New York City Asian Food Tour (from 1 year ago!)

Every other month or so, Nick and I make the trip to NYC for good food / drinks and to catch up with old friends. We had a wonderful time there this weekend (pics to come), but first I wanted to share this long-lost entry from one year ago…I drafted it on November 14, 2010 and just found it again today!

“I apologize that this post (a continuation of NYC visit part I) contains nothing but Asian eats. I don’t have very broad or sophisticated likes when it comes to food. I constantly crave simple dishes full of flavors I remember eating as a child. Noodle soup, rice dishes, dumplings, hot pot … bless my non-Chinese boyfriend’s heart for putting up with my narrow palate. I treat him once in a while to tacos.

Comfy “exploring” outfit: Gap cardigan, H&M; shorts and booties, F21 tights (all old)

Hells Kitchen: Totto Ramen. While previously working in NYC, I visited the famous Ipuddo several times, but was not a fan of the 1-2 hour wait and $14+ per bowl price tags. I was hoping to find a more humble alternative, and was surprised by the hoard of people waiting outside this little place at 3pm on a Friday! 

Ramen here was around $10/bowl. I felt it was comparable to, if not better than Ipuddo, and worlds better than any option here in Boston. I enjoyed the eggy noodles and rich miso broth – but as always with any kind of ramen, I felt overwhelmed by the sodium when finished.

Later that night, I had dinner again in Hells Kitchen at Pure Thai Cookhouse with Janice of Coastalpolitan (right) and Jess of SeeJessicaGo (left). I initially started talking to Jess when she kindly gave me a long list of food rec’s. They are both such smart and driven young women whom I admire very much.

Pure Thai has inexpensive, simple yet wonderfully-textured noodle dishes. I had the dry noodles with crabmeat roast pork (photo borrowed from Jess). Nothing fancy, but the springy texture of the fresh noodles – must be handmade, says my taste buds – still lingers in my memory.

Chinatown: Prosperity Dumpling. We went to some average dim sum places and slurped soup dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai (which unfortunately do not come close to Din Tai Fung in CA/Taiwan), but I thought this little hole in the wall was special.
nyc20102Where in NYC can you have a warm, hearty, and authentic breakfast for $1.50? Prosperity Dumpling, of course. We each got 5 chive & pork potstickers ($1.00) and hot soy milk ($.50). There’s pretty much nowhere to sit, but we saw lots of customers come in and buy frozen dumplings by the bag. Prices may rise occasionally, as noted on this scratch board.
On Canal Street: Typical example of Nick “taking my photo” but instead stealthily documenting something else. I had no idea Longchamp totes were cool enough to be counterfeited.

Koreatown: BCD Tofu House. Nick and I were wandering hungrily and popped into here per Jess’ rec. We’re not huge Korean food fans, but I do like a warm meat & seafood stew once in a while. We also have fun with the little banchan side dishes. This place gives you your very own mini fried fish!”

Flushing: Lamb Noodle Soup. The above concludes my 2010 post, but while on the topic of Asian eats, I wanted to add this to the list. Nick and I are closet fans of Anthony Bourdain. After we watched his NY Outer Boroughs episode featuring this hole-in-the-wall, hand-pulled noodle place, we wiped away drool and knew we had to go.

Earlier this year we made our way out to Flushing, where I thought I was back in Asia again! If you don’t speak Chinese, you’ll just have to survive by pointing to food. We would’ve never found this place if not for our wonderful tour guide Elle. The competition for “lamb noodle soup” holes is intense, but we finally arrived at Anthony’s spot. To say the place was “grungy” would be an understatement – but hey, I come for the food and not for ambiance.
Fresh noodles are cut and hand-pulled before your eyes, boiled, and then dropped into a bowl of milky white broth. The resulting dish is simple, but very hearty and flavorful. Our meal would’ve been perfect if the owner didn’t make fun of my accent : ) If you are a fan of hot noodle soup, or lamb, or going on a treasure hunt within Flushing – give this place a try!

Readers – Please share some of your fave NYC eats for my next trip!

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  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean so happy to see this post! I am planning a trip to NYC in may for my dad. He loves Asian food and we will definitely check these place out. I haven't booked hotels yet. May I ask which neighborhoods you stayed at? I'm overwhelmed and don't know what areas would be close affordable and accessible. My dad is 72 but made it clear to me he wants to eat lots of good Asian food! Hope you see this message .. It's buried a couple years back.

    Posted 4.10.13 Reply

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