Spicy Noods and Lacey Dumplings at Silky Kitchen – NYC
Silky Kitchen is one of the many fast-casual Chinese rice noodle restaurants that have opened in recent years in the East Village. Many are average, and most are overpriced in terms of quality, but Silky Kitchen is quite the contrary. The food is authentic and affordable (even more so at the moment because of a 20% off Groupon cash back deal), and the digs are up-to-date. I’ve been a few times already, and each time I’ve left happy and spicy.
Chairman Mao’s Favorite Braised Pork ($12.49) is currently my favorite mifen (Hunan rice noodle) dish at Silky Kitchen. The sheer amount of tender slow-braised pork belly is pretty ridic and much appreciated. As for ordering the noodles with soup or without, I prefer soup. The dry version seems to be same version of the soup noodles with less soup but not necessarily more spice. Get the soup noodles. And if for some reason you don’t like smooth, silky rice noodles, rice is also an option.
In terms of heat, I’ve found the spice level to be pretty inconsistent. Once I ordered spicy and it was crazy hot, and another time it was just right. If you’re sensitive to heat, order the noods less spicy and adjust the heat yourself with some chili oil at the counter.
Stewed beef ($11.48) is also very tasty with lots of soft braised beef.
Outside of noods, Silky Kitchen serves 4 kinds of dumplings, including vegetarian. I’ve tried the pork and celery dumplings ($6.98/6pcs), and while the dumplings are small, they’re plump and come with a crisp lacey skirt. Very on trend these days… but also worth the hype.
Visit Rating: 4/5 stars
Pro Tip: Soup noodles are better than dry, and spice level can be inconsistent. Go less spicy and grab some chili oil and self-spice.