Clockwise from top: beef and kimchi bing, wasabi rice cakes, brisket ramen
When Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh’s opened their ramen shop, Cheu Noodle Bar, there wasn’t a doubt in the world — at least by us (for Puchowitz and Darragh, it was a different story) — that the concept would be a great success. And now, four years in, Cheu Noodle Bar feels classic, like it’s been here for decades, because those guys know how to make a restaurant fit in in Philly. They did it in Washington Square West, and then again with Bing Bing Dim Sum on Passyunk Avenue.
And by the end of this week (Friday, July 21st), they’ll go for three with the opening of Cheu Fishtown at 1416 Frankford Avenue.
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Ben Puchowitz, the chef-half of the Cheu Noodle Bar duo, spent his honeymoon in Hawaii this past winter, and like any good chef, he ate everything he could get his hands on. And he misses it — all of it — the beaches, the weather, the food.
Now, couple Puchowitz’s heartache for Hawaii with the fact that Cheu chefs Justin Bacharach and Bryan Donovan just got back from noodle R&D in L.A. (which included lots of tiki bars), and you’ve got a whole lot of Polynesian vibes floating around Washington Square West.
So the Cheu team’s decided to throw a Tiki Night. Here’s what you should know.
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Celebrate Chinese New Year at Bing Bing Dim Sum
When Ben Puchowitz was the chef at Matyson he was known for his always changing tasting menus. In fact we awarded him Best of Philly awards for those menus twice. In honor of the Chinese New Year, he’s going back to the future with a Matyson-style tasting menu at Bing Bing Dim Sum on Passyunk Avenue.
The Year of the Monkey menu will be served on Monday, February 8th and the four-course meal will cost $35 per person. Drink specials including a harmony punch will also be available. Call for reservations (215-279-7702).
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Soup Season: Mushroom Pho – aged fish sauce, sprouts, herbs
Yes, the temperatures are dropping and that means you are probably thinking about soup more often. And if you’re like us, that means thinking about Cheu Noodle Bar more often. Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh’s noodly heaven is set for the weather. Chef Ian Boothman is officially in charge of the kitchen and he’s updated the menu. Also new, Melissa Pellegrino is in as the front-of-house and beverage manager and she’s got some new drinks that she’s added to the menu.
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Lox Buns, new at Bing Bing Dim Sum
At Bing Bing Dim Sum, Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh have been constantly tweaking, changing ingredients, methods and menu items since opening six months ago. And now Darragh tells us they’ve found their groove. And with this latest menu, they’re featuring a streamlined menu of dim sum items and shareable large plates.
On this latest menu jump around the world with pork soup dumplings; Everything Pac Man Buns, served with lox, cream cheese and cucumber, to a South Philly inspired roast pork bao with sharp provolone, long hots and spinach.
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Pan fried Bao at Bing Bing Dim Sum
Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh continue to tinker and improve Bing Bing Dim Sum on East Passyunk. After adding happy hour and delivery, they launched weekend lunch with the kickoff of Philly Beer Week.
A week in, they’ve added some brunch-style cocktails including iced Vietnamese coffee; the Bing Bing Mary, tomatillo, pineapple, tamarind, green tabasco, chili paste and pickled jalapeno; and the Java Jawn Cocktail, Vietnamese coffee, sweetened condensed milk, Barbancourt dark rum, topped with coconut palm sugar and whipped cream.
Bing Bing is now open on Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Check out the latest food menu from Bing Bing, which has been tweaked from even a week ago.
Latest Bing Bing menu »
As if the ever-changing menu and new happy hour program at Bing Bing Dim Sum weren’t keeping them busy enough, partners Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Daragh are also shaking things up at Cheu Noodle Bar.
They’ve got five new bowls on the menu, plus some tinkery upgrades, and they’re rolling it all out tonight, starting at 5pm. So for those of you out there who’ve been gorging yourselves on soup dumplings and getting messy with pitchers of ginger-flavored happy juice, maybe it’s time to get back to Shawn and Ben’s original fusion laboratory for a change of pace–or maybe just for some peanut noodles with shrimp and Vietnamese pickles because that sounds awesome right about now.
Cheu Noodle Bar [f8b8z]
Bing Bing Dim Sum | Photo by Courtney Apple
If restaurateurs were rock stars (and in Philly, they’re as close as we come), Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh would be vintage R.E.M. Whether they’re slinging ramen with brisket and matzo balls, as at Cheu Noodle Bar, or papering the walls of their new Bing Bing Dim Sum with acid-trip dumpling emojis, they have a knack for twisting a budding trend just far enough to make it unmistakably their own. Read more »
Soup dumpling testing at Bing Bing Dim Sum.
Bing Bing Dim Sum announced today that they passed their health inspection, bringing them closer to finally opening. According to owner Shawn Darragh, the plan is to softly open the week of February 9th and aim for the grand opening on either February 16 or 17.
Ben Puchowitz is currently testing his menu, watch the progress on Facebook and Instagram. But check back here early next week for the final product. Bing Bing will be on happening Passyunk Avenue, opposite of Cantina Los Caballitos.
Bing Bing Dim Sum [Foobooz]
Cheu’s new noodles: Spicy Shrimp Broth – egg noodle, shrimp balls, onion
Working towards opening Bing Bing Dim Sum on East Passyunk doesn’t mean Cheu Noodle Bar is stagnating. The Washington Square West noodle shop is showing off six new menu items for the new year. Charred beets and an oyster bun are the new small plates. In the noodle department, Chef Ben Puchowitz is now offering:
Spicy Shrimp Broth – egg noodle, shrimp balls, onion
Short Rib Mazeman – tomatillo, green chile, soft egg
Sichuan – hot bean paste, pea leaves, tofu, sesame
Yakisoba 3.0 – chorizo, mushroom, egg, cilantro
More photos of the new dishes »