Does Yi Zheng Fishball Inc. Have The Best Fish Balls?
If there's a fish ball capital of the U.S., I would think it's Eldridge St. with its fish ball restaurants and fish ball factories. I was strolling down Eldridge when I see a bright and clean sign that says Yi Zheng Fishball Inc. At first I didn't know if it was a restaurant or only a factory. As I took a closer look I still couldn't tell, since there were no tables inside, or menu in the window, but there did appear to be people dining at long counters facing each of the side walls. Walking into the restaurant I became more confused, because there still were no menus or any sign of prepared food. And the gal behind the counter, who didn't speak English, only tried to sell me bags of frozen fishballs. But since there were several people eating fish ball soup inside I persisted. Finally the gal called to one of the customers, who effectively placed my order. And I'm glad she did because in my opinion these were the best fish balls I had eaten in New York Chinatown. Now granted, my taste buds may be different because my positive assessment was based on the extreme smoothness of the fish ball, and the relatively small amount of meat filling, which for me was a perfect combination. Perhaps others of you prefer a rougher fish ball with more meat. But this was fine with me with eight large fish balls in soup for $3. I thought some of the diners had noodles in their soup but since there's no menu I can't say for sure. Yi Zheng Fishball Inc. is at 9 Eldridge St., an address it seems to share with Ka Wah Bakery.
Yi Zhang Fishball
9 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002
This is the spot I was referring to in Chef HBD’s thread on Tangxia Wang Fu Zhou:
Yi Zheng opened just after Thanksgiving last year. I’ve stopped in several times and each time they keep telling me an English menu is forthcoming!
The owner is a very friendly man named Tony Liu（劉 or 刘 Liú). There are at least two waitresses and one of them speaks some English. I think you may be right Chandavkl about Yi Zheng having the best Fujian fish balls – I’ve seen many customers just come in and buy their frozen ones and at least Fujian mother with child in tow, told me they are the best.
On one visit they took a sample delivery of some egg noodles from a local Fujian vendor, quickly made Peanut Sauce Noodles and offered me a plate.
Great photos. I've never seen a dining layout like that before. Some restaurants may have a short counter facing the wall but I've never seen long counters like that on both walls with the middle of the premises open. I guess that means it's more of a retail shop than a restaurant.