I took a little heat from commenters last week for a piece about Han Song Ting’s Chinese take on the Korean cold noodle soup naeng myun. Their beef: Naeng myun noodles are traditionally made from a mixture of buckwheat and potato that gives them an elastic snap. So after reading on Chowhound that Chung Moo Rollrice & Dongas serves a killer bibim naeng myun I decided to give it a whirl. I was especially jazzed since I’ve passed the tiny spot on Union Street dozens of times without ever venturing inside.
Bibim naeng myun doesn’t contain any broth, just the aforementioned buckwheat-potato noodles topped with a heap of fixings. (Think bibim bap with noodles instead of rice.) Chung Moo’s is festooned with dried seaweed, slivers of cooked egg, cucumber, daikon, pickled cabbage, gochujang, red pepper powder, and toasted sesame seeds.
All those ingredients are pretty to look at, but their aesthetic harmony is short-lived since they must be thoroughly mixed before digging into the bibim naeng myun. The result is a cool bowl of slippery, springy noodles coated with a spicy, slightly sweet sauce and riddled with lots of crunchy goodies. The thin brown noodles are quite elastic and really long, which makes for some fun and tricky eating. Chung Moo’s version isn’t as spicy as the ones I’ve had in Manhattan's K-town, but that’s easily remedied with a dash of hot pepper. The price for the noodles and the complimentary sidecar of miso-like soup: a whopping $7.
Although the English name of this joint is “Chung Moo Rollrice and Dongas,” my crack team of Korean translators says it actually translates to “Chungmu Kimbap and Donkkaseu.” Donkkaseu is the Korean version of Japan’s tonkatsu, or fried pork cutlets. Chungmu Kimbap, something like the world’s most minalimist form of sushi, consists of just rice and seaweed. Given how cheap everything is at Chung Moo I’ll probably be trying it quite soon along with donkkaseu. I might even throw in an order of squid fries.
Chung Moo Rollrice & Dongas
39-04 Union Street, Flushing NY 11354 (map) 718-308-6582
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