Biang!: East Village, New York, NY, USA
This restaurant was also recommend to me by a friend. The second or sister restaurant to Xi’an Famous Foods, this is reportedly a nicer and cooler sit-down restaurant in the East Village that still boasts the same excellence in hand-pulled noodles and skewers. Admittedly, I did look up recommendations off Yelp. And so, this is what we ordered that night:
- lamb skewers
- spicy soft tofu
- fried tofu skin skewers
- spicy and sour lamb dumplings
- spicy beef Biang! noodles
Lamb Skewers: two long skewers of Xi’an mildly spicy marinated lamb chunks
- definitely plenty to share among two people or three to four if you are planning on ordering more dumplings and skewers to share
- fantastic flavor: it isn’t overly salty but just enough to balance out the gamey flavor of the meat.
- not overcooked: meat was not dry or tough, very juicy
Spicy soft Tofu: similar to the sweet tofu that they served with a sweet ginger syrup in dim sum. However, this is served with pickles and spicy chili oil and a salt-based sauce.
- tofu is super soft and silky, less of a bean-like flavor that most people can’t stand
- comes out piping hot so don’t burn yourself
- it’s not as spicy as some people would think
- not super salty although you would think so given the amount of sauce on there
- a bit bland truthfully but still tasty.
Fried Tofu Skin skewers: there are many types of tofu skins. While my favorite is the super thin kind that’s almost as thin as paper, that wouldn’t work for grilling. This is a thicker version that I believe they baste with spicy sauce.
- has the Szechuan spicy peppers that numbs your mouth! super cool
- Good amount for tofu skewers
- not the most outstanding thing that I’ve eaten
- not worth the price for skewers when there are other yummy and more filling things to try on the menu.
Spicy-Sour Lamb Dumplings: I believe that in addition to their noodles, this restaurant also makes their own handmade dumpling wrappers. I’ve seen this before with one other friend who had to learn how to make dumpling wrappers by hand when he was young because his parents owned a Chinese restaurant. It’s definitely one of those skills I want to learn so that I can teach my own kids or my friends’ kids.
- ridiculously filling: the great part about handmade dumpling wrappers is that they are a little chewier and thicker than store-bought dumplings
- great marinade in the filling: there isn’t that gamey flavor that lamb has normally.
Handpulled Beef Noodles
- fantastic noodles: irregularly shaped, but so chewy yet soft and filling
- meat was super tender, it fell apart in your mouth
- soup was hot and warm and nice and spicy and sour and salty all at the same time
- ridiculously filling: my mum and I shared all the dishes and we were so stuffed, I definitely recommend coming with more than two or three people so that everyone can taste different dishes.
I can’t wait to come back here to try some of the other noodles. Their dumplings are solid and I’d totally get an order to go. I wish that like some other chinese stores, they would sell their handmade dumplings frozen by the bag. It would help solve a lot of my meal-planning problems! In summary:
- lamb skewers: **** (4 stars)
- spicy soft tofu: ***.65 (3.65 stars)
- fried tofu skin skewers: ***.35 (3.35 stars)
- spicy and sour lamb dumplings: **** (4 stars)
- spicy beef Biang! noodles: ***.85 (3.85 stars)
You can also find this place near East Village off the Astor Place stop.