Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

This year many restaurants opened specializing in mixian noodle soups. These rice noodles  from the Yunnan region of China were not as common as say udon or ramen. But for some reason, this was the year of the mixian.

I am always intrigued by new noodles and I visited a few of the spots, including Yuan, a new location of Deng Ji, and Just for Fen. They were all good but none of them really stood out in my mind from other similar noodle soups I’ve slurped.

That is until I ate at Little Tong Noodle Soup. By far, this corner East Village spot got the most buzz and the most praise for bringing this specialty to the city.

It makes sense that Little Tong would be the one on everyone’s lips since the chef behind it is Simone Tong, a Chinese chef who worked for Wylie Dufresene at wd-50 and Alder. But never mind the buzz and the resumé, these noodles were great.

As usual, I had a tough time deciding which to order but since it was freezing out and I was a bit sniffly, I thought the Grandma Chicken Mixian would be the cure.

Unlike my grandmother’s soup, this chicken broth was decorated with colorful edible flowers and slicked dark black from the addition of black sesame garlic oil. That provided an aromatic earthy quality that started the experience off right.

Layer upon layer of flavor bubbled up from the bowl thanks to fermented chili, pickles, a hard boiled tea egg, and fatty bits of chicken confit. The noodles, as I had expected were light and delicate. It was quite unique with hints of sourness but also that deep homey chicken soup flavor.

Noodles are considered good luck to eat entering the New Year so I definitely want to make these the ones I slurp up. $15

LITTLE TONG NOODLE SHOP
177 First Avenue (at East 10th Street),
East Village
(929) 367-8664
littletong.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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