The Yunnan-style rice noodle boom penetrated Midtown this week with the opening of Little Tong Noodle Shop, the second location of chef Simone Tong’s critical hit mixian restaurant originally in the East Village.
The newest Little Tong is currently open just for lunch at 235 East 53rd St., between Second and Third avenues, with a modest 16 seats available. Like at the first outpost, a variety of mixian dishes make up the centerpiece of the menu. Tong’s popular grandma chicken mixian — a soup noodle with chicken, black sesame garlic oil, flowers, pickles, and fermented chiles — is available in Midtown, as is a spicy dan dan mixian with ground pork and spicy peanuts. All the noodle options cost $13.
For the lunch crowd, Midtown Little Tong adds a sandwich, made with a scallion pancake and filled with beef shank, marinated cabbage, and cheese curds. Take a look at the full lunch menu below; dinner will be coming later.
It’s a quick expansion for Tong, a Wd~50 alum who opened her first restaurant just last spring. Shortly after that, the Times dropped two stars on the restaurant, praising Tong for her tangy noodles. At the time, mixian restaurants were few and far between in NYC, and now, lots of places are serving the noodle around town.
In other Little Tong news, the downtown location is hosting two family dinners this weekend, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The $55 tickets include all-you-can-eat food and beer, wine, and sake, and cash goes toward medical costs for sous chef Misael Cruz, who needs an immediate neurosurgery.
Little Tong Noodle Shop’s Midtown location is now open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.