Chinatown, Restaurants

Duck Noodle Soup at Red Square Cafe – NYC

September 26, 2011 | 4 Comments

roast duck noodle soup @ red square cafe

Some time earlier this year, Wah Kee Fast Food & Cafe, your typical Chinese restaurant in Chinatown with bubble tea and roasted meats hanging from the window, closed. Despite a really bad ventilation problem which made it quite apparent you ate a Chinese restaurant even hours later, the roast duck and roast pig was very good. Also, very cheap. This summer, Red Square Cafe opened in the former Wah Kee space. The ventilation has somewhat improved, and the bubble tea is still blending away, but the roasted meats are now gone from the window. Usually, if I don’t see any meats on display, I order something else, but last week I was hopeful. Did my optimism pan out?

Not exactly. I ordered duck noodle soup with ho fun ($5) and although the duck was meaty, it was extremely salty making me think there had been some sort of accident in the kitchen. The only saving grace was the generous amount of bok choy. One problem I have with a lot of the restaurants in Chinatown is that they skimp on the vegetables so you have to order a plate vegetables on the side. If I’m with a big group, that’s not a big deal, but at lunch when it’s usually just me and one other person, ordering a huge plate of bok choy or gailan (Chinese broccoli) is not an option. So at Red Square, I was happy to see some greens, besides scallions, in my soup. On another visit, I noticed there were a good amount of vegetables in the rice dishes as well. Are greens enough to warrant another visit? On days I feel need it, it just might be.

Red Square Cafe (CLOSED)
150 Centre Street (b/n Walker & White St; map)
New York, NY 10013

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4 Comments

  • hungry at 12:53 pm on September 29, 2011

    You can ask for extra veggies in your noodle soup. They’ll prob charge you for it but it’s better than a huge plate that you can’t finish.

    Also, I find choy sum or yu choy goes really well with noodle soups.

  • bionicgrrrl at 2:42 pm on September 29, 2011

    @hungry – I feel like it should be included without me asking, but I’m going to try that next time. When I go to HK Wonton Garden, they always ask me if I want an order of vegetables, but never extra vegetables in my soup. Will report back soon!

  • Sylvie Gagnon at 9:05 am on September 9, 2012

    Bonjour Bionic Bites,
    I will be in NYC for the 1st week-end of October. If you had to choose ONE Chinese restaurant in NYC for supper, what should it be? (I like vegetables, duck, pork, but no MSG…) Thank you for your time… and “foodpertise”!
    Sylvie de Montréal

  • bionicgrrrl at 10:43 am on September 9, 2012

    @Sylvie – Bonjour! One is hard to choose (especially with the MSG restriction), so here are a few choices depending on their specialties. If you want noodles, go to Noodle Village. If you want light Chinese and want to try lots of small places, try Yunnan Kitchen. And if you want dumplings, I would go to Shanghai Asian Manor or Nanxiang. (Nanxiang is better but it is in Flushing, outside of Manhattan). The last two (Shanghai Asian Manor and Nanxiang), aren’t MSG free restaurants, but you can try asking. Have fun on your trip!

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