Most Favored Noodle status that is!
Of the six hand-pulled noodle restaurants in Chinatown, Food Sing 88 Corp. is my favorite. It’s clean and bright, the wait-staff is friendly (at least two speak English) and they only do noodles – which are delivered uniformly soft and with a good chew. (I have re-visited the other noodle spots and am working on rating them as well). Since Food Sing 88 specializes in noodles you will never have to wait more than a few minutes for your bowl to arrive.
What sets Food Sing 88 above the others is their superior stock: packed with the full flavor of beef and chicken bones, onions, star anise and a little bit of Chinese angelica (當歸 Dāngguī or Angelica sinensis.) It’s Chinese pharmaceutical name is Radix Angelicae Sinensis.
This medicinal herb belongs to the Umbelliferae family, like carrots, dill and parsley. The first time the Chinese wrote about it was in “The Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica” published 1500 years ago. In China, the best Angelica is grown in Gansu Province but it is also found in Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Hubei Provinces. It is harvested in late fall; its nature said to be sweet, acrid, bitter, and warm.
There only 35 menu items with six different kinds of noodles. A basic bowl of Noodle Soup (Beef, Tripe or Fish Ball and Tripe) starts at $5.50. The most expensive dish, House Special Hand-Pulled Noodles is seven dollars. Their Seafood Hand-Pulled Noodles comes fully loaded with clams, fish balls, shrimp and squid. Add a fried egg to any bowl for only fifty-cents.
Make sure to ask for pickled vegetables (酸菜 - Suān cài.) The waitress will bring a large bowl from which you can scoop a spoonful (or more) to top your dish.
Both the Peanut Sauce Noodles and Fuzhou Wonton Soup (each only $2.50) are simple yet satisfying. The Fuzhou version of Zha Jiang Mian (炸醬麵 - Zhá Jiàng Miàn) is assuredly not the usual northern Beijing style ground pork cooked with fermented soybean paste over thick noodles.
At Food Sing 88, it is called Eight Precious Noodles and this Fuzhou version is closer to a tomato-less spaghetti. A large pile of steaming noodles rests on a bed of iceberg lettuce topped by the ground pork and topped with fresh scallions. Served with a small cup of broth. Perhaps this was Marco Polo’s last meal before boarding a ship in Quanzhou (泉州) in 1295 bound for Venice!
Food Sing 88 Corp. (福昇風味小吃 - Fú Shēng Fēngwēi Xiǎochī).
2 East Broadway
New York, NY 10038
Open Sunday to Wed. from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Open Thursday to Sat. from 10:00 am to 9:30 pm.
Food Sing 88
2 E Broadway, New York, NY 10038