The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Kofoo's Bucket of Cold, Chewy Noodles

Since I work about a 30-second stroll from Korean take-out Kofoo, it's easily the place that I eat at the most in New York City. Not necessarily every week, but sometimes three times in a row. Or more. It depends how lazy I am; can't take 10 minutes to make my own sandwich (usually of a boring composition, preferably filled with mortadella)? Kofoo, it is!

Since I have the opportunity to eat there so often, I've given myself the goal of ordering everything on their menu, an easily attainable goal because it thankfully doesn't cover the breadth of a typical Chinese take-out menu. There's kimbap (what I like to call, "sushi on steroids"), rice dishes, noodle dishes, soup dishes, and sides. It's a condensation of my favorite Korean foods, most of which are freshly made and won't set me back more than $10.

Does the name cold, chewy noodles appeal to you? ...Yeah, not exactly as mouth-watering as "fried chicken." Or most other foods. But I hadn't tried it before and, dammit, I had a goal in mind. A goal that once attained would mean absolutely nothing. Like graduating high school.

cold chewy noodles, a bucket of.
It's cold and chewy.

I didn't know what exactly to expect when I handed over $7 for the experience of eating noodles that possessed the prized qualities of being cold and chewy, but I definitely hadn't envisioned a clear saucer-shaped bucket filled with a tangled mass of semi-white noodles atop a bed of chopped romaine lettuce and carrot strips, topped with buttloads ("buttloads" equating to "a lot") of shredded cucumber and some other shredded vegetable that was possibly radish, with half of a hard boiled egg plopped in the center and sesame seeds sprinkled over everything. The container was barely large enough to contain the excessively huge mountain of noodles and vegetable matter within. I can't exactly say why, but I was kind of scared.

cold chewy noodles
Compressed noods


kofoo cold chewy noodle stuff
Noods in a small bowl, thank god

I figured that the best way to tackle the chewy noodles was to transfer the ingredients in manageable doses into a smaller bowl. They weren't kidding about those noodles; they were way chewy and elastic, methinks because they're made of rice and wheat flour, but correct me if I'm wrong. Pulling them out the entangled mass was a bit awkward, as they would initially refuse to budge, only to fwoop out if i tugged especially hard with my chopsticks. The force of the recoiling noodles led to a number of sesame seeds being flung onto my keyboard and table. (Probably shouldn't eat in front of my computer, but I do it all the time. Someday something will lodge itself into my hardware and make it implode.)

After successfully transferring a baby gob of noodles from the mother gob, I mixed it with salad, cucumber, radishy bits, and what I assume was kochujang, a spicy fermented bean paste. (I need a crash-course in Korean food names, seriously.) After all that work of having to construct my meal, all I could think was, "Oh my god I AM READY TO EAT YOU," and somewhat mindlessly scarfed it down. My stomach wasn't enthralled, but I had this giant serving of food that I didn't want to go to waste. I called it quits after about four bowls (er, but who's counting?), at which point I still had more than half of the portion left.

I plopped it in the fridge. Maybe I would eat it later. Yeah. Maybe.

Three days later after the weekend was over, I did end up eating it for lack of possessing any other lunch. "It'll still be good," I naively thought. But no—after three days of sitting in the fridge, the noodles transformed from lively, springy ropes to brittle, spiritless shells of their former selves. I didn't realize how much I missed those chewy noodles until they were gone. That's the way life works.

I salvaged the noodles by reheating them in the microwave, turning the once cold, chewy noodles into warm, semi-chewy, but not really, noodles. ...Yeah, that didn't really work. But I probably ate four bowls anyway (small bowls, mind you) before convincing myself that I was full. I wouldn't say I was full as much as "not hungry"—there's a difference.

And after that, I still had at least 25% of the original portion left. Possibly more. It was basically THE NOODLE DISH THAT WOULDN'T DIE. I find that unsettling. Like...really, no one needs that many noodles.

I think the Korean name for this dish is jjol myun. While I wouldn't say it was opposite of tasty, it wasn't something I'd feel compelled to eat again either. Not that I should complain about something that fed me for two meals.

By the way, I love most of the food at Kofoo. Read my review on Gothamist and the unappreciative comments from Gothamist users, oh sweet jesus, I hated them. Here's some more food porn of deliciousness from the Church of Kofoo to churn your stomach acids. In a good way, I mean.

bulgogi bob
Bulgogi Bob. I don't even remember ordering this. Frightening.
spicy tuna
Spicy tuna kimbap is my favorite. Avocado is my favorite for when I'm not in a fish-eating mood.
omelet rice, yeah!
Also a big fan of the omelet rice, except if you eat more than half of this in one sitting, you'll feel like you're in your second trimester.
Duk - Bok - Gi
Dukbokgi! Or sliced rice bar and vegetables marinated in spicy soy sauce. This shizz is spicy.
mmm udon
Udon. In a bucket.
Ramen. In a bucket.
vegetable soup with rice cakes and veggie dumplings
Vegetable soup with rice cakes and vegetable dumplings. In bucket.
Tristan eats
Tristan doesn't come with the Kofoo experience. Here you can see the spinach and baked tofu side dishes. Good stuff for when you're feeling...vegetarian-ly.


334 8th Ave
New York, NY 10001


Mahar / March 22, 2008 11:20 AM

What is it about cold noodles that they can't seem to disappear? Seriously. You're like the 3rd person I know in as many weeks who can't seem to get rid of their cold noodle dishes.

Methinks they're like mushrooms that spore overnight.

Just a thought.

AnniesNYeats / March 22, 2008 11:26 AM

Hey, is it finally my turn to be first?...Robyn, maybe those cold and chewy noodles of cold chewiness would be refreshing during the summer. I don't know, just trying to give them a break because everything else there is so good.

Also I took a look at the Gothamist comments. Dang. Those are some negatively-charged ions out there. Maybe not everyone should be taught to write, eh?

youny / March 22, 2008 12:16 PM

I love Korean food (though I'm biased and am Korean)!I would recommend eating a cold Korean noodle dish on a hot summer's day- part of Korean food's deliciousness is that it's a seasonal cuisine, so partly, the atmosphere about which you're eating the food is important as well. As for noodles, if they are sticky when you get them, I'd recommend doing a little rinse of water over them so that they are slick. Jjolmyun is really meant to be eaten in a huge bowl where you basically plop everything together and mix the red pepper sauce really well so that everything is a big mess of tasty. By having wet noodles, the mixing process will be a lot easier too.
Anywho, great site, I enjoy reading about your food adventures.

Kay - a possible tree hugger / March 22, 2008 12:43 PM

What's up with the term "bucket" what happened to the term "cup"?

Oh yeah I couldn't help but noticed you put "bio-degradable bucket" styro foam ain't bio-degradable... sorry if I sound like a tree hugger.

Anyways Happy Easter! (i.e. chocolate bunny genocide day)

Jamie / March 22, 2008 1:40 PM

Ooohh... I wants noodles. I wish we had as good a source of Korean food in DC. We do have a Korean BBQ cart that kicks butt. Mmm...

G / March 22, 2008 10:31 PM

I think I'm more than half way thru trying each thing on the Kofoo menu. Well except for the spicy stuff; I can't take spicy.

roboppy / March 22, 2008 10:42 PM

Mahar: ...I find the idea of my noodles reproducing a bit unsettling.


Annie: True, it might be a good summer thing, although I will always be sitting in my air conditioned office. WEE!!

I think the Kofoo entry was a rather "good" entry comment-wise. Nothing too flamingly scathing. Some other ones got pretty bad...

youny: We do have this ONE giant bowl that could've fit all the noodles. ;) If I ever eat it in a restaurant I hope they'll give me enough room to mix the noodles around. ;_;

tree hugger: When I think of a cup I envision something I would drink a beverage out of. Anything larger is more like a bucket. A small bucket, but still...not a cup. Unless it's a ginormous cup, like the kind that hold giant slushies from 7-11.

Oh, it's paper, not styrofoam. Semi-biodegradable?

Jamie: BBQ ain't bad. Although I do prefer TOFU STEWS, MMMM.

Gordon: Oh no, the spicy stuff is so good! So good that it buuurns!

iang / March 23, 2008 4:05 AM

mmmm, I love chewy noodles, especially KoFoo's! =P at places like WooRiJip chewy noodles are served with more flavoring and less veggies and sesame oil and sesame seeds and some other flavors I don't remember, so don't give up on chewy noodles just yet! KoFoo's is just a refreshing, veggie dependent version ;)

didn't know they had ramen and omirice, gotta munch those down...

I'm probably leaving where I work in the next month or so and chances are that means being farther from KoFoo =(

Clarise / March 23, 2008 6:45 AM

Eel? I love em too! though it looks weird if you type it that way... typing it EEL looks so much better... I mean.. every part of it tastes like fat or textured like fat the meat, the skin, the fat :P... it's a good alternative to pork but I find myself feeling dizzy if I eat too much fat, butter, oil.. Have you felt it too or is it just me? I seriously feel my arteries clogging...

Random question: Do you read Harry Potter? If you do answer this: When they were hiding in the forests (Harry, Ron & Hermione) why didn't they summon Kreacher when they need something? I mean.. they had nothing to eat and they could ask Kreacher to cook for them at Grimmauld's Place and bring it to them?

I re- read HP7 and I thought I couldn't survive on wild mushrooms and stale bread.

redrhino / March 23, 2008 5:53 PM

Sup Rob-O?

I have asked this before and I'll ask it again. How are your post found at Gothamist? You are not listed in the staff profiles, unless,(you are the Smoking "Hawt" Jen Chung over there). ;-)

Any ways, I can only find your post if you mention it on your blog and post a link to it.

Am I retarded or what? A little help please,...please?



Maybe,I want my comment to appear by typing "Abra Cadabra" and not "spoon". Hmm Kay?

roboppy / March 23, 2008 7:51 PM

iang: Ah, I remember the last time I went to Woorijip I ate something that was heavily...oiled. Not that it tasted bad, just heavy. ;_;


Clarise: I think I only feel dizzy if I've gone too long without eating (like 24 hours, haha) or if I drink too much alcohol. Too much fat? HELL NO! Bring on the eel! ;) Yes, it all taste like fat. It's so good.

As for your random question (OF COURSE I LOVE THE HP!), I figured they didn't want Kreacher to possibly find out where they were. Even if he had to bring them food by order, he could still betray them. Or something?

redrhino: Oh, I'm not...part of their staff. If you search for my name on their site, maybe my posts will come up. Otherwise, all my gothamist entries are linked to from my archives page.


abby / March 23, 2008 8:01 PM

I take a class at FIT one night a week so sometimes I pick up dinner from there on my way home but somehow I haven't had any of the dishes in your pics yet! And even though you didn't seem to love the cold chewy noodles, I kind of want to try them now anyway. Usually I either get the tofu soup with kimchi (don't remember what it's called but it's hot and comforting and mucous-inducing) or the bibimop, which I bring home and throw in a wok to heat up.

roboppy / March 24, 2008 7:51 AM

abby: Ooh, I love that tofu kimchi soup! I've gotten it a few times...I guess I forgot to take a photo of it. :O It usually lasts me two meals, hehe.

Steph / March 24, 2008 8:29 AM

Dammit! Tristan doesn't come with the food?!??? Grr!

I wonder what would happen if a woman in her second trimester actually ate all of the omelet rice. Would she feel like she was about to give birth?

- S

moi / March 24, 2008 9:15 AM

Looking at your photos of kimbap reminded me of sushi. Next time you're ever in the D.C. area, give me a shoutout because you HAVE to visit Kotobuki. They have the freshest fish around for an affordable price (a feat in and of itself).

roboppy / March 25, 2008 11:36 AM

Steph: That baby would POP RIGHT OUT.

moi: Yup, it's like sushi, but awesomer. the Hungry Man version. Yeah. I go for quantity.


Julie / March 25, 2008 2:21 PM

Holy posting machine! I'm always bummed when food looks better than it tastes. Especially noodly food. Everything else looks so delicious, too, and dangit, it's lunchtime!

Jesi / April 30, 2008 7:48 PM

my keyboard is littered with seasame seeds from my sushi addiction last summer. which is silly because you cant eat sushi and type at the same time anyway, i dont know why i bothered. i HAVE a kitchen table, but i never use it. one seed is wedged between the 5 and the 6, causing me to forever type 56 or %^... my mom thinks i always work at 56:30 and my boyfriend is trying to figure out what expression %^.%^ represents.

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