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Noodle Village – Hong Kong Style Food Worth Checking Out

l
Lau Feb 25, 2014 07:27 PM

**For full post and pics**: https://www.lauhound.com/2014/02/noodle-village-hong-kong-style-food-worth-checking/

I wrote about Noodle Village a while back in January 2011, which you can read about here (https://www.lauhound.com/2011/01/noodle-village-good-hong-kong-style-food-in-chinatown/). Since then I’ve gone many times and I realized it’s a better restaurant than I originally thought and I’d actually say it’s one of the best restaurants in Chinatown. Although unfortunately Manhattan Chinatown seems to be starting to die, so the competition is getting pretty weak. Anyhow, I wrote a description of what Noodle Village is before, so I’ll get right into the food.

Chili Oil
They have good chili oil; its chiu chow style chili oil, which is more flavorful than regular chili oil as it contains ground dried shrimp. They make their own chili oil and I believe they sell it as well. While it’s not as good as Bo Ky’s (https://www.lauhound.com/2010/12/bo-k...), you should still definitely make use of it. 8/10

Fried Fish Skin (Zha Yu Pi
)This is a classic Hong Kong snack that I believe is actually Chiu Chow in origin. Its fried fish skin served with a light soup and you’re supposed to quickly dip the skins in the soup. It tastes like it sounds and its good beer drinking food. They do a nice job frying the skins; they are crispy and not oily although I found the flavor of the fish skin here to be a bit too fishy. Overall, not bad but would be better if they used a less fish tasting fish skin. 7.25/10

Spicy Fried Fish Ball (La La Yu Dan Chuan)
These are fried fish balls on skewers covered with a sauce of dried shrimp paste, chili oil, diced scallions and fried garlic. They make their own fish balls so these have much better flavor and texture than frozen ones. The sauce on top is very good and compliments its well. These were quite good and similar to what you would get in HK. 8.5/10

Fried Dumplings (Guo Tie)
These are house specialty. They are somewhat large pan fried dumplings. The skins are a bit thicker, but not really thick. The dumplings are perfectly crispy on the bottom with nice pork and chive filling. The sauce is slightly sweet and spicy soy sauce. These dumplings are quite good and definitely one of the best dumplings in Manhattan. 8.5/10

Beef Congee
This is standard congee with beef slices in it. The congee was nicely flavorful with good texture. The slices of beef were silky and tender as they should be. Overall, it’s quite good congee. 8.25/10

Shatin Style Congee:
Shatin is an area in the New Territories in Hong Kong, it’s known for having good food and I believe chicken congee is one of the dishes it’s famous for. I believe they use chicken broth when they are making the congee as the congee tastes chicken-y. The congee was pretty decent although the chicken itself was a bit too dry. 7.75/10

Cuttlefish Ball Soup
All of their fish balls, fish cakes or cuttlefish balls are good here because they are all handmade by them so the texture is tender and the flavor is much better than frozen ones. The soup is a nice light soup and overall it’s quite good. I definitely recommend this as it’s hard to find non-factory fish balls these days. 8/10

Wonton Noodle Soup
As I’ve discussed before while wonton noodle soup sounds like it should be an easy dish to make it’s actually very difficult and almost impossible to find good versions in the US. Now I’m not going to say this amazing or anything, but it’s a reasonably decent version. The broth is light and not too salty like most places, I would prefer a stronger fish flavor, but it’s not bad. Also, they don’t use MSG here. The wontons are a bit bigger than I would prefer, but they also aren’t the golf ball sized wontons that I hate. The skins are thin and the filling is better than most places particular the shrimp wontons. The one thing is sometimes they overcook the wontons a little and the skins get a bit soggy. The noodles are the standard yellow thing egg noodles. They don’t cook them as super al dente as some places and there is almost no alkaline flavor which I prefer (alkaline salts are used to make these types of noodles). Overall, its reasonably decent, but I’d prefer if the broth had a deeper fish flavor. 7.75/10

Beef Tendon And Brisket Noodles
This is another classic HK dish of stewed beef tendon, brisket and radish over thing yellow egg noodles served with yau choy. They make a decent, but not amazing version here. The tendon and brisket are nicely tender and the noodles they use are decent. However, I’d prefer a more flavorful stew broth. It was decent overall. 7.75/10

Pork with Salted Fish Clay Pot Rice (Xian Yu Rou Bing Bao Zai Fan)
This is clay pot rice and basically the only place that does an reasonable version of this in NY now that I know of now that A-Wah has fallen down. I described it in my previous post and everything is the same, but I also added preserved meats to it (Chinese sausage and salted pork). Everything is reasonably good, but nothing is amazing, but it’s a decent version. 7.75/10

Chinese Broccoli & Yau Choy with Oyster Sauce (Hao You Shuang Cai)
This was pretty standard, but good. The vegetables were perfectly cooked and tasted good with the oyster sauce. 8/10

Fried Buns with Condensed Milk (Zha Man Tou)
I love these and I realized the first time I had they it was a fluke (over fried) and they are actually pretty good. 8/10

Overall, they are trying to do HK style food and its lighter and much better than a lot of what you find in Chinatown. They also advertise no MSG for people who care about that. I’d definitely recommend coming here if you are in Chinatown.

  1. m
    mitchleeny Mar 10, 2014 10:07 PM

    This is one of my 2 go-to places in Ctown proper - when I don't need roasted meats (that place being Noodletown).

    Bonus for me is they deliver to our building and get here in record time so the delivery is usually fine quality. The other day (Saturday) they were slammed, but we 4 still got seated in 10 minutes.

    Lau - have you been to any of the all-you-can-eat joints yet = the hot pot one on Hester or the new Koreanish style one on Grand St.?

    3 Replies
    1. re: mitchleeny
      l
      Lau Mar 11, 2014 05:19 AM

      hester - you're talking about hou yi, I believe, I've been there before they moved but i haven't been there since they moved. I understand the new place has a sauce station which is great bc i like being able to make my own sauce. it's very reasonable, its not great hot pot, but its decent
      https://www.lauhound.com/2013/07/hou-...

      "koreanish style one on grand" - hmm i haven't seen it, also what do you mean when say koreanish?

      1. re: Lau
        m
        mitchleeny Mar 11, 2014 05:47 AM

        Called 99 Favor Taste at 285 Grand St.

        It's Korean-style BBQ, but I imagine a good percentage of customers are Chinese because of where it is.

        From The Lo-Down:

        "The menu centers on meat and seafood cooked at your table and is priced per person as all-you-can-eat. Traditional Korean-style barbecue is $25.99 per person. Chinese “hot pot” meals, where meat is cooked in a choice of broths such as congee-style or kimchi-based, are $21.99 per person."

        1. re: mitchleeny
          l
          Lau Mar 11, 2014 05:55 AM

          ah ok, so its korean bbq and hot pot

          they eat hot pot in korea, but its not nearly as popular as in china

    2. Monica Mar 6, 2014 09:59 AM

      another place to go for lunch when the weather gets better.
      here i am eating a bowl of oatmeal.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Monica
        l
        Lau Mar 6, 2014 11:37 AM

        yah give it a whirl

      2. f
        fourunder Mar 1, 2014 09:56 AM

        Nice post as usual my friend....those dumplings look like those of my youth 5 decades ago... with thicker flour skins and crispier bottoms.

        I see Noodle Village in my future...

        1 Reply
        1. re: fourunder
          l
          Lau Mar 1, 2014 10:04 AM

          yah those dumplings are quite good

        2. foodmonk Mar 1, 2014 03:25 AM

          This is one of my favorite stops in Chinatown. Last time I was there, though, the soup had a very strong ammonia flavor.

          5 Replies
          1. re: foodmonk
            l
            Lau Mar 1, 2014 09:48 AM

            yah its good

            that "ammonia" flavor is from the alkaline salts that you use to make the noodles, but sometimes you get that flavor and im not the biggest fan of when that happens although normally at NV i havent had that happen

            1. re: Lau
              ipsedixit Mar 1, 2014 09:52 AM

              I always thought the ammonia meant that the kitchen actually washed the bowl, instead of just a quick rinse.

              1. re: ipsedixit
                l
                Lau Mar 1, 2014 10:03 AM

                no i believe its due to the alkaline salts if its the same smell / flavor im talking about, which you get alot in wonton noodle soup from the way they make the noodles

                1. re: Lau
                  ipsedixit Mar 1, 2014 10:08 AM

                  No, i know.

                  Was only joking. Just thinking about the food stands in Taiwan. Sorry.

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    l
                    Lau Mar 1, 2014 10:41 AM

                    ohhh haha i thought u were being serious

                    i could use some food stands in taiwan in my life right now

          2. scoopG Feb 28, 2014 03:16 PM

            I wrote about Noodle Village a while back in January 2011...
            ________________________
            Although it is always good to have fresh updates, Noodle Village has been reported on before.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/493604

            7 Replies
            1. re: scoopG
              l
              Lau Feb 28, 2014 04:26 PM

              yah this is the 2nd time ive written it up, but ive eaten there alot of times now so i have a better idea of whats good and its one of the only places doing HK style like quick food type stuff...the kind of stuff people eat at lunch

              1. re: Lau
                d
                diprey11 Feb 28, 2014 07:02 PM

                Yes, we ;like it a lot. I used to work downtown and I had lunch there every other day. Sometime guys from the office would ask if I could recommend a good, authentic Chinese (pan-Chinese?) place and I would take them there--and get beaten up afterwards. Good lunch food nonetheless. Surprisingly decent bo zai fan.

                1. re: diprey11
                  l
                  Lau Feb 28, 2014 07:11 PM

                  why'd they beat u up over it? they didnt like it?

                  1. re: Lau
                    d
                    diprey11 Mar 5, 2014 06:04 PM

                    Not everyone likes an authentic dish. I have no complaints about the kitchen, but they are not really good at XLBs ;-). And, chicken dishes with fermented bean paste made some people think the chicken was not fresh and kinda funny.

                    I liked them a lot and I was sad to read in your review that bo zai fan slipped down: it was not very traditional to begin with, but I liked it a lot.

                    I really, really think they put effort into their noodle soup and I wouldn't think twice about paying a little bit more. Yes, the broth would occasionally taste a little fishy, but I enjoyed it nevertheless, and often I thought it was good fishy.

                    I really liked the place: simple, unpretentious, and as authentic as you can get in NYC

                    1. re: diprey11
                      l
                      Lau Mar 5, 2014 07:00 PM

                      haha well XLB is not something i would order from there and anything with fermented bean paste is not something i would order for non-adventurous types!

                      i didnt say Noodle Village's bo zai fan had slipped down, i said A-Wah's bo zai fan had slipped down and thats an understatement i'd say fallen off a cliff

                      Also what i said about the noodle soup is that its not fishy enough, the broth should be made of dried fish and i dont taste enough fish flavor here

                      1. re: Lau
                        d
                        diprey11 Mar 6, 2014 06:43 AM

                        You can't stop people from ordering what they want: single-person ordering style is not a local tradition so everyone would eventually get XLB and chicken with garlic sauce. :-)

                        Well, I might have some reading comprehension issues, haha, but I am really happy to find out that things are actually better than I thought they were. Again, thank you so much for the review!

                        As for a fishy broth at NV, when you order your broth separately they may offer a few extra pieces of fish you can soak in it. I don't think it's listed on the menu, I would just ask the waiter.

                        1. re: diprey11
                          l
                          Lau Mar 6, 2014 09:41 AM

                          cool will do...my point was that ure supposed to make the broth using dried fish among other things and id love it someone made a really good broth (its hard and a pain in the ass which is why i dont think u find alot of people take the time to really get it right)

            2. s
              swannee Feb 26, 2014 01:15 PM

              How would you compare the wonton noodle soup to NY Noodletown? Do they have roast meats?

              13 Replies
              1. re: swannee
                l
                Lau Feb 26, 2014 02:25 PM

                its a bit different, ill break it down:
                - noodles: ny noodletown cooks their noodles super al dente like most places vs noodle village who's noodles while al dente aren't the super traditional al dente. I'd probably prefer something in the middle, but the alkaline flavor from the noodles is too strong at ny noodletown, so i'd give the nod to noodle village
                - wontons: the wontons are a bit better at noodle village bc they use better ingredients, but as i said noodle village sometimes they overcook the wontons a bit
                - soup: i like that noodle village is relatively light, but it doesnt have as much fish flavor as i'd like. NY Noodletown is saltier, but has more fish flavor but sometimes the alkaline flavor is too strong.

                Overall, noodle village's version is less of a flavor bomb than ny noodletown, but i'd give it a very slight nod

                no they dont have roast meats its not a siu mei shop

                1. re: Lau
                  d
                  diprey11 Feb 28, 2014 11:38 AM

                  Have you had a chance to try "black" dumplings (those with pei dan) at NV?

                  I quite like the Noodletown (they are indispensable and they do stay up late), except for a funny practice of adding the shrimp paste to their broth. Not quite the same league as NV, except for the roast meats. (Oh well--I go to Flushing for my roast meats nowadays.)

                  So... except for beef slices with (jiu cai) flower buds...

                  1. re: diprey11
                    l
                    Lau Feb 28, 2014 04:29 PM

                    actually i keep meaning to try it and then forget...any good?

                    oh yah? where in flushing? ive never been very impressed by the siu mei places in flushing, but its also been a while since ive been to any of them

                    yah the jiu cai hua dishes are quite good at noodletown

                    1. re: Lau
                      d
                      diprey11 Feb 28, 2014 06:53 PM

                      Threre are two places in Flushing, I believe, and I already mentioned those. For pork and squid, the Fottune restaurant all the way down on Kissena Blvd, for chicken it's Fung Kee next door.

                      You asked if those were any good on the absolute scale and I guess you already know what my answer was: they are very good by NYC standards.

                      1. re: diprey11
                        l
                        Lau Feb 28, 2014 07:08 PM

                        oh yah forgot about that...ill def check them out!

                        haha absolute means anywhere not NYC that would be relative

                        1. re: Lau
                          d
                          diprey11 Mar 5, 2014 06:17 PM

                          Well, ya know, I've never formally recommended them as I--honestly--do not know how much of your time it is worth to get there. I think they are better than in Manhattan, and it makes me happy, but by how much better exactly?

                          1. re: diprey11
                            l
                            Lau Mar 5, 2014 07:01 PM

                            well i probably like shao la more than most people, i can shao la with rice and be very happy and there are decent but not great places in NY, so if there was a place that was serving good stuff i would go visit it

                            if you haven't noticed i really like cantonese food

                            1. re: Lau
                              d
                              diprey11 Mar 6, 2014 06:31 AM

                              Then I would suggest you try these two, and start with Good Fortune since they changed ownership a few months back--and you never know which way it could go, but right now they have the most silky 叉燒 one can get in NYC. The dimsum place is really bad so I just get the roast meats. And while you are there check out Carnation bakery across the parking lot for green bean pastries.

                              1. re: diprey11
                                l
                                Lau Mar 6, 2014 09:39 AM

                                oh yah now ure talking my style...叉燒 is my fav since i was little and any type of bean pastry is right up my alley, i like old people desserts

                            2. re: diprey11
                              d
                              diprey11 Mar 6, 2014 09:41 AM

                              Also, these two places make their roast duck somewhat differently, so it might make sense to compare. In fact, both of them were good in their own way, but I would rush with Good Fortune: unfortunately the quality of their roast duck started to fluctuate after the change of ownership.

                              1. re: diprey11
                                l
                                Lau Mar 6, 2014 11:36 AM

                                i'm trying to figure out exactly which restaurants ure referring to:
                                1) Foo kee: is this it?
                                http://www.yelp.com/biz/foo-kee-seafo...
                                2) Good Fortune: I'm not sure which place this is, the only thing i could find on yelp with fortune in the name is Good Fortune super market?

                                1. re: Lau
                                  d
                                  diprey11 Mar 7, 2014 09:26 AM

                                  1) The link you have (富记, 136-14 38th Ave) is to a seafood restaurant (which is OK but not memorable); the chicken place is a hole in the wall and it's literally next door to the right.

                                  2) Good Fortune restaurant (豪庭王朝) is still listed by its old English name on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/east-manor-fl... ; it is at 4645 Kissena Blvd.

                                  The GF supermarket is on Main and caters mostly to Northern tastes; I do not know if these two have the same owner.

                                  1. re: diprey11
                                    l
                                    Lau Mar 7, 2014 01:10 PM

                                    Ahhh thanks! very helpful

                2. b
                  bcc Feb 26, 2014 08:37 AM

                  Lau, how do the fried dumplings compare to those of Prosperity Dumpling on Eldridge Street?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bcc
                    l
                    Lau Feb 26, 2014 09:19 AM

                    these are definitely better, i dont think prosperity's are that great. they're decent but nothing special. when prosperity first opened they were better, but that was a long time ago

                  2. k
                    knucklesandwich Feb 26, 2014 05:14 AM

                    The fried dumplings look really good.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: knucklesandwich
                      l
                      Lau Feb 26, 2014 05:47 AM

                      they're excellent

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