Cold Noodles With Sesame Sauce from King Food Chen (489 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-799-8467)
First off: Woo-hoo! We did it! Year of the Takeout has made it a whopping 20 days, so we’re only one away from being legal! Yowza! (And thank you, dear readers, for following.)
But on a completely more somber, serious note, there is some writing to be done this fair evening — about a dish that appears pretty much everywhere.
Say hello to the cold noodles with sesame sauce, which — in Fork in the Road’s experience — appears to be more of a thing at Chinese fast food in the Northeast than in the Southeast. (For all of you would-be commenters out there: Have you seen this in the Midwest or on the West Coast?)
At King — the menu of which perplexingly boasts both “grand opening” status and “famous cuisine” — this $4.25 selection seems to be exactly what the name promises.
A bed of unheated, though soft, lo mein noodles comes drizzled with a sweet, soy-based sauce featuring hints of peanut. A pile of fresh green onions and a sprinkling of sesame seeds serve as topping and garnish.
Now, a few things must be said about this plate. Though completely dressed down — it’s pasta with a simple, unwarmed dressing — the sugary sauce, herbaceous onions, and nutty seeds play off each other very well. No, this should not be your main — you’d feel overloaded by the strong sweet element — but it could well serve as a side or starter to a meatier, saltier principal.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 21, 2012