06/01/17 4:56pm

Our Favorite Asian Noodle Dishes in Queens

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a fan of noodles— whether the fusilli with red sauce and chow fun that I cut my  teeth on—or the tallarin verde of Peru and various culture’s takes on cold noodles that can be had in Queens. This edition of The Seven is devoted to my favorite Asian noodles in Queens, at least as of summer 2017.

1. Tom thuk, Lhasa Fast Food
Anthony Bourdain recently paid a visit to this Jackson Heights momo shop tucked away behind a cell phone store. While the big man tried the hand-torn noodle soup known as thenthuk he did not get to experience its colder, spicier cousin tomthuk. Listed in the menu’s Noodle Zone as beef cold noodle ($6) there’s no forewarning of the twin heat engines of chili and mustard oil. The tangle of chewy noodles interspersed with shredded carrots, cabbages, and bits of ground beef packs enough heat to melt snowy Mount Kailash which looms above the counter. Lhasa Fast Food, 37-50 74th Street, Jackson Heights


2.  Yum Dek Sen, Dek Sen
There are many Thai noodle dishes, from funky bowls of blood-enriched soup to those that resemble pork ragu, but Dek Sen is the first restaurant where I’ve seen noodles used in a yum, Thailand’s spicy savory version of the more prosaic Western salad. Yum Dek Sen ($11.95) takes Mama instant noodles and mixes them with squid, shrimp,  minced pork, and two types of fish balls. Served warm the whole lot is dressed in a chili lime sauce. You might be tempted to order it spicy, but medium is more than adequate.  Dek Sen, 86-08 Whitney Ave, Elmhurst, 718-205-5181

3. Ceviche ramen, Hinomaru Ramen
I don’t get to Astoria’s Hinomaru Ramen often enough, but now that they’ve added this summer special, I’ll be there more often.  A refreshing Peruvian-Japanese mashup, ceviche ramen ($17) takes cold springy noodles and tops them with shrimp, scallops, squid, salmon, tuna, and tobiko dressed in a kicky dressing that combines yuzu, lime, and soy.  A quartet of mussels two in the shell and two without are also part of this cross-cultural culinary party.  Hinomaru Ramen, 33-18 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, 718-777-0228


4. Bumthang puta, Weekender Billiard
Bhutan’s spicy answer to cold soba noodles is known as bumthang puta ($8.70). The dish takes its name from a district in Bhutan. The tangle of buckwheat noodles is chewy and fiery, thanks to an almost invisible coating of chili oil. There’s also just a whisper Sichuan peppercorn, which lends a citrusy tingling note. Weekender Billiard, 41-46 54th St., Woodside, 917-832-6903

5. Ban mian, Hundred Taste
Ban mian, literally “mix noodle” is a Fujianese classic, that combines ribbons of noodles in a peanut sauce. I like to think of it as the forerunner to all those spicy cold sesame noodles I ate as a kid on Long Island. Fork over $2.25 for a styrofoam plate of wheat noodles in a lake of peanut sauce. Top it off with some chili paste and give the whole lot a good mix. Salty, nutty, and satisfying, it’s killer comfort food. Hundred Taste,  Arcadia Mall, 45-32 Main St., Flushing

6. Char kway teow, Pulao Pinang
This tangle of almost seared Malaysian stir fried noodles features seafood in the form of shrimp and squid and practically hisses with wok hai. What really makes the char kway teow at this Elmhurst spot though are the crunchy little cubes of fatty, salty pork and just enough chili heat. Pulau Pinang, 82-84 Broadway, Elmhurst, 718-672-7380

7. Mie ayam kepiting, Sky Cafe
Indonesians are fond of serving their noodles with a sidecar of soup. At Sky Cafe mie ayam kepiting ($7) or crab meat egg noodles is a bowl of buckwheat colored noodles topped with crab meat, fried fish cake, wontons, greens and squishy fish balls no bigger than my pinky nail. Sip the accompanying chicken broth by itself, or add it to the noodles the choice is up to you. Sky Cafe, 86-20 Whitney Ave., Elmhurst, 718-651-9759

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2 Comment

  • Was getting ready to leave my “but you forgot” comment until I got to #7. Great list, thanks Joe.

  • Great list. Looking forward to working my way through it. A little less unusual, but the Pan Fried Shanghai Noodles (Udon) was one of my favorite dishes of noodles I have had this year. Great flavor of the wok. Not as much going on as these perhaps but so tasty!