We once again woke in the afternoon. We tried to make it over to Sobakoh in the east village, but they, as many japanese restaurants do, close for about two hours in between lunch and dinner. HOW FRUSTRATING as a customer, especially coming from Michigan just to eat noodles, to finally find the place and have them be CLOSED until dinner. We had a plane to catch, so we couldn’t wait around and walked down the street only to be pleasantly surprised by another noodle shop that turned out to be pretty good- and very trendy called Je’ Bon on St. Marks st.
They had to have had an architect design the interior of the restaurant. It looked like something in Architectural Record. Orange lights on the walls contrasted with dark wood, designed “picnic tables”, blue lit bar, an indoor courtyard, and black lit bathrooms. It was pleasing to the eye.
The owner (whom I guessed correctly based on his superb customer service) Joe/Joh/Jo/Jiu (not sure which one), talked to me about some of the foods they had. I ordered Siu Lung Bao (cantonese for steamed soup bun). It was really good, but the buns were really small (maybe as big as a 50 cent piece) and there were only 3 of them for $4. Tasty, but nothing special.
I originally ordered something called Buddhist Delight and had a choice of noodle: ramen, spinach noodle, egg noodle, and udon. After talking to Joe, I switched from ramen noodles to a noodle they made at the restaurant out of fish. He explained the process was much like squeezing icing onto a cake through one of those chef’s tubes. The noodles definitely looked like they were hand-made, or at least hand squeezed out of a tube. I’m not huge on fish, but it didn’t have a really fishy taste and the texture was still like a noodle (closest to udon- fat and kinda squishy). It was okay, but I think the idea of eating fish squeezed out of a tube was less appetizing than the actual noodle. It was really similar to processed fish balls you see frozen at chinese supermarkets (which I grew up with and still love even though it’s processed and frozen fish).
The rest of the soup was quite delicious, but not comparable to Momofuku (I think the berkshire pork did it for Momofuku). The Buddhist Delight included mixed shiitake mushroom, wood ear, straw mushroom, bamboo shoots, fried bean curd, carrots, seasonal greens in vegetable broth… I thought I would be getting that with the fish noodles after talking to Joe, but they apparently changed my whole order and I got the one soup that had fish noodles in it: Je’ Bon soup. THAT included fresh fish noodle with seared fish pate, shrimp, clam, chicken, shredded mushroom and bamboo shoots in fish broth.
I took some pictures, made friends with Joe, and ran off to the airport. We made it just in time to board the plane.
Siu Lung Bao (steamed soup bun with pork)