slides: Rhode Island’s 5 Best Noodle Spots
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Sure we had plenty of European noodles, but we lacked a diversity of Asian noodles. Now our state is suddenly alive with some incredibly talented chefs producing noodles and "crave-worthy" broths.
We set out to find 5 good bowls and came back with these...
Related Slideshow: Where To Find the Best Noodle Bowls
This newcomer is still in "soft-opening" hours but it is already providing some delicious food to a steady stream of patrons. Located in the renovated Biltmore Garage, Ken's is a hip spot for noodles and more. We started with the pork buns, which were as good as we hoped. We then split the chicken Paitan ramen and the dipping ramen. They were both excellent. We really loved the broth on the Tsukemen. The flavors were bold and the noodles for dipping held the flavor of the broth nicely. The chicken was a close second. We added some of Ken's homemade chili oil and a soft-boiled egg to it. It was rich and spicy.
69 Washington St.
Boru Noodle Bar
The noodle movement in America had its re-birth in 2004 when David Chang opened Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City. Diners and young chefs alike flocked here to learn the finer points of ramen and soba. As they spread out over the country, we got lucky enough to have people who were inspired by Chang here in Rhode Island. At Boru, the star was the spicy miso ramen. The braised pork and corn provided a nice balance to the flavorful broth. We would be remiss if we didn't mention the Brussels sprouts. Oh. My. God. The soy caramel and kimchi puree are the best "sweet and sour" ever.
36 Broadway. 401-846-4200
This place has been on our radar since the soup/noodle cravings got too great one night, and we stumbled in for a bite. What we found was some of the most flavorful broths we had ever had in these parts. The long simmering time helps bring out multiple layers of flavor. We usually grab an appetizer or two and then split the too-good-for-words Xe Lu'a. This an extra large version of their beef soup. We usually get the Pho or rice noodle and the soup features the excellent broth and steak, brisket, tendon and tripe. Don't let those last two scare you...they're the best part.
50 Ann Mary St. 401-365-6278
HiBi Shabu Shabu
This new restaurant had us drooling before the doors opened. Shabu Shabu is one of our favorite cooking techniques and harkens back to late nights watching the Japanese version of Iron Chef. When we first heard of this "cook at your own table" style of cooking we were intrigued and fell in love when we tried it in New York City. We were even more excited when we tried it in our own hometown. Pick the Udon noodles, a protein of your choosing and one of seven broths for dipping—and slurping. The Korean kimchi broth, with different chili pastes and kimchi providing the heat, was phenomenal.
736 Park Ave. 401-467-6386
No, not North Providence. This restaurant is another that features a cook who toiled in those extremely difficult David Chang kitchens. This is one of the most progressive restaurants in Providence. For this one we turned to our friend, chocolatier Drew Shotts of Garrison Confections. He should have a seat named for him here. The laid back vibe is what gets Shotts—along with a great selection of rye and the dan dan noodles with local goat and squid. The fermented chili and black pepper add a kick to the earthy flavor of the goat.
3 Luongo Sq.
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