I don’t know very much about snooker—the game of choice at Weekender Billiard—a Bhutanese hangout in Woodside. I do however know my way around a plate of spicy cold noodles, and I’m always eager to try variations from different cultures. Enter bumthang puta, Bhutan’s spicy answer to cold soba noodles.The dish takes its name from a district in Bhutan. The tangle of buckwheat noodles is pleasantly chewy and pleasantly fiery, thanks to an almost invisible coating of chili oil. When my pal Robert and I shared a plate of the cool noodles a few weeks ago, we kept trying to figure out the floral, almost lemony note. Then I detected a tingling on my tongue, and I knew the mystery ingredient immediately: Sichuan peppercorn.
There are many other wonderful things on the menu at Weekender, including several varieties of ema datsi, the Bhutanese national dish, which often consists of little more than hot peppers and cheese sauce. They are great eaten with nutty red rice, but it’s those buckwheat noodles that will keep me coming back. Heck, I might even learn the rules to snooker.
Weekender Billiard, 41-46 54th St., Woodside, 917-832-6903