Hao Noodle and Tea by Madam Zhu’s Kitchen, has been an instant sensation since the time it hit the New York City. Having received two stars from Pete Wells and being put on Eater’s ‘Best New Restaurants of 2016’, Hao Noodles is certainly on its way.
Started by Zhu Rong, a successful Beijing based restaurateur, Hao Noodles asserts a more contemporary identity in both look and taste.
The space is just gorgeous with the bar area elegantly decorated with foliage whilst the backroom has a long community table along with individual tables.
The menu showcases pan-regional tastes of China with dishes you don’t ordinarily find on menus across the city.
Take for example a ‘Cherry Tomato w/ Plum Consommé’ which was served as a salad – it was really refreshing with really delicate flavors.
One of their standout dishes was ‘Madam Zhu’s Spicy Fish Stew’. This is a dish that only those who can really handle heat should attempt. The balance of spicy, sour and along with other spices was just perfect in this dish.
Another dish I really loved was the ‘Eight Spice Crispy Tofu’. Spiced cubes of melt in your mouth creamy tofu covered with a batter with just eh right crunch. This dish surprised me as these tiny cubes of tofu were just bursting with flavor.
I have to say that I had two very different experiences at Hao noodles. One was at a press tasting event where I was literally blown away by the food. Practically every dish was stunning.
However at a more recent visit with friends our entire experience was rather lackluster. The service was indifferent bordering on appalling and our food was served for most part lukewarm to cold. We waited a minimum of ten minutes each time, to even grab the attention of our waiter and there was no one overseeing the operations to complain to. Dishes I loved like the crispy, creamy fried tofu seemed to have been fried in rancid oil – making a dish I loved almost inedible.
So I present to you the two sides of Hao Noodle and Tea by Madam Zhu’s Kitchen that I experienced. I guess that you will just have to try for yourself and I hope you have the same experience I had the very first time I went.
Here is some of what we ate:
Cherry Tomato w/ Plum Consommé
Thinly Sliced Marinated Beef Shank
Chinese Chives With Clams
Clay Pot Dumplings
Eight Spice Crispy Tofu
Madam Zhu’s Spicy Fish Stew
Dan Dan Noodles
Pork and Vegetable Wonton Soup
Pan Seared Pork Dumplings
Taro Soup Slush
Rosewater Jelly with Nuts