In New York, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Asian noodles. Ramen noodles have always been a longtime favorite, udon and soba are making some inroads, and now Chinese noodles of all forms are making a big splash. I’ve always had a soft spot for Chinese noodles in a thick, savory sauce, like dan dan or jjajangmyun, so I was especially excited to hear about The Tang, a Chinese noodle bar in the East Village that specializes in these brothless noodle varieties.
The Tang is a perfect restaurant for the area – a relatively cheap, fast-casual restaurant that would do well with the NYU students and Millennials. There are different small plates that reflect the greatest hits of crowd-pleasing Chinese appetizers that you can order with your bowl of noodles. There’s of course a dumpling of some sort, but try ordering the sesame tofu for something different, and the seared short ribs in particular are tasty.
As for the noodles, if you’re a fan of the Chinese noodles zhajiangmian, in which noodles are topped with a sauce made of fermented soybean paste, minced pork and vegetables, or the Korean version of it called jjajangmyun, then definitely order the ZJM (speaking of which, ZJM probably stands for zhajiangmian). If you want the savory flavors without the meat, then the vegetarian version of the ZJM, called the MJM, will be equally satisfying. Sometimes a little minced pork won’t cut it and you need something more substantial. If that’s the case, the pork belly string beans and steamed noodles will be more filling, although the soy and sesame oil sauce isn’t as satisfying as the fermented bean paste ones. Best of all, at the time of my review, The Tang didn’t have its liquor license, so it may still be running its BYO promotion. Whether you bring your own Tsingtao or a bottle of wine, you’ll be satisfied with how this meal treats your stomach and your wallet.
120 1st Ave (between 7th and 8th St)
New York, NY 10009