Little Village Noodle HouseDigest Step Up to the Plate
January 26, 2014
Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Leah Friel
A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: JAI ($12.95)
Delve into the exotic flavors of China at Little Village Noodle House on Smith Street, where the award-winning array of cuisine is welcomed by locals and tourists alike. Food enthusiasts from across the island flock to this rustic restaurant, in business for more than a decade, to dine on Northern-style Chinese cuisine. And with Chinese New Year just around the corner, Jai is an absolute must-have.
Little Village Noodle House is serving Jai as a special through Feb. 7. So, kick off Chinese New Year with a whole lot of fortune and delicious Chinese fare.
“Jai is a vegetarian dish that’s traditionally eaten as the first meal in the Chinese New Year,” says restaurant partner David Chang, who notes that this authentic cuisine is believed to represent long life, prosperity and good fortune.
A beautiful vegetable medley of water chestnuts, shiitake mushrooms, won, bok, carrots, bamboo shoots, dried fungus and snow peas complement the dish. Jai is also referred to as “monk’s food,” as it’s the Buddhist belief to only eat vegetables in the new year — partaking in meat would mean destroying life.
According to Chang, bean curd, red bean curd, ginger, garlic, ginko nuts and onions add an explosive amount of flavor to the dish.
“The long rice symbolizes long life,” Chang says. “It’s very important to eat noodles such as Jai for Chinese New Year, and to incorporate the color red into your food and clothing. We add red bean curd and red dates into our Jai because the Chinese believe that red brings good luck.”
Little Village Noodle House
1113 Smith St., Chinatown
Monday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.;
Friday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.