From ramen and lo mein to pad thai, pho and laksa, there are endless variations of Asian-style noodles available in New York. Yet Little Tong Noodle Shop has managed to introduce a seldom-seen species to the pasta savvy city; focusing on a Yunnanese specialty called mixian.
A type of fresh, fermented rice noodle, the most reliable place to find the translucent strands prior has been Yun Nan Flavour Garden; a no frills, highly traditional eatery in Brooklyn’s own Chinatown. Yet situated in the chic East Village (and run by former wd-50, Alder and 15 East chef, Simone Tong), you can bet that the bowls at Little Tong have a soupcon more panache; to go with the streamlined space of exposed brick and blond wood, and cool kid craft beers such as Fat Tire Amber and Brooklyn Sorachi Ace.
Take the Mushroom Mixian, which pays elegant homage to Yunnan’s wild-growing funghi with a bounty of oysters, enokis and chewy, frilled wood-ears, on a tumble of noodles tossed with seaweed powder, celery oil, fried shallots and salted celtuce. The Banna Shrimp Mixian is equally refined, featuring a coconut milk-thickened smoked tomato-shellfish broth, spiked with lemongrass, pickled green chilies, fresh herbs and lime.
Grandma Chicken may sound rustic, but emerges as an intricately composed palette of tea egg, black sesame garlic oil, pickled daikon and tender confit, and Tong shows she’s not afraid to province hop with Mala Dan Dan Mixian; honoring her native Chengdu with a Sichuan-inspired assortment of green peppercorn oil-buzzed crumbles of pork, pickled celery, peanuts, mustard seeds, and baby mustard greens.
So move over ramen and lo mein; there’s a notable new noodle in town.
Little Tong Noodle Shop
177 1st Ave