If there's a fish ball capital of the U.S., I would think it's Eldridge St. with its fish ball restaurants and fish ball factories. I was strolling down Eldridge when I see a bright and clean sign that says Yi Zheng Fishball Inc. At first I didn't know if it was a restaurant or only a factory. As I took a closer look I still couldn't tell, since there were no tables inside, or menu in the window, but there did appear to be people dining at long counters facing each of the side walls. Walking into the restaurant I became more confused, because there still were no menus or any sign of prepared food. And the gal behind the counter, who didn't speak English, only tried to sell me bags of frozen fishballs. But since there were several people eating fish ball soup inside I persisted. Finally the gal called to one of the customers, who effectively placed my order. And I'm glad she did because in my opinion these were the best fish balls I had eaten in New York Chinatown. Now granted, my taste buds may be different because my positive assessment was based on the extreme smoothness of the fish ball, and the relatively small amount of meat filling, which for me was a perfect combination. Perhaps others of you prefer a rougher fish ball with more meat. But this was fine with me with eight large fish balls in soup for $3. I thought some of the diners had noodles in their soup but since there's no menu I can't say for sure. Yi Zheng Fishball Inc. is at 9 Eldridge St., an address it seems to share with Ka Wah Bakery.
Yi Zhang Fishball
9 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002