Peng’s Noodle Folk, Upper East Side

Ramen Name: Tan Tan Men

Includes: Minced Pork, Kale, Green Soy Beans, Corn, Red Radish, Bean Sprouts

Broth Type: Pork Based

Noodle Type: Medium Thickness

Spice Factor: A Slight and Awesome Kick

Special Tip: You can order a different type of noodle for $1.50 extra.

Price: $12

Places of Interest Nearby: Prince Tea House, Alice’s Tea Cup, Museum Row, Bloomingdales, Central Park

It had  been 10 months since I last reviewed a bowl of ramen. Passion projects sometimes have to take a backseat when the realities of survival take priority. In my case, the Broadway show that I had been in closed under very sad circumstances and then I went out on tour for 7 months. It also takes inspiration to write. Sometimes that arrives in the form of a bowl of ramen on the Upper East Side. I decided to go with Tan Tan Men instead of the more traditional bowl of Tonkotsu. Even in the heat of this intense summer, I craved something with a bit of a kick. I was surprised at how large the bowl was when it arrived. It looked delicious but sometimes looks can be deceiving. This was not the case at Peng’s. First sip of the creamy, slightly peppery broth assured me that I was in for an exciting 10 minutes. The noodles were fresh and chewy. The minced pork had a pop of Szechuan spice. I alternated bites of crunchy green onion and actual pieces of garlic. Once in awhile a solid green soy bean popped into my mouth, along with the dense creaminess of the boiled kale. I didn’t have corn in my bowl because, I have to be honest — even though I’m all up for eating weird, new, and strange things, WTF is everyone doing putting corn into a bowl of noodle soup?! I thoroughly enjoyed this bowl of vibrant textures and contrasting tastes.

For $12, it’s a steal, and they brought out FREE watermelon and green apple for dessert. I was the only one in there today during lunch time. I hope that when I come back—I can’t wait to try the tonkotsu bowl—Peng’s will be packed.