New York TIME
A Cozy Spot to Enjoy Dumplings and Soup
A Review of Noodle Plus, in White Plains
By M. H. REEDNOV. 9, 2012
SMACK in the middle of one of the busiest blocks in White Plains, Noodle Plus is set back a little from the street, and the spot is easy to overlook. But since opening its doors in March, this modest restaurant has become very popular with local residents for its succulent Chinese dumplings and slippery noodles. Though the pace tapers off somewhat toward the end of the day, Noodle Plus does brisk business at lunch and on weekends.
The space is small, but big on charm, with a photomural of children happily slurping up bowls of noodles, and a pleasant, helpful wait staff.Among the dumplings offered, steamed pork soup buns are probably the most appealing. But those cunning little sacks should be approached cautiously.In addition to a ginger-sparked knot of minced pork, the centers also contain some soup, which can be extremely hot.
Other dumplings and so-called small dishes were almost as winning, like the six crisp pot stickers laced with a sweet-hot sauce, and four curry puffs filled with a chicken mixture, bits of refreshing cucumber on the side. Although steamed crab-and-pork buns can be wonderful, we wished ours had had a little more crab. Scallion pancakes were too chewy, and the chicken and vegetable dumplings needed seasoning.
Under the heading “Stir-Fried Noodle Bowls,” we found yaki soba, long, thick noodles that were served mingled with vegetables and fragrant mushrooms. A dish of pad thai was loaded with egg, crunchy bean sprouts, scallion sticks, nuts and our choice of mixed seafood. Chicken, tofu or beef could also have been added.
The many combinations of meats and vegetables lend infinite variety to basic dumplings and stir-fried dishes, with and without broth. Among the noodle soup bowls, roast duck and shrimp won-ton soup was a multiflavored delight: sweet, succulent and pleasingly gamy. The shin beef in the beef noodle bowl was first rate, but the broth, which carries this particular dish, was thin and bland. The blackboard over the cashier is worth checking. It sometimes carries a seasonal greeting or suggests a special dish.
“Miso Soup Noodle Is Here” was chalked in such exuberant lettering that we found ordering a bowlful irresistible. It turned out to be a perfect winter dish, sometimes called “noodle casserole” at other Asian restaurants. Here, a bed of thick noodles supported a topping of vegetables, meats and egg — all in a lovely, hot, bracing broth.
Despite a few disappointments, including being served tepid tea, we certainly ate our fill of tasty, moderately priced dishes in a pleasant atmosphere. Patrons wishing the restaurant were roomier may have their wish granted at Noodle Plus’s next incarnation; its owners are looking for a second location in Westchester County.
SPACE A tiny, unprepossessing restaurant, seating 26 people and set well back from busy Main Street. One wall is covered with charming black-and-white photographs showing children enjoying bowls of long, fat noodles. A blackboard menu high over the cashier’s desk lists a special or two. Wheelchair accessible.