Sometimes I want noodles. And sometimes I want soup—but not too much soup. And any bowl of noodle soup tends to fall into the category of "too much soup."
It wasn't until I ordered combination rice stick with soup on the side that I realized I could control the amount of liquid I ingest with my noodles, similar to how I like having my maple syrup on the side when I eat pancakes instead of dousing the pancakes in sweetness. A small cup of soup accompanied the bowl of flat rice noodles topped with ground pork, sliced pork, sliced fish cakes, sliced spleen, and chopped scallions. The spleen was my least favorite part—it was a bit too funky for me—but the other meats made up for it.
The flavor of the chewy, flat rice noodles would have been masked and the texture would've been softer than I prefer if only eaten while swimming in the soup. I like the flavor of plain rice noodles—and plain rice, for that matter (and just about anything else made of rice). I'd be happy eating these noodles without soup as well, but a spoonful of soup here and there does enhance the noodle-eating experience for a shot of moisture and sodium.
New Chao Chow
111 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013 (b/n Canal and Hester; map)