The Cantonese food vendor with a cult following, Joe’s Steam Rice Roll, is plotting a standalone location in the East Village.
Owner Joe Rong tells Eater that the restaurant will be located at 36 St. Marks Place, between First and Second Avenues and is slated to open in the spring. It’s a project between him and Alex Lin, an investor in the business, the Times first reported.
Rong began selling his rice noodle rolls from a tiny storefront in Flushing in 2017, and his craft quickly stood out. Unlike many other vendors, he grinds the rice for the batter in an electric-powered stone mill daily. His stand has drawn a loyal following, prompting him to expand to Manhattan last November with a stall inside Canal Street Market.
He says he’s traveling to China soon to perfect the restaurant’s sauces and seasonings and expects to add new drinks to the menu, too.
Rong’s new standalone restaurant will be the third outpost for Joe’s Steam Rice Roll and the first standalone location. The restaurant received a favorable review in the Times this week, where the critic notes that the “earthiness and elasticity” of Rong’s rice noodle rolls set them apart from others.