The Devilish Ramen at Noodle Village sounded too intriguing to pass up. Nothing screams, "EAT ME!" quite like the ultimate embodiment of evil. ...In noodle form.
According to John, the receiver of the noodles with Devil-like qualities, the ramen was disappointingly not mucus membrane-scorching enough, despite the menu's warning that it was "very spicy." Lies, all lies! It seems that the redness of the soup was just a ruse, causing you to expect sweat-filled, tear-inducing pain where there was none. He ended up mixing in the complimentary hot sauce and chili paste that came on every table, but it shouldn't have needed the extra kick. It should've made him cry tears of burning.
Overall, it seemed like the noodles were tasty enough, but did not contain delicious evil like the name would suggest.
I went with homemade fish cake end cut noodle soup with wide rice noodles. (Rice noodles are my favorite type of noodle: kind of elastic, kind of chewy, super cheap, and lighter than most other noodles. Flat, thin, in wide sheets, I WILL EAT IT IN ANY FORM, BWAHAHA NONOODLEISSAFE.) I had no idea what "end cut" referred to when I placed my order (I like being surprised, as long as the surprise isn't alive and wriggling), but I was satisfied with the springy, somewhat spongy, fish-based rectangular chunks surrounded by a firmer layer of fried-ness that were embedded in my tangled mass of noodles. For those who are uninitiated with the world of fish cakes and fish balls, they're basically reformed pulverized fish meat with extra flavors. Like salt! Magical salt! And stuff. I have to admit, even though I've been eating fish cakes and fish balls ever since I was little, I've never made them nor tried to figure out what was actually in them. It's a mystery. Like a hot dog.
...On that note, I'd totally eat a fish cake dog. Surely someone can just make a fish cake log and stick that in a bun. And top it with something condiment-y. Kathy is telling me right now that this could be really gross, but I'd be willing to give it a shot. I mean, someone had to look at an egg come out of a chicken's butt and go, "Hey, I'd eat that! Even if it's potentially gross." I look at a fish cake log and say, "Hey, I'd eat that! In a bun. Even if it's potentially gross."
The fish balls in Olivia's fish ball noodle soup were a whole 'nother breed compared to my fish cakes. I was taken aback by the super soft, mozzarella-like consistency of the balls, which told me me that I've probably never had this fresh of a version before. But I like chewiness in my reformed fish mash, with a bit of "boing" in every bite. I'm not sure I can get used to the mozz-like version.
Nathan approved of his beef brisket noodle soup. He originally asked for the braised pork hock noodle soup, but the waiter suggested he get something else. Whether this was because the pork hock was particularly flawed that night or because Nathan is white and the waiter thought it wouldn't appeal to his palate has yet to be determined. I haven't witnessed much dish discrimination against non-Chinese people (probably because...I'm Chinese), but I've heard of it happening. Well. Maybe the pork hock just sucks.
And, behold, wheaty yellow noodley strands! They emerge among the beef chunks!
Tristan decided to taint our nearly 100% noodle-pure table with his non-noodle filled mustard green and pumpkin congee. I think he ate it all. He tends to do that. A growing boy needs his rice porridge mashings.
We all shared an order of Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce. Jebus, I love this stuff. Like many Chinese vegetables, it's just cooked to the point of not being raw. The leaves retain crispiness without being too fibrous. I love crunching through the thick stalks...ripping them apart...hearing their dying screams. Thus is the joy derived from eating fresh vegetables, aside from feeling healthy. They taste good even without the accompanying oyster sauce, but I can't say the sauce doesn't help give it that extra something—that something called "vegetarian-unfriendly meaty richness." Yeah. Well, just avoid it if you're vegetarian.
We also shared an order of steamed pork dumplings. I don't remember much about them, so I suppose they didn't suck, nor blow my mind. These were probably better than average though—thinly skinned and stuffed with pork bits.
We walked up the street to Green Tea Cafe so Olivia could quench her raging desire for bubble tea. Except I don't think Green Tea Cafe did the trick. Wrong bubbles, wrong temperature...something or other failed. One day Olivia will get the perfect bubble tea. One day.
As I'm not a bubble tea fan (I used to be until one fateful summer day, a higher power said to me, "Chewing those tapioca balls is a pain in the butt; you should just drink water"), I went with a promising sounding scoop of black sesame ice cream from their prominent ice cream menu that was displayed on every table and on the front door of the cafe and anywhere else where it could burn into your retinas. Unfortunately, this ice cream sucked balls. Yet I still ate it because I'm a slave to the toasty drool-inducing flavor of black sesame. What was wrong with this ice cream? It had a consistency similar to cookie dough, but tackier, perhaps if the dough had dried up a bit, or shriveled up by its own lack of desire to live. It seemed that I may have been given the last dregs of whatever nearly barren container the ice cream had be borne forth from. Epic fail.
Try to guess what this flavor is. Mint chocolate chip? Why...no. That would make too much sense, considering that it's green and has brown chunks in it, but it was actually supposed to be fruit. Like apricot. Which is tasted nothing like. We all tried a bit and came to the same conclusion: "FLAVOR IS INDECIPHERABLE." I wouldn't say it tasted bad—it's still ice cream after all—it just didn't taste like anything...identifiable. Strange. Yup.
John's mango ice cream was at least somewhat in the "pastel orange" mango color family, but still managed to taste a bit off. Or maybe my taste buds just stopped caring.
Tristan chugged down a neon green liquid with bits of fruit-based matter and jelly-based matter. That's not the real name of the drink, but it's probably more accurate than whatever the actual name is. I only took a small sip, so I can't recall what it tasted like. Slimer?
Noodles, fish cake, and weird ice cream—I sure treat my body good.
13 Mott St
New York, NY 10013
Green Tea Cafe
45 Mott St
New York, NY 10013