Chinatown’s latest Fujianese find is called Ah Ping Snack Bar, but you shouldn’t be misled by the name. This place may be tiny but it’s no mere snack bar; it’s a full restaurant turning out dishes bursting with flavor and character. “The chef has talent, touch, and training, but isn’t overly fussy. This is down home cooking,” Jim Leff says. “But he’s got the ideal balance of technique and soulfulness.”
Leff’s recent meal was a hit parade: sublime loofah soup with sweet clams; rabbit in toothsome, winy Foo Chow sauce; exceptionally clean-tasting pork intestine with abundant wok character; watercress with fermented bean curd; a perfect razor clam omelet. “Not one bite of any dish failed to elicit deep joy in all present,” Jim swears. For lighter eats, check out the appetizers, including familiar Fuzhou bites like fish balls, dumplings, and, Chandavkl says, a standout version of egg noodles in peanut sauce.
Just across Chatham Square is Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles, a new entry in a crowded Chinatown category: Lanzhou-style wheat noodles in soup. It’s also one of the best, richarmstrong reports, eclipsing neighborhood favorites Super Taste and Eastern Noodles.
The big difference here is the hearty beef broth, fortified with medicinal herbs, which rich enjoyed with made-to-order noodles plus vegetables and egg. This shop, closer than its competitors to the traditional center of Chinatown, is also cleaner and friendlier than most other places. “The broth, the noodles, the friendly and informative staff. It’s just wonderful to find a place with such passion,” rich writes.
Ah Ping Snack Bar [Chinatown]
2 E. Broadway (at Catherine Street), Manhattan
Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles [Chinatown]
1 Doyers Street (near Bowery), Manhattan