Cheu Noodle Bar is a hip ramen house located in the Washington Square neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The dimly light restaurant was completely packed when I arrived for dinner.
It’s labeled as “hip” because it’s not your typical authentic ramen house servicing rich ramen broth with the typical items on the menu. The hipster ramen house provides fusion Asian bites blending anything from South East Asian to American flavors. It definitely shows with its attempt to be clever with menu items named General Tso’s Brussels Sprouts, Cheu Caesar, Brisket Ramen and Mushroom Pho.
Cheu Noodle Bar reminds me why Anthony Bourdain has such a disdain for hipsters. It also reminds me of my own extreme dislike for hipsters and their gentrification of neighborhoods. The graffiti covered walls and the dimly lit restaurant appears to be trying too hard with its need to be cool. However, the need to be different and provide a hip dining environment overruled the quality of the food.
Now, the food. We had the following:
- Miso Ramen – The lukewarm bowl came with pork shoulder, a soft egg and black garlic. The slow cooked pork shoulder was definitely tender but it was uninspiring yet sweet. It wasn’t anything to rave about. The vegetable heavy bowl overpowered any hope it had and drowned out the broth. The broth was lukewarm and terrible in flavor. It lacked any inspiring rich, salty and warm flavors with a typical traditional Miso Ramen bowl.
- Fried Chicken Tantan – The bowl came with collards, sweet tea egg, and cornbread furikake. The fried chicken soaked up the broth and lost any crispiness. The bland broth along with the boiled vegetables didn’t make the bowl of noodles any better. Tan tan noodles come out piping hot but this came out tepid as if it was sitting on the counter. The traditional Sichuan noodle classic took a wrong turn at Williamsburg in New York then came out with a fanny pack and a mustache.$256.00in stockTrip.com$74.99in stockHotels.com$113.40in stockPriceline.com$134.47in stockExpedia.com$134.47in stockTravelocity.com
- Broccoli – The broccoli with accompany with Vietnamese sausages, peanuts and soy. The broccoli was cooked nicely and had a good crunch when you bite into it. The Vietnamese sausages were spicy while the peanuts added an earthy flavor to it. This was probably the best dish of the night.
- Pizza Dumplings – The dumplings were filled with pork, parmesan cheese, chili oil then topped with green onions. Cheu tries to mesh two iconic comfort foods in a bold statement to deliver a underachieving product. The flavors of the filling didn’t compliment the texture of the dumpling wrapper. The chili oil and parmesan cheese clashed like Donald Trump and everyone who has criticized him.
- Black Garlic Wings – The six chicken wings seasoned with black garlic and shishito topped with cilantro, green onions and sesame seeds then garnish with a slice of lime. The soft chicken wings fell off the bone but lacked any decent flavor. It was exciting as watching golf on a Sunday afternoon.
In a city known for the Philly Cheese Steaks, Cheu Noodle Bar tries to change up the dining scene with some of its fusion cuisine. The creativity of the ingredients was fun, but it failed miserably in its execution. Unfortunately, Cheu Noodle Bar was a huge disappointment and another attempt to fuse different cuisines. There are certain cuisines that don’t mesh very well. Overall, Cheu Noodle Bar took some classics Asian dishes then took a shit on them. Unfortunately, it wasn’t tastier than it look like mung bean noodles.
Check out our other Philadelphia articles here.
- Service - 7/107/10
- Presentation - 6/106/10
- Flavors - 4/104/10
- Decor - 5/105/10
- Ambiance - 4/104/10
Cheu Noodle Bar is a hip ramen house located in the Washington Square neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The hipster ramen house provides fusion Asian bites blending anything from South East Asian to American flavors. However, the need to be different and provide a hip dining environment overruled the quality of the food.