Noodle Village has quickly become one of our go-to spots in Chinatown. It’s nicer than most of the other places, has a great menu, and is pretty cheap. Oh, and they might have some of the best xiao long bao (soup dumplings) I’ve ever had?! Definitely better than the XLB at Joe’s or Din Tai Fung, but hey that’s just my opinion. If you’re on the hunt for some xiao long bao, Noodle Village is the spot.
If you’re planning to go, expect a wait. I’ve been twice on Saturday during lunch, and both times were a 20-30min wait for 4-5 people. I wouldn’t go with any more people than that unless you’re ready for a long wait, because the restaurant is fairly small and they don’t have any big tables. Aside from the wait, service is actually really great. They staff are always fast, attentive, and much nicer than your average Chinatown restaurant.
Now let’s run through the food:
Pork XLB – Amazing. Order many. They’re only $6.75 an order (Din Tai Fung sells an order for $11 lol). XLB are a childhood favorite of mine and I have to say these are easily some of the best that I can recall. The skin is thin and has a bite, rather than being thick and doughy, and the filling and soup is just so rich and delightful. I was absolutely stuffed the first time we were there and still ordered another six at the end of our meal. These are an absolute must order.
Crab XLB – Also really good. Personally I’m more of a pork XLB guy, but these are undeniably good. These are also an absolute must order.
Century Egg and Pork Congee – I’m not usually a huge fan of congee but this one is soooo good. It’s a simple dish and these guys do it right. The the pork is so tender and flavorful it really stands out in the light congee.
Wonton Noodle Soup – You get 5 plump and tender wontons filled with pork/shrimp, and they are always on point. Each bite is a burst of goodness. The broth is delicious and I love switching from wonton to noodles to soup to wonton to noodles to soup until it’s all gone.
Shrimp Fried Rice – Super tender shrimp. It came out more brown than I expected, meaning they put a lot of soy, but honestly that’s what I end up doing anyways so I didn’t have a problem with it. Was not a huge fan of the bean sprouts though.
Claypot Rice – If you haven’t had this before, Claypot rice is just rice topped with meat that is cooked inside of a clay pot. This way, the rice along the bottom of the pot gets really crispy and delicious. Some people love the crispy rice and some people hate it. Me, I’m more interested in the Chinese sausage and spare ribs that they put in there. Also, if you aren’t accustomed to eating spare ribs, just know that are little pieces of cartilage (they look like translucent white bones) in the meat. You can totally eat it.
Spicy Pork Lo Mien – This is probably the only dish I wouldn’t order again. It was pretty good, just not what I was expecting. This dish was sweeter, almost kind of like a Filipino spaghetti.
I absolutely love this Noodle Village and I will be back frequently!!!