Taiwanese comfort food has a new home in the East Village starting today. Ho Foods is a new restaurant from chef-owner Richard Ho, who opened a series of Ho Foods pop-ups in 2015 and 2016. It specializes in beef noodle soup, presenting a modernized take on homestyle Taiwanese food.
The 10-seat restaurant is located at 110 E 7th St., between Avenue A and First Avenue, in the space that used to house sandwich shop Porchetta. Ho previously worked front of house in the Blue Ribbon Sushi locations in Brooklyn and Columbus Circle.
Taiwanese restaurants are increasingly carving out space in the New York dining scene. As Eater NY critic Robert Sietsema writes in his guide to great Taiwanese restaurants in NYC, a decade ago there were only a few Taiwanese restaurants in town. Now there are dozens. Ho’s food, which he tells Grub Street reflects his mother’s cooking with his own modifications, is part of the movement toward a more modernized Taiwanese cuisine.
Ho’s signature beef noodle soup is made with rock sugar, the fermented bean paste called doubanjiang, and a variety of spices including licorice, clove, cinnamon, and red Sichuan peppercorns. He uses beef shank and a 24-hour broth made from bones, beef feet, and marrow. Diners can then choose either thick or wide wheat noodles and have the option of adding tendon or making the soup extra rich, extra spicy, or extra rich and spicy for an up-charge. The base price for the soup is $14.50; extra soup can be added for $7.
Given the limits of the space, the menu is very small. Other than the soup, some small sides are offered: pickled cabbage, soy cucumbers, minced pork rice, daily greens, and homemade soft tofu with a century egg, sweet soy, and bonito. Check out the full menu below.
Ho Foods is open for dinner from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays.