Soup dumpling testing at Cheu Noodle Bar
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.
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.
Huge! Owners of Cheu Noodle Bar plan second restaurant in El Zarape space [Passyunk Post]
Tonight is another edition of the Alla Spina Industry Night. This month features Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh of Cheu Noodle Bar providing their take on Asian fare, including barbecue pig tails, foie gras buns and sesame noodles. Alla Spina chef, Mike Deganis will be pitching in with Japanese squash pancakes and red bean cakes for dessert.
Lee from Hop Sing Laundromat will also be helping out with some easy-drinking summer fruit cocktails.
All the food is free, the cocktails are $7 and Shiner Ruby Redbird and Bock beers will be just $3.
As always, bring a paystub to show at the door for access. It all starts at 10 p.m.
For more information, check out the Weekly Wildy »
So for those of you already accustomed to the pace of change at Cheu Noodle Bar, this will come as no surprise, but chef Ben Puchowitz has just updated the menu again. He’s dropped some stuff. He’s added a LOT of stuff (like foie gras meatballs with banana blossoms and plum BBQ sauce, fish ribs with charred corn and bowls of cold buckwheat noodles with caviar, tomato and green papaya). But the biggest thing that got added? A very Cheu-esque manifesto (of sorts) from Ben and his partner, Shawn Darragh. Dig it:
What do we, two dudes from Philly, know about “authentic” Asian cuisine? Nothing. Lucky for us, that’s not what CHeU is all about. We cook what we like to eat — it’s personal, no matter what we put in front of you. Our food is often informed by tradition, but it’s never defined by it. All that we require of you is a willing mind and a willing stomach. We might not be “authentic.” But we do keep it real. —Ben and Shawn
Got it. Screw authenticity and come along for the ride. I like that. And really, when you’re cooking in a place that serves a brisket noodle bowl, pig tails with ramp kimchee, hand-torn noodles with lamb necks and dates and one of the most delicious plates of scrapple ever, you really can’t make any other kind of argument.
As always, you can check out the new menu in its entirety over at Cheu’s website.
Cheu Noodle Bar [the menu]
Cheu Noodle Bar–the TOTALLY not-a-ramen-bar from Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh–opened yesterday at 3pm at 10th and Locust, and we were there about 3:30 to grab a couple seats at the counter, see all the industry folks who showed up for a late lunch and eat the hell out of the short, tight menu.
Something you should know right off the bat: They call the place a noodle bar and that’s exactly what it is–a long, thin space with counter seating and a few tables where the crew in the kitchen focuses primarily on putting out several variations of noodle bowls, from ramen to pho to brisket, lamb neck and curry.
Something else you should know: The noodles are actually the least interesting things on the menu.
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Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh have been planning Cheu Noodle Bar since at least late 2011. What started as a pop-up is finally becoming a storefront and yesterday we got an early look (and bite).
Cheu Noodle Bar, which is opening on Monday, April 1st, has seating for about 32 people, primarily along the bar in front of the open kitchen where Puchowitz is preparing his mostly noodle (but not mostly ramen) menu. All of the noodles are made in-house including the hand torn noodles pictured above.
Photos and the menu »
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]
The ramen has been the star at the Cheu Noodle Bar pop-ups but the fresh-made juices are not to be slept on. And now you won’t have to wait to the next pop-up night to enjoy the juices.
Starting tomorrow the fresh made juices will be featured at the both Good Karma Cafes in Center City (928 Pine Street, 331 S 22nd Street). Each day will feature two healthy, veggie and fruit based juices (no sugar added).
At past pop-ups the juices have included flavors like:
- Pineapple – vanilla, jalapeno, thai basil
- Banana – sesame, vietnamese coffee
- Peach Ginger – lemon verbena, yogurt
Cheu Noodle Bar [Official Site]
Good Karma Cafe [Official Site]
Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh are holding a pop-up of their highly-anticipated Cheu Noodle Bar at David Katz’s Meme on August 5th. The pop-up, from 5:30-9 p.m., is cash only and reservation are required; reservations can be made on July 28th starting atnoon by calling 215-287-2533 and will be confirmed the morning of August 5th.
UPDATE: With the closing of David Katz’s Meme, the pop-up is as of now cancelled.
Full Noodle Party menu and news of Matyson’s Sunday Lobster Dinner »
Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh of Roundeye Noodle Bar have settled on a new name, one hopefully no one objects to, Cheu Noodle Bar. Cheu as in chewy, the style of noodle Ben and Shawn most enjoy, not hard or mushy, just chewy.
Ben and Shawn are also announcing pop-up number three for Sunday, April 1st. The format will be similar to the last pop-up, reservations will be accepted beginning on Saturday, March 31st at 10 a.m. The ramen will be served at Matyson on Sunday from 4:30 p.m to 8:30, cash only.
The menu has been expanded for this pop-up. There is a new snack section that includes lamb belly buns and barbecue pig tails. Also the ramen broth has been tweaked for this time around.
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