Matyson chef Ben Puchowitz’s Cheu Noodle Bar with partner Shawn Darragh pumps out a sometimes schizophrenic smorgasbord where, surprisingly, noodles won’t be what keeps you coming back. Trey Popp tells us which of the bar snacks will have you raving.
There’s broccoli mobbed with peanuts and crumbles of Puchowitz’s lime-zested, five-spiced Vietnamese sausage. Paku “fish ribs” have stupendously crackling skin, and a tamarind glaze that all but makes the accompanying jicama matchsticks get up and salsa. And while authentic scrapple may usually derive from those parts of the pig not fit for hot dogs, Cheu cheats a little by using just the shoulder, which gets cooked into something approaching a slop, set into a terrine rich with its own fat, and deep-fried till the sides crunch like the hash browns at McDonalds. So, still pretty dirty, but, as Darragh cracked one night, “safe dirty.”
Two-and-a-half stars – Good to Excellent
Philadelphia Restaurant Review: the Deliciously Eclectic Cheu Noodle Bar [Philadelphia Magazine]
Cheu Noodle Bar [Official Site]
Craig LaBan visits CHeU Noodle Bar, the decidedly untraditional Asian restaurant by Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh.
The barbecue pig tails may be my favorite new bar food of the year, the sublimely tender shreds of meat, spiced with togarashi and hickory smoked, slip right off their wing-nut-shaped bones in a finger-licking Korean barbecue glaze. Paired with kimchi-cured ramps, fermented far longer than the standard cabbage, a plate of these tails should automatically trigger a round from the former BYOB’s new list of craft canned beer. (The $3 Bud and Pabst are for Puchowitz and Darragh, respectively.)
Also a must is the gingery broccoli sauteed with house-made Vietnamese sausage crumbles, fish sauce, and lime. The paku ribs, cut from an oversize piranha relative, are roasted with crispy tamarind-glazed skin over charred corn salad, and were uncannily like tender white pork ribs.
Two Bells – Very Good
CHeU Noodle Bar: Intriguing, tasty ramen [Philadelphia Inquirer]
CHeU Noodle Bar [Official Site]
Cheu Noodle Bar can begin selling alcohol today. Here’s what food you should order to go with that can of beer.
View Cheu Noodle Bar annotated menu full size »
First appeared in the June, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
Cheu Noodle Bar has a home and a opening target. Ben Puchowitz of Matyson and Shawn Darragh are aiming to open before the end of February at the former Maru Global at 255 South 10th Street.
The interior has been gutted and new equipment is now being installed. There will be an open kitchen with bar seats along the line. The ramen spot will have room for 30 people and is working on securing a liquor license.
The menu will have be broken down by vegetables, snacks and noodles. Darragh also promises one or two other sections, “but we have to keep something secret.”
Cheu Noodle Bar [Official Site]
Scott Schroeder and sous-chef Mark Regan occasionally serve up ramen at South Philly Taproom under the Round Guy Ramen name. Tonight it is a shoyu-style ramen.
Matyson chef Ben Puchowitz is still working towards opening his but in the meantime he’s gotten a hankering for ramen. So right now the 19th Street BYOB is offering a $10 bowl of chicken ramen on its lunch menu.
Matyson [Official Site]
Hiro Ramen is opening tomorrow at 1102 Chestnut Street. The ramen spot will begin serving at 5 p.m. and follow up with regular lunch and dinner hours on Friday.
Hiro will serve several staple menu items but their namesake Hiro ramen will be updated bi-weekly as they search for new flavors and “discover their own cuisine.”
Hiro Ramen Hours:
Tuesday – Sunday Lunch: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Tuesday – Sunday Dinner: 5 p.m. -11 p.m.
1102 Chestnut Street
Facebook | Twitter
We checked in with Dan Zhao, chef and proprietor of the upcoming Hiro Ramen House at 11th and Chestnut Streets. Zhao hosted a staff and family preview last Saturday and were on the verge of opening. But based on feedback, they’re fine-tuning the concept a bit before swinging open the doors. Zhao and his team is tweaking the menu so it is entirely “MSG free, organic, locally sourced and slightly healthier.”
So no exact opening date as of yet, but it sounds like it will be a better product when it does open.
Hiro Ramen House [Official Site]
Cheu has found a home! Midtown Village here we come….
9/13/12 5:18 PM
Cheu Noodle Bar announced via Twitter that they have settled on a space in Midtown Village. Shawn Darragh and Matyson’s Ben Puchowitz, who are behind the concept which has done a series of ramen pop-ups, are remaining mum on where exactly for now. But it looks like the booming Center City neighborhood is going to remain hot.
Ramen is indeed a thing now in Philadelphia:
Recent noodle news »
We now have details on the new noodle house opening at 4040 Locust. Ramen Bar, helmed by Dean Leevongcharoen, will be softly opening shortly after Labor Day, pending a final health inspection. The modern restaurant will hold 50-60 guests for appetizers, ten varieties of ramen and Japanese entrees. Most importantly, of course, Ramen Bar will have a liquor license for sake and beer.
The location will bring a lot of students to Ramen Bar, but Dean insists that he wants his noodle house to welcome everyone from the area to hang out and watch a Phillies game on the restaurant’s TVs. An open kitchen will add another attraction to the West Philly spot.
Look for the full menu after the jump. Read more »