Lunch for One: Mushroom Noodles at Chinatown Brasserie

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[Photo: Kathy YL Chan]

Noodle dishes are the highlight of my lunch visits to Chinatown Brasserie. I often go out of my way just for an order of their E-Fu Noodles—when that specific craving hits, there's no other place that can satisfy. Recently I've been venturing around the other noodle dishes on the menu and was particularly pleased with the Mushroom Noodles ($15).

The dish is made with thin egg noodles, fried crisp and then topped with a medley (I counted at least four types) of mushrooms cooked in a thick savory sauce, the flavor of hoisin coming out strongly. At the center, the egg noodles have softened, soaking up the sauce; at the edges, they are still crisp with a satisfying, light crunch. The single best bite is when you capture both the soft and crisp textures with a single mushroom and slivers of scallion, all in one mouthful. I'm all for cheap Chinatown food, but Chinatown Brasserie is one of the few upscale Chinese restaurants where the higher price is worth the upgrade in quality. The portion size for the Mushroom Noodles is large for a single dinner, but leftovers make great afternoon snacks.

Chinatown Brasserie

380 Lafayette Street, New York NY 10012 (map) 212-533-7000