Carbo Loading at Noodle Village

Pork, shrimp, and watercress wonton soup. [Photographs: Robyn Lee]

Noodle Village is one of our go-to sources for simple wonton noodle soups, but the surprisingly expansive menu rewards digging deeper. Take a look and you'll find a couple dozen soup, noodle, and dumpling options, several beyond what you'll find elsewhere in Chinatown.

To get you started, there are dumpling soups, wonton soups, dumpling noodle soups, plain noodle soups, and dry noodles—all between $5 and $6.50 for a massive bowl. Unlike most Chinatown noodle houses, Noodle Village makes surprisingly good chicken broth, rich but not heavy or too salty, perfumed with ginger, scallion, and rice wine. Use it as the base for an order of Shrimp, Pork, and Watercress Wontons, plump and juicy beneath their delicate skins, with fat chunks of shrimp, clean-tasting pork, and a refreshing dose of greenery.

Cilantro and black egg dumplings.

Also refreshing: Cilantro and Black Egg Dumplings, with skins that are thicker but still delicate, and a filling that contains some pork but mostly minced cilantro and diced century egg, which lends its telltale wobbly texture and mildly funky flavor. The herbs keep the egg in check for a dumpling you could almost call light.

Cilantro and black egg innards.

When it comes to noodles, we prefer the wider, flatter ones you can request, as seen here with our cilantro and egg dumplings. They taste fresher and have a more lithe, pliant texture that keeps them interesting to slurp whether dry or in soup.

Pumpkin and mustard green congee.

But there's more than just noodles and dumplings here. Though Noodle Village's unadorned congee isn't one of our favorites, they make one with creamy chunks of pumpkin and just-wilted mustard greens ($5.25) that we'd gladly order again. The thick, creamy porridge is impressively bland, but a dash of the high-quality soy and chili sauces on the table fix that fast, and the pumpkin and greens add some much-needed textural nuance.

You'll want some greenery with that.

And yes, simply cooked greens are a worthy order here. You'll need them to balance out your carbs.