I remember CelinaBean called me when I was waiting to cross the boarder back to the US from Montreal when she told me about a new soup place on Central Ave – Taiwan Noodle. Their menu is small, simple, and cheap.
I had planned on heading down to NYC this past weekend to spend Chinese New Year with my family. But the snow storm put a kibosh on that. I was bummed I was going to miss them. I hadn’t finished making soup for Renee’s soup swap, but was happy when Celina mentioned she’s be back in town to order as much off of the menu as possible. She brought the whole family with her, and we were able to sample quite a few different dishes.
These spicy wontons ($3.95) were great – slippery skins, and a hearty dose of heat.
The shop itself is in the old Saso’s space on Central Ave (218 Central Ave, Albany, NY). The interior is clean and simply decorated – it appeared to be the owner and maybe his son or another young adult relative doing FOH service.
I heard an order of “Har Gow” getting shouted at the kitchen when we sat down, which means I was all like “TWO ORDERS OF HAR GOW, PLEASE!” when it was order time. They’re on the menu in English as Shrimp Dumplings ($3.95). You can skip these and get more spicy wontons, though – they were just frozen pre-fab ones. The shrimp inside was kinda mealy.
Xiao Long Bao ($2.95)! I can probably tell you what brand of frozen XLB these are, coz I think I have these exact same dumpling sitting in my freezer right now. Not bad, but… you know. Frozen and premade. It’ll scratch your XLB cravings.
So. The dumplings might be a little hit-and-miss, but what you really want to come here for are the noodle soups.
Chicken wing soup – the kids really liked this one.
Pig foot soup. OMG, love. Celina and I were raving about how good the broths were – so clean, light, but still rich and flavorful. They surprised us and told us that ALL of their broths were vegetable based (made in house)! WHAT?! Veggie based broths at an Asian restaurant?
These were so good, and I don’t think these pictures do justice to the sheer size of these dishes – huge! You get SO much food for $5! They were bigger than my head! I can’t wait to go back and try more soups, and more mains-over-rice types of dishes. Great flavors, and the soup broth was so clean.
We also got to try another vegetarian broth chock full of onions and tomatoes. This one, he said, was for beef noodle soups. As-is, you wouldn’t peg it as an Asian broth. But it was very richly flavored and I can’t wait to try out a beef soup now.
Gung Hey Fat Choy