it gets here... I still go, mainly for solo lunches in winter, but my new favorite is Oriental Garden for dishes other than the soups. You need to get there soon and try the mixd Chinese vegetable dish, the one for $12.95 or so; the fried oysters; and the crabs among other things that I do not know yet.

        11 Replies
        1. re: erica

          Why do you get the wonton soup without the noodles? I actually found them tough, is that why? Just wondering. The broth is very rich and a little funky but in a good way, I think. It may vary according to what they have on hand.

          1. re: prunefeet

            Prunefeet: Erica told me to order that way (hold the noodles), so I did :)

            We did go late in the day. We usually eat before shopping but this time my sister had eaten at Brother Jimmy's a few hours before, so we had to hold off as long as we could so that she would be hungry again. LOL

            1. re: jenniebnyc

              Oh Jennie, at least SOMEONE takes my advice sometimes! I ask to hold the noodles not cause they are bad but with the noodles and the won tons in the dish, I am always too full to get something else. And the noodles are not fabulous.... so that isi the reason I mentioned it....I think you made the right choice but for $$ purposes, adding the noodles would really fill you up. Happy eating! I think you are my neighbor, by the way..I lived on 54th for many years and recently moved south a few blocks.

              1. re: erica

                Yes, I live in the Brevard.....6 years now!!
                Thanks for all of your tips. I'll keep sharing!

            2. re: prunefeet

              I love their noodles, particularly the egg noodles they use in their soups. They're nice and firm and hold up well to the hot broth. Not really sure why anyone would pass them up. Also love the fact that they obviously use a certain amount of fish stock in their broth (which I believe is the source of the smell the OP found offensive). Very Cantonese/Hong Kong style.

              Preparations can vary a bit at NY Noodletown -- it is basically a quick diner kind of restaurant after all -- but I do think that these complaints are more a taste issue rather than an off-day issue.

              1. re: Woodside Al

                I would agree that is was a taste issue with me, but the amount of cornstarch and salt in the food was overwhelming. Plus I had three other critics with me that i didn't coax for opinions, but gave me them anyway.

                1. re: Woodside Al

                  My noodles were not egg noodles, I would guess cantonese noodles, very very thin and firm...I usually do like them quite a bit, but these were somehow too firm. Didn't dampen my enjoyment one bit though! I may hold them next time simply to have room for more food though, now that's a strategy Erica!

              2. re: erica

                Thanks Erica. I LOVE Oriental Garden. I always have a good dim sum meal there.

                1. re: jenniebnyc

                  I have already resolved to go there for dim sum one of these days.

                  Any other Cantonese/Hong Kong-style places you like in Manhattan?

                  1. re: Pan

                    For the past few years we really just go to New Green Bo or Joes Shanghai when in Chinatown. We get soup dumplings on the brain and automaitcally head to one of these.

                    I used to like Jing Du alot, which is by us, but they have gone downhill over the past year. My sister loves Wu Liang Ye (sp?)...she and her husband order it every Friday religiously. I think they order from the location in the 80's maybe?

                    1. re: jenniebnyc

                      Jennie have you tried Phoenix Garden off Second in the 40s? A noisy, basic place but better than some around here. Also, did you hear about the new Chinese/Asian/seafood place opening this week on 50th Street? In today's Times....

              3. some of this is definitely due to a difference of taste. the duck (and shrimp) rolls have been quite greasy and fried to a very well-done state whenever i've had them, but i really like them that way. not something i'd eat every day, but rather an occasional treat.

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