As some of you may know, I decided to head to New York City for a month or so this fall, just because I loved it so much during my one week visit this past July. So, I’ve packed up and moved out of my latest Vancouver furnished apartment and found a place to rent in the East Village of NYC as of earlier this past week through to US Thanksgiving.
Shortly after I decided on this new adventure, I received an invite to try out a newer restaurant called Niu Noodle House, located in the West Village neighbourhood of Manhattan (disclaimer: myself and a friend received a complimentary meal on Friday night, of our own selection from the full menu). From some of the research I did online before going there for dinner, it was being highly praised for the most part, and even compared to the well-known Ippudo, located in the East Village. Although I haven’t tried out Ippudo and can’t vouch for it myself, I’m planning on checking it on in the next week or so.
The restaurant itself was bustling on a Friday evening, and pretty much all the tables looked like they were filled between 7:30 and 9:30 PM. The space was dark and had a great vibe to it, and the staff were all very friendly and helpful, being super attentive during the entire meal. My water glass was never completely empty omce (and I drink a lot of water)!
While waiting for my girlfriend to arrive, I decided to start with a Ginger Fizz cocktail, made with Sbulldog gin, ginger liqueur, prosecco, and garnished with candied ginger (note that it’s not on the current online drinks menu). I enjoyed the tartness of the drink, but was satisfied with having one before switching over to a glass of sauvignon blanc once our food arrived.
For our meal, we decided to share a couple of appetizers and then order our own main dishes. So while catching up after not seeing each other for a couple of months (my friend just moved to the city to go to Parsons in September), we started with the Niu Special Duck Steamed Buns. While these look similar to the Pork Belly buns that you can get from Momofuku Noodle Bar, they weren’t quite as delicious, but still held their own and were our definite favourite for the evening. Other available steamed bun options included Beef Flank, Chicken, or Char Siu Pork.
For our second appetizer, we went with the Truffle Shao Mei, with pork and shrimp. These were pretty good, but compared to some of the ones you can get in Vancouver that I’ve had in the past, they didn’t particularly stand out either.
We next moved on to the Soup Noodles, for which Niu Noodle House is hoping to be known. My girlfriend had the Veggie Heaven, with fresh seasonal vegetables, scallions, sweet corn, kikurage mushroom, and tempura seaweed. We both loved the little chopstick holders that rested on the bowls, but found it interesting that it held little bits of sweet corn served with the soup.
Finally, I had the Seafood Medley. I went back and forth a bit on this option, as the Beef Trifecta is the staple choice at this restaurant according to our server, but I just couldn’t resist the Alaska king crab, jumbo shrimp, giant scallop, squid, mussels and a boiled egg. It also was filled with seasonal vegetables (asparagus in this case), scallions, sweet corn, and a deliciously crispy piece of deep fried tempura seaweed with rice noodles. I quite enjoyed the broth, and pretty much ate the whole bowl (which was a good thing, since I needed the stamina as we ended up out until 4 am later that night).
While I did quite enjoy this meal, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a must try if you’re going to New York City, with all the other fabulous restaurants available, but it is a great place for a fun meal with friends if you’re in the area before a night out hitting the town.
We finished off our wine, chatted for a bit longer and then decided to meet up with my NYC roommate for another drink while she had a late dinner at Baracca (food was super salty there). From that point on, we met up with another group of visiting Vancouverites, and ended up going to a birthday party at a nightclub in the Meatpacking District. Gotta love those random nights out!
Niu Noodle House
15 Greenwich Avenue,
New York, New York, 10014