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By Steven Li on 2006-03-11

March 11, 2006

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Located underneath the Manhattan bridge is another world. It’s not the Chinatown on Canal Street but the real Chinatown. The Chinatown where no menus are in English and where you would be hard pressed to find someone with hair that isn’t black or brown. I first heard about Super Taste’s hand pulled noodles from a Chowhound post. There would be the occasional rave from a friend about how they “really make the noodles right in front of you!” and “it’s soooo good.” Hyped us to such a degree I was slightly let down by the dishes at Super Taste. The first sign was the English menu. I suppose once upon a time, a long time ago, the menu was in Chinese. But then someone “discovered” the restaurant and it became popular – tourists, foodies and chowhounders trekking in for a taste of these high touted hand pulled noodles. The menu would have to be redone in English to make everything more accessible for customers. Flavors need to be adjusted, the spicy beef noodles can’t be too spicy, plastic bowls to cut down on the costs, mass production. And from there everything goes a little downhill bit by bit.

The Spicy Beef Noodles was uninspiring and left me feeling, “so what?” The noodles, hand pulled by a lady in the open kitchen, were on the softer side. I prefer soft over harder noodles but theses were just kind of bleh. Like flavorless noodle shaped dough. The soup was greasy, just a tad spicy with an appropriate meaty taste. The little pools of spicy oil on the surface of the broth was attractive upon first glance but left me with a headache and feeling like there were vats of oil floating somewhere between my throat and stomach. Exactly. And this is coming from someone who can handle very spicy food and immense quantities of MSG! The only redeeming factor was the soft, spicy slices of beef. Fat and meat found a nice ratio compromise, the occasional bite meeting a welcome surprise of flavorful fatty goodness.

The oxtail in the Oxtail Noodles were a joke. Brittle thin slices of oxtail littered the soup, even then, the oxtail were there more for appearance than taste. There was no meat on the bones, though we found the occasional piece of fat. Soup here was passable, not nearly as greasy but wavering on the bland side. I think I’ll stick to Bo Ky on Bayard for my noodle soups but at least I got to see what this “hand pulled” hype was all about.

Super Taste
26N Eldridge Street
NY, NY 10002
(212) 625-1198



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