R5 Noodle+, Dumpling + Noodle, and Saigonese Portend a Westchester Asian Food Craze

Call it the momofuku effect—Westchester is currently going wild for noodles. The County’s new noodle houses are jammed with locals looking for quick, delicious, family-friendly meals—and why not? Go ahead and name one person who doesn’t crave the silken, slurp-able pleasures of noodles. These new restaurants are proving that it simply can’t be done. 



soup dumplings and roast duck noodle soup
Chances are, when you think of cheap eats, you don’t think of carefully hand-wrought dishes, but check out the scores of tiny tucks at the neck of each soup dumpling at Noodle+. These handmade bundles (six for $5.95) must be folded to order right before they go into the steamer to ensure that the pastry doesn’t absorb the gingery pork broth. When you bite in—very carefully!—they pour a luscious mouthful of liquid into your spoon. Follow the de rigueur soup dumplings with a tangle of chewy wheat noodles resting in rich, golden, chicken broth. We love the $9.95 roast duck noodle soup at Noodle+ that arrives with slices of roasted duck on top. Once you taste its crisp, spice-haunted skin, you’ll love it, too.
245 Main St, White Plains (914) 948-4950; noodle-plus.com

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Dumpling + Noodle Manager Jenelyn Berbano holds a bowl of silken hand-sliced noodles. Dumpling + Noodle 

house special duck bunS and handmade sliced noodle soup
It would be perfectly understandable to suspect that Dumpling + Noodle is the twin sister of Noodle+, but, in fact, the two restaurants are independently owned and each restaurant excels at different dishes. At Dumpling + Noodle, we love the house special buns (two for $5.95), which takes those miraculously soft, foamy white steamed buns, slicks them with sweet hoisin sauce, then folds them taco-style around succulent slices of roasted duck. Each fluffy/chewy bite offers carnal, crisp duck deliciously offset by crunchy cucumber sticks. Be forewarned: You’ll have to fight your dining partner for that second bun. 

But, if you lose the bun battle, you can always fill up on Dumpling + Noodle’s fat and brawny handmade noodles ($8.95). They’re tossed in a thick, nutritive broth fortified by big, juicy chunks of chicken breast; silken dropped-egg filaments; and umami-rich wood-ear mushrooms. Losing never tasted so good.
26 Palmer Ave, Bronxville, (914) 779-0902; dumplingnoodle.com  


exotic Saigon roll, pho saigon dac biet
Westchester’s first Vietnamese restaurant turns the general perception of cheap eats—greasy, nasty fast food—on its ear. Expect bright-tasting, nourishing food loaded with lots of fresh herbs and vegetables. In that vein, we love Saigonese’s bo bia Saigon (exotic Saigon rolls, a bargain at two for $6): They’re translucent rice-paper wraps packed with crunchy jicama, sweet Vietnamese sausage, fried egg, vermicelli, and holy basil. Wash them down with a sink-sized bowl of pho Saigon dac biet ($9.50), and you have one stellar meal. The dac biet is an all-inclusive party of grilled brisket; rib-eye; meatballs; soft, silvery beef tendon; and translucent rice noodles, all resting in a shallot-rich broth perfumed with star anise. The pho is served with the traditional Vietnamese “table salad” of crunchy bean sprouts, lime wedges, and fragrant holy basil leaves to make an ample bowl of wholesome and tasty food that also just happens to be cheap.
158 S Central Ave, Hartsdale, (914) 288-9088

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