Tag Archives: Soups

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

When a dish comes out of the kitchen glowing red and spiked with peppercorns, I’m expecting some heat. The only thing that hinted at the spice level for this clear green fish soup was the name “spicy” and the two pepper symbols on the menu. It was a unique floral, numbing spice and was one of the most exciting dishes I’ve tasted at a Chinese restaurant.

Price: $25

HAO NOODLE AND TEA BY MADAM ZHU
401 Sixth Avenue (between Waverly Place and Greenwich Avenue)
Greenwich Village
(212) 633-8900
madamzhu.com

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

It doesn’t seem like there has been much innovation in the local Vietnamese food scene. I think our options haven been so limited for so long that when modern Vietnamese restaurants open, the most innovative thing to do is to go back to tradition. Places like Bun-ker and Hanoi House have recently opened (or re-opened) and for the most part, they focus on authenticity which is very exciting and mostly new for New York Vietnamese standards.

Lucy’s Vietnamese Kitchen also focuses on tradition, but there are a few flourishes that make it very exciting and dare I say, totally innovative.

This tiny storefront (only one small communal table) sits in a still-changing area of Bushwick. It’s named for the grandmother of the young American-Vietnamese chef who grew up in the neighborhood.

You might recognize the Vietnamese staples like banh mi and pho, but there a few differences to what you might expect. (more…)


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

In the last few months, there have been a series of big Japanese chains that opened their first US location in New York. Normally, I don’t like to eat at chain restaurants, but it’s a bit of a novelty and Japanese fast food is generally more nourishing and exciting than American fast food.

Wagamama, TsuruTonTan, and Ichiran were the three major Japanese noodle players that have debuted to long lines in New York City. The one that intrigued me most was Ichiran partly because they are located in a big factory in Bushwick but also because they have special solo dining flavor concentration booths.

In the booths, you are completely alone excpet for a button and a curtain. When the button is pushed, the curtain is partially raised and the torso of a waiter appears who will respond to your needs.

The entire experience, including the recommendations on how to be savor the soup is a little precious. As a busy New Yorker who often deals with many people, I did appreciate the opportunity to dine completely alone and not have to deal with anyone else. But I imagine the ramen would taste just as good if I was sitting at a table with a group of people.

You also get to customize your ramen from the firmness of the noodles to the richness of the broth to the amount of added toppings. I went down the menu circling the options the restaurant recommends for first timers.

So my soup ended up on the medium side of just about everything. And it was pretty great. The thin chewy noodles were truly fantastic and the complex super porky tonkotsu broth was indeed worth savoring. The other notable addition, besides some serious garlic, scallions, and a meaty pork chashu, is their signature top secret spicy red sauce.

It was one of the better ramen soups I’ve had recently. Like many, I was dismayed by the prices  here (almost double the price of the Japanese locations) and the gimmicky flavor booths are a little too serious. But there’s no denying that this is one seriously good bowl of ramen. Price: $18.90

ICHIRAN
374 Johnson Avenue (between Bogart Street and Morgan Avenue),
(718) 381-0491
Bushwick, Brooklyn
ichiran.com/en

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

This unique combination had been on my radar for a few years and I finally got to taste the Jamaican-Japanese mash-up. Miss Lily’s switches out the Japanese pork bone broths for a spicy jerk broth. Alongside the springy noodles is jerk chicken, ackee, jerk pork belly, and a soft boiled egg. It’s warming, firey, and a very cool mash-up. Price: $16
MISS LILY’S 7A
109 Avenue A (at East 7th Street),
East Village
(212) 812-1482
misslilys.com/locations/east-village-7a/

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

When I am feeling under the weather, I run to the nearest Thai restaurant and order their spicy and sour tom yum gong soup. Clears things right up. The trendy Fish Cheeks is far from a take-out joint and their communal soup is one of the best versions I’ve ever tasted. The milky shrimp broth is loaded with delicate flavors from mushrooms, chiles, galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. It’s quite spicy, nicely funky, and completely restorative.. Price: $22

FISH CHEEKS
55 Bond Street (between Bowery and Lafayette Street),
Noho
(212) 677-2223
fishcheeksnyc.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

One of my favorite meals of last year was at the clandestine East Village sushi temple Kura. Well I was stoked this year when the Kura folks opened a secret room of udon. On a winter night, I can’t think of anything more restorative than the thick toothsome noodles in a warm, clear complex seaweed broth. Price: $15
RAKU
342 East 6th Street (between First and Second Avenue),
East Village
(212) 228-1324
rakunyc.com

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