Susanna Foo’s return to Center City now has an address. A liquor license application recently appeared at 1720 Sansom Street and the application is in the name of Susanna Foo. The former home of Genji has long been shuttered, and also suffered a fire. This morning, the sounds of hammers was clear as renovations are already underway. 1720 Sansom Street is a two-floor space with 1,935 square feet on the ground floor and an additional 1,636 available in the basement for storage and refrigeration. Foo will reunite with her longtime chef Anne Coll, who left Meritage earlier this year at the new restaurant. No word on an opening date, and according to Michael Klein, he’s hearing the name will be Suga. Foo left Center City back in 2009 after a praise-filled run on Walnut Street. The new location will be under three blocks from her original downtown Susanna Foo. She also still owns Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen in Radnor. Suga [Foobooz]
Cheu Noodle Bar is now serving its dinner menu for lunch and dinner. That means buns, pigtails and Cheu fries all day.
The popular Washington Square West restaurant has also added several new noodle dishes to its menu.
- Sour Broth – ground pork, fermented onion, flat noodle
- Yakisoba 2.0 – shrimps, shiso verde, charred corn, radish
- Cold Sesame 2.0 – tahini, yuba, marinated egg, cucumber
And the good news keeps on coming. Cheu will now be opening at noon on Saturdays and Sundays.
I did not make it to Hai Street Kitchen & Co. yesterday for the free maki rolls. However, occasional Foobooz contributor Fidel Gastro did brave the line. Check out his story on the line and the roll on his own blog.
Today, curiosity was too much to resist, even at 1:10 p.m. when the line stretched beyond the front door. Nineteen minutes later I had my custom roll and headed back to the office to critique and eat.
I went with a custom roll of flank steak (it was pink in the center of the slices and just looked too good to pass up), spicy gochujang sauce, wasabi guacamole sauce, romaine, carrot and red cabbage. It was finished with a shaker shake of fried garlic flakes. The roll was $8.99 for the steak plus another 99¢ for the wasabi guac.
A very satisfying lunch at Cheu Noodle Bar was made that much better with some information on Shawn Darragh’s and Ben Puchowitz’s East Passyunk’s venture. Darragh told me that the 50-seat (plus another 30-seats outdoors) restaurant will be called Bing Bing. Bing is Cantonese for dumplings and Bing Bing is just more fun to say. The former El Zarape will be a dim sum house with a large selection of dumplings and buns.
If all goes well, Darragh and Puchowitz will have their take on dim sum cranking by Labor Day.
Craig LaBan reviews Simply Shabu in Chinatown and finds that the Asian version of fondue is a hit.
The Chinese woman beside us said the meat portions seemed skimpy compared to her nearby favorites. And no doubt the heap of shaved meat at Happy Noodle Bar dwarfed the eight perfectly rolled curls of sliced beef at Simply Shabu. But there’s a major quality difference: the beef at Happy Noodle was so shabby that it instantly shriveled into wads of yellow fat, while Shabu’s nicely marbled USDA choice rib eye (Pennsylvania-raised like all of Shabu’s meats, and not unlike what goes into a good cheesesteak) remained beefy and superbly tender.
Two Bells – Very Good
For a brief moment Philadelphia’s food scene was all about Ryo Igarashi, Maru and his takoyaki balls. But a fire, a scary injury and a divorce later, Igarashi had faded from most people’s memories. But he’s back and Drew Lazor has the details on his quest for a restaurant and his upcoming experimental restaurant pop-up, Ronin Kitchen.
Shawn Darragh and Ben Puchowitz are celebrating the first anniversary of Cheu Noodle Bar, their delightfully non-authentic Asian spot in Center City.
Nick Vadala has a profile on the pair, that includes some teases regarding what the pair have in mind for their next venture, at the former Zarape on East Passyunk.
One year on, Cheu Noodle Bar remains deliciously inauthentic—but mature [Philadelphia Daily News]
Cheu Noodle Bar [Foobooz]
Shawn Darragh and Ben Puchowitz have signed a lease for the current El Zarape at 12th, Passyunk and Morris Streets. Passyunk Post has the details on what will not be another Cheu Noodle Bar but a different Asian concept. No doubt inspired by Darragh and Puchowitz’s recent trip through Asia.
El Zarape will be open through March 14th, when it will move to 1304 S 9th Street.
Cheu Noodle Bar has some new menu items but the more exciting news is their 15% hospitality industry discount that’s available every day all day. Just bring in some kind of proof, like “[pay] stub, chefs coat, apron, etc.”
Quick-serve Asian noodles spot, Wokworks is now open at 1935 Chestnut Street. Wokworks offers assembly-line style noodle dishes where patrons can choose their noodle, protein, vegetables and sauce. The spot also offers dumplings, buns, crispy noodle chips and frozen tea slushies.