Noodle Master in NYC: Kung Fu Kitchen
Updated: Jul 4
Kung Fu Kitchen
*Times Square (610 8th Avenue New York, NY 10018)
(I visited the Times Square location)
3 years ago, around this time of the year when autumn meets the winter, I visited “Kung Fu Kitchen” for the first time.
I was impressed by two things from the restaurant.
First, I was impressed by the two kitchens. One is a big kitchen where the main dishes are cooked, and the other is a small kitchen where two ladies make fresh dumplings.
Second, I was fascinated by a huge mural on the wall. There is an illustration full of people who are eating and making dumplings and noodles. It looks like a heroic painting.
The amazing mural increased my expectations, yet the restaurant has not failed me. It has fulfilled my expectation by serving great food since then.
Flour and water.
People around the world make so many kinds of food with these two ingredients.
China made the first noodle in human history with flour and water.
For a long time ago, the Chinese loved many types of noodles but the most special type of noodle is La Mien (Hand-pulled noodles).
La means “long” and Mien means “noodle”.
In this restaurant, they make Lanzhou-style La Mien (Hand-pulled noodles) and Dao Xiao Mien (Hand-cut noodles).
Kung Fu Kitchen is a restaurant founded by the noodle master, Head Chef Peter Song.
Peter Song immigrated from China and opened the first Kung Fu Kitchen restaurant in Flushing.
He said during the Tasty interview, “Becoming a noodle master, you have to make 100 bowls of noodles a day. I used to make 500 bowls a day.”
He said he became 5 times faster to becoming a noodle master.
He also calls himself a performer because making noodles is like a performing art.
I would like to introduce delicious dishes that Peter Song worked so hard to make.
Spicy Beef Ramen in Soup
It is a perfect comfort food during cold weather. I personally prefer La Mien (Hand-pulled noodles) over Dao Xiao Mien (Knife Cut Noodles) for soup dishes because it is thinner and longer.
Not only the noodles are tasty, but the soup broth is amazing. The broth is very thick and flavorful.
Thinly sliced beef toppings are great to wrap the noodles and eat them together.
There is plenty of bok choy for a crunchy texture.
I pay 20 cents more to get spicy ramen but if you want to adjust the spicy level, I recommend you to order a regular beef ramen soup and put the amount of chili oil you want. The chili oil is always placed on the table.
I recommend eating the noodles fast because it gets soggy easily.
Chicken Stir Fry Ramen
Chinese cuisine is a master of fried dishes.
The stir-fried ramen in this restaurant is very delicious. I had almost all kinds of fried noodles in this restaurant, House special, vegetables, Beef, Pork, Chicken, and Shrimp.
All of them are delicious.
I prefer getting La Mien (Hand-Pulled Noodles) for stir-fried noodles, but if you like thick and chewy noodle texture, I do recommend Dao Xiao Mien (Knife Cut Noodles).
The sauce in stir fry noodles tastes like black bean paste and soy sauce.
Because the chef quickly stir-fries ingredients at high temperatures, vegetables are crunchy and juicy.
It is served in a little bit large portions, so it is great news for foodies.
Xia Long Bao (Soup Dumpling)
I wonder if there are people who have not heard of soup dumplings nowadays.
Soup Dumpling from Kung Fu Kitchen is above average. (Pretty good)
The way to avoid burning your tongue while having the soup dumpling is to place the dumpling on the spoon and bite a little amount of the outside bun and let the air goes inside to cool.
It is juicy on the inside and chewy on the outside.
It is great with a sweet and sour soy sauce that is served together with the dumplings.
Pan Fried Pork Dumplings
I strongly recommend “Pan Fried Dumplings” in this restaurant.
They are truly delicious. I had pork dumplings and veggie dumplings and they are both amazing.
The reason why their pan-fried dumplings are better than their steamed dumplings is that pan-fried dumplings have not only a chewy texture from the dough but also the crispy texture that is created from frying.
It is absolutely the best pan-fried dumplings I had in my life so far.
Steamed Bun with Mushroom and Bok Choy (2 pcs)
In this restaurant, there are plenty of food options for vegans but even if you are not a vegan, I strongly recommend you to get steamed buns with mushroom and bok choy.
Inside of the bun, it is filled with full of delightful flavors of mushroom and bok choy.
A delicious soft white bun that is made with unique fresh dough magnifies the flavor and makes perfect harmony with the inside.
It is served really hot so I recommend you tear the bun into two pieces before you eat.
Kung Fu Kitchen’s dough itself is very basic and yet delicious.
They always use fresh dough and handmade noodles.
Because I only visited Kung Fu Kitchen in Times Square, my rating is based on the Times Square location.
Atmosphere & Location: 4.5
The restaurant is located in Times Square so it is pretty close to the subway. During lunch and dinner time, you may have to wait 10 to 15 minutes. There is a big mural on the wall. A video related to the restaurant is projected to the other side of the wall.
Food Taste: 4.8
Almost all noodle dishes are great but noodles get soggy over time so if you do not like soggy noodles, I recommend getting dumplings here. Pan-fried dumplings are better than steamed dumplings. Most dishes are above average and they are addicted.
The servers are nice yet need to be more organized.
It is not a super cheap Chinese restaurant. I believe it is because all the dough and noodles are handmade. However, it is worth it.
Use of disposable utensils: They do not use disposable plates or bowls for dining in but they do use wood disposable chopsticks for dining in. I wish it to be changed.
Times Square where the busiest and most crowded place on Earth, is filled with machine made food.
If you want to have food that is made by the chef’s hand from scratch to finish, I recommend this restaurant.
I would like to introduce two amazing supporters who helped this post.
They went to Kung Fu Kitchen with me for giving me their point of view.
She is vegan and prefers having less salty food.
“ I tried vegetable stir fry ramen and I enjoyed it because there are many veggies. It is a big portion for me so I could not finish it.
It was tasty. I am happy to have Chinese food for vegans near my office.”
He is omnivorous and loves spicy food.
“I had spicy beef noodles in soup and pan-fried pork dumplings. I strongly recommend the spicy beef noodles in soup for spicy food lovers like me.
The broth is amazing.
Pan-fried dumplings are great too.”
Big thanks to these first two Illustrator’s Kitchen food supporters!
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