The Best Chinese Hand-Pulled Noodle Dish in New York is This Big Tray of Chicken — Cult Following

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(dreamy indie rock music) – We are here in Chinatown
in New York City, and I’m about to take you
somewhere extremely special and close to my heart, Spicy Village. ♫ I’m so in love – People in the food world like this place. Mark Bittman from the New York Times, he wrote a piece on it. He said he really enjoyed it. Chef Danny Bowien has openly admitted that he has taken some recipes from here. – I ate here 20 times. We honestly totally knocked off a few of their dishes ’cause
they’re so delicious. – They’re known for their hand-pulled noodles, which are super delicious and
definitely hard to make well. Their fans are so intense
that they even created t-shirts for the restaurant
on their own dime. ♫ I’m so in love with you – I went and talked to
Spicy Village’s owner, Wendy Lian about what it’s been like for her tiny restaurant
to grow such a fan base. (speaking in foreign language) (moves into bouncy funky dance music) (mmm) A lotta young people, yeah. (speaking in foreign language) Well, it seems like you’re doing well! (speaking in foreign language) It’s done right! It’s amazing! It’s really good, brings joy! Brings joy to her, brings joy to me. And now I’m gonna go frickin’ eat some, ’cause I’m obsessed with it! Let’s go see. (speaking in foreign language) So this is the main event. This is, da pan ji which is literally big tray of chicken. So what you do is you order
it with these noodles, which is kind of their hallmark thing, and you let the noodles
soak in all these juices. So all that spicy goodness
is coating each noodle. Every bite, (mmm) (mmm) so good, so, so, good! It’s pieces of these fried
chicken in the sauce. And there’s also pieces of potato, which have also been just
soaking in the sauce. Let the potatoes sit
there for a little bit. So at the end, you get all
those juices in the potato. That’s the hot tip! One thing people also ask me is “Is this gonna be too spicy for me?” I’m like “No!” This is the perfect amount of spice! You’re gonna get a
little bit of the tingle, but not too much! You’re gonna have just enough where you’re gonna want to keep eating. I’ve ordered da pan ji at other restaurants, and let me tell you, they are not as good as they are here. This is why this place has
a fricking cult following, is the da pan ji with these noodles. So coming here, the main event is the big tray of spicy chicken, but we kind of have to have
a vegetable on the table. So we usually get cucumber,
which is a cold dish. It’s cool, it’s light, it’s refreshing. You do see a little bit a chili on there, but it’s not gonna be overwhelming. (mmm) So another big thing
they have is a pork pancake. This is one of their
signature dishes as well. It’s not like the American
pancake that you would think of, that you have for breakfast,
that’s really sweet. This dough, it’s called a
pancake, but in Chinese, it’s a mo. So it’s almost like a griddled bun, but it’s flat and it’s
crispy on the outside. So the texture inside, it’s quite fluffy. So that’s pork in there,
kind of a savory sauce on it, and a little bit of cilantro,
just a nice, savory treat. All those juices in there
just makes it, (mmm) (smack) it’s good. This is it! Egg and tomato, classic
homemade Chinese dish. It’s made just at home. This is something my mom
would make, for example, when, you know, she doesn’t
wanna think too much about what she’s gonna cook. It’s really warming and homey. (mmm) Ooh yeah, hits the spot! I mean, the noodles are perfect. Hand-pulled noodles like these are extremely difficult to make. I know because my mom used
to make them really well, and I tried to do it, and
it was a frickin’ disaster! Basically, they’re flour-based noodles. And they’re perfect because they’re thick and they have a bite to them, but they’re also really
slippery and chewy. It’s just an amazing texture
that is so hard to do at home! So it’s a reason to come here. They do it well. It’s super affordable. New York, it’s this city
where sometimes it’s hard to find a place where you’re a regular. And for me, even before I started working in food, this was my place. If you like this, click here
to watch more Cult Following. – Alright, and you can definitely
tell that it’s homemade and that this is not
an industrial product. – [Host] (laughing) You should go for it! – [Guest] I’m doin’ it!
(funky dance music) So good. (bright music)

100 comments

  1. A bit better than her other episodes… Like a lot less like airheady. Wish she was more attractive too. Her face makes me lose my appetite.

  2. When she tried to describe the pork bun and all she could come up with was 'savoury', I disliked. How can you have a YouTube food show and only manage to describe something as 'savoury'. It's pretty fucking obvious the bun is savoury, we want descriptions of the flavours. Tried to give this woman a chance, even when eating food she is familiar with she fails to deliver.

  3. 找个连普通话都不标准的主持人来做中国美食节目。。。挂羊头卖狗日啊,我都怀疑她有没有在中国吃过真正的中国美食

  4. There we go !! Something she's enthusiastic about although I'm not a fan of Chinese food id definitely give it a try after watching this episode ? she's really in her element here

  5. Out of interest, how do Chinese people get visas to work in restaurants in the US and gain green cards etc? Surely that doesn't count as a skilled sector.

  6. I honestly think that one of the main reasons that people dislike her, though they probably wouldn't want to admit, is that she's not very attractive.

  7. she just doesn't have the face for a show like this. most people don't look great while eating, we can all agree. but she's way too unpleasant to watch. just focus the camera on the food please

  8. Nice touch with interviewing the owner in their native language. You often do not see the host use their language skills. Great to see. Good video. Do not get too down on the negatives. Keep moving and trying to push good content out.

  9. Great work on this episode, Serena. Can feel your enthusiasm and knowledge shining though. Keep up the momentum for future ones!

  10. Yes, yes, and yes! This is definitely one of her better videos. I'm not a fan of her's whatsoever but I have to give her a big round of applause. I'm proud to see her comfortable enough with a cult following to be able to talk about the food well and with some passion. Serena, stick with the stuff you know and bring in guest for the cult followings that you are kind of familiar with.

  11. First of all, this is food channel. I like this video which shows different approach from other reporters. Yes, her vocabulary is lesser than Lukas but i feel her passion from the screen. I don't care her Mandarin is good or not. This video definitely takes me to the restaurant in this weekend.

  12. Serena was actually really good during this episode. She seemed really comfortable and was genuinely portraying her excitement to the viewers. I can understand dislikes in the past but this was a great episode. Only improvement I would say is talking about the different flavours of the food instead of just texture.

  13. Serena was actually really good during this episode. She seemed really comfortable and was genuinely portraying her excitement to the viewers. I can understand dislikes in the past but this was a great episode. Only improvement I would say is talking about the different flavours of the food instead of just texture.

  14. Improvement. I wish she talked more about the flavors and ingredients of the sauce in the spicy chicken and noodles dish. She only described the pork pancake sauce as savory. Savory how? Soy based? Curry-like? Gravy-like? She needs more descriptors or comparisons.

  15. Getting better, but still not great at describing the tastes and textures. the description for the noodles-do that for all the food

  16. Why is everyone praising her over this rubbish? This is literally all the descriptions for the food, other than what they are.

    Da Pan Ji:
    "This is the perfect amount of spice! You're gonna get a little bit of a tingle, but not too much! You're gonna have a little bit of the tingle, but not too much! You're gonna have just enough where you wanna keep eating. I'ordered Da Pan Ji at other restaurants, and let me tell you, they are not as good as they are here. This is why this place has a fricking cult following, is the Da Pan Ji with these noodles. * disgusting eating sounds *"
    What's the taste like? What's the texture like? She missed out the 2 most important parts of food! Taste and texture!

    "Pork Pancake":
    "So it's almost like a griddled bun but it's flat and crispy on the outside. So the texture inside, it's quite fluffy. So that's pork in there, kind of a savory sauce on it, and a little bit of cilantro, just a nice, savory treat. All those juices in there just make it mmm * smack * it's good."
    So she described the texture of the Mo this time. That's an improvement. What's the pork's though? And the taste of the "savory sauce"? I mean, tons of things are savory, so, you know. And what do the juices make them now? Wait… So it's good. Ok.

    Egg & Tomato Huimei:
    "Ooh yeah! Hits the spot! I mean the noodles are perfect. And they're perfect because they're thick and they have a bite to them but they're also really slippery and chewy. It's just an amazing texture. They do it well."
    Cool story. So the noodles are thick, chewy, but slippery. What happened to everything else? And is that your description? Many things are like that. Mochi is thick, chewy, and slippery. Is this mochi you are describing?

    Guys, this isn't hard. All you need to do is eat and describe. Sure, not anyone would be able to make it so it is as if we taste the food from listening to descriptions of it, but come on. She is being paid to eat now, not to review food.

  17. Serena is getting much better. She has improved on her interviews with people, explanation of a restaurant's history etc, I think the one thing she can still improve much more on is her description of food.

  18. That looks so amazing! I really want to find a good place with home-made noodles in Stockholm as well. Good idea with the editing of showing the items that she ordered, I really liked that.

  19. For the first time i gave a like to one of her videos. Its so lovely to see passion and actual descriptions of the food. I am glad she is improving and hope she does better in future. And the fact that she added her personal touch and saying the food tasted like a kiss added and an extra layer of quality to the whole video. ?? cheers.

  20. Looks like one of those dishes you order intending to share but you eat the whole thing by yourself.

  21. Never really understood why people dislike her so much. She's not one of my favorites but I wouldn't say that she's horrible.

  22. I know people make fun off Nick on the meat show for the words he uses to describe food, but you can tell he's really much, much better at it. Just found this series and yeah, meat show is WAAY better, and not just cause its meat.

  23. FUNNY HOW PPL BITCH ABOUT HOW SHE NEEDS TO DO A BETTER JOB. SHE FINALLY DOES A FUCKING AMAZING JOB, DESCRIBING THINGS SO WELL, SO MUCH MORE ENTHUSIASTIC. AND THERE ARE STILL THE "DISLIKED BEFORE WATCHING" COMMENTS. WOW.

  24. Hey Eater,

    as a loyal subscriber I must say. This host is steadily getting better, and plus I guess she is someone people love to hate…aka they watch the video to hate on her…so in a sense she did create a cult following ironically. Give her a chance.

  25. Hey Serena,

    I visited this place a few days ago thanks to your video. It's very quite good. The big tray chicken had too much anise seed, as my two brothers and I agreed it was quite overpowering, but the rest of the food was delicious and I would certainly visit again the next time we go. Thank you for the video.

  26. honestly found this episode so cute like she seemed so passionate about the restaurant. sure her chinese isn't the best, but tbh the interview probably would have been worse and and the woman uncomfortable if she couldn't speak in chinese.

  27. The hosts Chinese sucks. I wanted to vomit after hearing her speak! Please don't speak a language you do not know how to speak. She is also one of the worst hosts on Eater.

  28. Large noodles, fried chicken AND potatoes all in one bowl? SOLD.

    The pancake explanation reminds me of an experience from my childhood.
    When I was a little kid new to the US with Polish immigrant parents, still too young to realize that regular American kids had different takes on food names, I invited my friend (bi-racial african-american and irish descent, if that helps to paint a picture of an All-American kid) from up the block over to eat because we were having pancakes, my favorite dinner. In retrospect, I think I blew his mind that anyone would be eating pancakes for dinner, so he joined me without even asking his Mom, so as to avoid a response he didn't want to hear.
    When we actually ate, confused is not the right word when he saw fried potato patties, sour cream and mustard. Dismay or deep disappointment would be my choices. In my defense, I'd never even heard of a pancake in the traditional American breakfast sense. I'm not sure if sweet breakfast foods existed in the village my parents grew up in. I think his Mom rang doorbells until she got to our house (this was the early 80's when TV told mothers that child murder and kidnapping were around every corner of every city) and spanked the shit out of him right on our stoop while weeping in relief that her son wasn't being skinned alive to make a lamp shade. I felt terrible, not only for his punishment, but that he risked a beating for pancakes that never even existed.
    We're still connected on Facebook to this day, and he definitely knows what a potato pancake is now. I don't think he likes them much, but he's been over for dinner plenty of times. I definitely love his Mom's smoked pork ribs.

  29. This is the thing I love about NYC, and really a lot of America. Fantastic food in a humble store that doesn't cost a fortune.

  30. Authentic Cantonese cuisine is quickly disappearing on the culinary map of Manhattan’s Chinatown, but fortunately there is a still a couple of good options left with one of them being “Ping”. Come check it out with me. Link: https://youtu.be/1CwZpSvP_rA

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