More Noodling at Sheng Wang – NYC
With the weather so nice these days, David and I have been eating a lot of hand pulled noodles after work at Sheng Wang. It’s filling and delicious, but most importantly, it’s quick, so we still have enough time to enjoy the daylight when we’re done. Even corporate zombies need sunlight.
David always gets the Cold Hand Pull Noodles with Green Bean Sprouts ($3). Lightly tossed in a soy/sesame sauce, the fresh hand-pulled noodles are salty and nutty, with a touch of sweetness. But for the record, the noodles come with baby bok choy and scallions; no bean sprouts anywhere to be found. In Sheng Wang’s defense though, both are green at least. (Albeit inaccurate, I’m just happy they have an English menu.) If the thought of sweating non-stop eating a hot bowl of noodle soup in eighty degrees weather turns you off, this is the perfect alternative.
Me, I don’t mind. I find the anise perfumed soup with pickled snow cabbage at Sheng Wang irresistible, not too heavy and not too light. Anyway, after sweating up a storm, you’ll feel refreshed. That’s how we Koreans think at least.
I love the hand pulled noodles at Sheng Wang, but these days I’m really digging the peel noodles (dao xiao mian, noodles immediately sliced from a ball of dough into a vat of boiling liquid ). The chewy broad noodles are a little softer and the ragged edges ensure for more flavor soppage. As for protein, I’m on a mission to try everything on the menu. Lamb (pictured left, $4) was okay, unfortunately, there was more fat and skin than meat, and the latter was tough. On the other hand, oxtail ($4) was cooked tender and soft; the bone-in meat is cut into thin slices so it cooks faster. However, my all-time favorite so far is the Peel Noodle Soup with Pork Bone (pictured right, $4). The noodles arrive in a metal bowl brimming with soup and large pork bones split lengthwise. In order to get at the meat on the bones, you have to hold the bones like a caveman and gnaw it off. There’s also delicious marrow in some of the bones you can loudly slurp out. No one at Sheng Wang minds. They’re too busy slurping as well. This takes time to eat, but it’s worth it. Not sure how David felt though watching me chomp on pork bones for twenty minutes. As you can see, I’m a great date.
All the soup, except the dumpling soup, come with a Fujianese fish ball. As I mentioned in a previous post, I love fish balls. Fujianese fish balls are even better because they are stuffed with ground pork. Once I bought seemingly regular fish balls on the street-side counter on the corner of Grand and Eldridge, and was pleasantly surprised to find juicy pork innards in each bouncy orb. Two meats in one, JACKPOT! The fishballs at Sheng Wang, however, can be hit-or-miss. Sometimes the fish balls taste a little too fishy, the pork a little freezer burned, and more than once, I’ve encountered a few crunchy bits (scales, I presume). Nevertheless, when they are good, again, two meats are better than one. If you are really into fish balls, you can order hand pulled noodles with just Fujianese fish balls for $5, but if I were you, I’d order something else and try the gratis fish ball first.
So peeled, pulled, hot or cold, Sheng Wang has it all. Now eat it and go out and play.
27 Eldridge St. (nr. Canal St.)
New York, NY 10002
I’ve been meaning to try Sheng Wang for a while – this post was the perfect primer! Great writeup (can’t wait to try those fish balls).
Ahhh.. those awesome fishballs look great. Next time I have to try the pork bones noodles like you suggested. The bones just looks really big and full of delicious. mmmm…
@James – I love Sheng Wang. No ambiance at all, but the food is great. I’m there at least once a week. Don’t be surprised if you see me there.
@Danny – Not all the bones have a whole ton of marrow, but the ones that do are “full of delicious!”
$3 for noodles!!! Can you please recommend a place to get a CHEAP bowl of noodles?
@alvin – Now you’re talking!
Sheng Wang’s Fuzhou style fish balls made me go on a week long bender of searching in Taipei. I have to say, theirs can stand on their own even when compared to relatively famous joints in Asia. If only they could match the prices in Taiwan… or is that too much wishful thinking?
@Nicholas – Cheaper than Sheng Wang?! I can’t imagine finding a place cheaper in NY. I must go to Taipei one day.
wow, three dollars for hand-pulled or peeled noodles, ok, that’s four years ago. Hope the place still exists. sounds great!