The brutal cold winter in New York City makes many people yearn for a large steaming bowl of soup and noodles to warm themselves inside and out. While there are many options for that general food category, I was curious to eat at Little Tong with a few friends. Little Tong, run by chef Simone Tong, specializes on mixian rice noodles and overall this place is worth the hype.
We started off with very tasty starters of ghost chicken and beef tartare. The ghost chicken was a delicately spicy poached chicken dish. The fried shallots added some crunch and savory flavor and the herbs made it refreshing. The beef tartare topped with smoked aioli, and a large scallion pancake was satisfying. The tartare had finely chopped marinated root vegetables like carrots and I possibly turnip. The creamy aioli added some unctuous silkiness and the scallion pancake was super flaky but a touch greasier than preferred.
Since we wanted to try as many different bowls of mixian, we split between three types. The banna shrimp mixian is a lightly smoky tomato soup with delicate hints of shrimp and crab shells. Wheels of pickled green chiles add not just heat but depth; there are fried shallots, too, and fresh mint, stirred in along with coconut milk.
The grandma chicken mixian was gorgeous with the colors of the pickled vegetables and edible flowers juxtaposed to the grainy, inky black, black sesame chicken broth. There are spicy red bits of fermented chile, some salty and sour pickles, an egg boiled in pu-erh tea, and long chrysanthemum petals.
The month’s special, family mixian was the richest of the three but nevertheless, a very delicious bowl of mixian. The incredibly savory slices of aged sirloin beef and vegetally sweet baby zucchini worked nicely with the rich broth.
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Little Tong Noodle Shop
177 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Phone: (929) 367-8664