Niu Noodle House, located at 15 Greenwich Avenue in the West Village of NYC is an Asian dumpling and noodle haven. Its welcoming patio (glassed in for the fall and winter) faces the heart of the area and for anyone coming from NJ it is almost directly across the street from the 9th Street PATH train station.
Upon entering Niu (pronounced “new”), we were greeted by a friendly hostess and the warm blue glow of the lights underneath the bar area. The décor is an interesting mix of retro Americana meets faux street food vendor in an intimate, yet welcoming atmosphere. The brick wall, “No Parking” sign, and curling floor to roof “tree” made for likeable table scenery.
First up was cocktails and I ordered the Niu Mist- a concoction of muddled fresh ginger, fresh lime, Bombay sapphire gin, pomegranate liqueur, cranberry juice, and a splash of rosewater. This libation was on the tart side and at first I thought I didn’t care for it, but as I began to enjoy my meal, I realized its sweet and sour presentation was definitely intentional and it turned out to be a great compliment to my food.
My husband order the Lemongrass Lychee Clam, which was a smooth and creamy blend of citrus vodka, lemongrass tea, and fresh lemon juice, all poured to perfection over a bed of lychee pearls. This one was definitely a hit.
For appetizers we noshed on the Chicken Satay with Creamy Peanut Dressing ($6 for 2) and the Steamed Duck Buns ($6 for 2). The chicken was incredibly moist and the creamy peanut dressing, almost luxurious in nature, was the perfect pairing. The buns did not disappoint either; each came with a hearty slice of duck breast on a pillowy bun and there was a nice crunch from the greens. The hoisin sauce was again the perfect compliment and definitely one you could double (and triple) dip!
For the main course, my husband ordered the Honey Walnut Shrimp ($23), which had deep fried shrimp tossed in honey mayo, on top a bed of broccoli and finished with candied walnuts. It is definitely an entrée that you have to eat altogether. The shrimps were huge, which was a definite plus, but my husband found himself searching for something else in the dish… other than the sweetness. A spice such as chili or even pepper would have been good to break it up.
As the name states, noodles really are their specialty. Aaron, our waiter, explained that the noodles are hand-made every morning in their factory and then shipped out to the three restaurants in the group who use them. I ordered the Beef Trifecta Soup Noodles ($14) and was not disappointed. I indeed had a triple helping of beef in this hearty and comforting dish. Flank steak, short ribs, and beef steak danced around tempura seaweed, asparagus, scallion, sweet corn, and half a hard-boiled egg. The beef was so tender, I could cut it with my soup spoon and the rice noodles became increasingly flavorful the longer they sat and absorbed the aromatic broth. Tip: When at a noodle house, get the noodles.
As we sat eating, George, one of the part owners of the restaurant came over to our table and asked if we had tried the soup dumplings. Initially, I balked at the idea as I stared at my steamy bowl of noodle soup until he shook his head and said, “No, no, not dumplings IN soup, but soup IN the dumplings”. Intrigued, we had an order sent our way ($5 for 4). As they arrived in the steamer, we were instructed on the proper way to eat them. Dumplings containing soup inside would of course be too hot to bite into so we were to put a dumpling on our soup spoon, poke a hole in it with a chopstick, let some of the broth pour out, drink the broth from the spoon and then eat the entire thing. The crab and pork meat inside sang a song with their liquid counterpart much like I belt out, “Moves Like Jagger” in the shower. For such a little thing, the flavor was intense and delicious. The garlic and ginger infused soy sauce as a dipper was the perfect acidic accompaniment. Thanks George!
Somehow, we made room for dessert, and my husband and I were happy we did as we split the most delicious, green tea crepe layer cake ($9). The slice arrived with a light dusting of green tea powder, was not overly sweet, and was a perfect ending to a perfect meal.
Overall, Niu Noodle House was a fantastic experience, a spot that would be ideal for a date night or for an outing with your Mommy group. The prices are reasonable, the location is convenient, and of course, nothing else really says comfort food like homemade noodles!
Disclosure: I receive sample(s) for purpose of testing and review. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”