Niu Noodle House: does the West Village finally get the first-rate ramen joint it deserves? 

West Village Restaurant Review: Niu Noodle House on Christopher Street and Greenwich Ave

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So the first thing you should know is that I'm a total noodle head, willing and eager to drag my friends all over town in a quest for the city's most sublime bowl of ramen. And while the jury's still out on who's currently slinging NYC's best noodles, my personal Top 5 is pretty solid. In no particular order: Ippudo in the East Village; Jin Ramen up near Columbia in Morningside Heights; Tabata in Hell's Kitchen, right near Port Authority (I know! But it's worth it...); Toto, tucked away among the the office towers of Midtown West; and, especially late at night, Noodle Bar on Orchard.

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Anyway, the point is this: I eat a lot of ramen, and so was pretty excited when Niu Noodle House opened over the summer in a prime West Village spot right near Christopher on Greenwich Avenue. And then... I was less excited, because apparently Chef Lo Lung Kit had to return to China (visa issues), so the place wasn't really ready yet. And then... excited again! Because Chef Kit was back! So opening week there I was, at one of Niu Noodle House's front tables, in full slurping mode. And while the results of my large early supper were somewhat mixed, Niu Noodle House has enough potential where it really counts to be worth rooting for.

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My starters, first Golden Brown Calamari Rings, then Flank Steak with Provolone Dumplings ("fried cheesesteak, yay!") were the weakk link here, but given that the Niu Noodle House just (re)opened, I'm more than willing to give Chef Kit another chance with these. In the end, of course, Niu Noodle House will live and die by its ramen, and, based one bowl, I'd say it has a chance. At Niu Noodle House you choose your broth (I went with the Niu Special Soup) and style of noodle (Thin, please) and, basically, your topping, for which I selected the Char Siu Pork, which wasn't the pork belly they advertised--more like loin?--but was still pretty good, with a pleasant sweet funk to it. In fact, the whole bowl was pretty good: the noodles chewy, the asparagus a nice touch, the heavily wasabi'ed tempura seaweed an even nicer touch. I can easily picture eating this (or similiar... maybe wide noodles next time? maybe the one with beef short ribs?) again, on a chilly night, after a movie at the IFC, nice and close to home.    

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Niu Noodle House info
Niu Noodle House is located on Greenwich Avenue just north of Christopher Street, and is open Sunday through Thursday from 12:00 noon to 11:00 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from noon until 12:00 midnight. For a look at the complete Niu Noodle House menu, click here.

Niu Noodle House StoneStreetNY SSPNY Stone Street Properties Luxury Apartment Rentals

 

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