>> Western Yunnan Crossing Bridge Noodle | Eat the World New York City

01 August 2017

Western Yunnan Crossing Bridge Noodle

YUNNAN CHINA 🇨🇳

In some of the most exciting news to hit Sunset Park in a long time, a new Yunnanese-style rice noodle shop has opened at the intersection of 7th Avenue and 59th Street. Ever since tiny Yun Nan Flavour Snack upscaled into Yun Nan Flavour Garden, the market for these southwestern Chinese rice noodles has not been the same.

At 3pm on a Monday, the neighborhood already declared that the restaurant was very good with a line out the door even in the middle of the afternoon. This continued throughout our meal and four or five people were waiting when we exited around 3:45pm. It only took a few tastes to figure out what all the fuss was about, these bowls were delicious.

The focus of the restaurant is one famous dish from the Yunnan province of China, a place world's apart from the capital Beijing. This province makes up most of China's border with Myanmar, all of Laos, and half of Vietnam, so the cuisines and cultures stray a bit towards those of Southeast Asia, and the people are the most diverse in all of China with many ethnic minorities living here.


"Crossing the bridge noodles" (the literal translation) is the most famous Yunnanese dish and is known throughout China, so it is no surprise that all the residents of Sunset Park are flocking here to get a taste. There is some debate about the origins of the name and story behind these noodles, if you have a moment dig into this fun rabbit hole. 10 options are available, from the "original" version to pork chop, beef, and kimchi, amongst others.

Served traditionally, a tray of ingredients (above) comes out while the soup broth is heated up. Thinly sliced meats, pickled vegetables, lettuce, a quail egg and chicken wing make up some of the items that will eventually make their way into the soup. In Yunnan, rice noodles are eaten almost exclusively as the southern climate supports this staple over northern grains. A bowl of hot cooked rice noodles (below) is brought out just before the broth.


When you walk into the restaurant, there is a poster that details the steps an eater should take to prepare their soup ingredients correctly, but the employees here actually do it all for you. When the hot stone bowl arrives, the thinly sliced raw meat and quail egg will be added first, followed by everything else, with the rice noodles being added last.

After everything is together, the original crossing bridge rice noodle ($7.95) looks like the bowl below, a massive amount of food at this price point. Since the noodles and especially the bowl are so hot, it takes a while for everything to cool. As opposed to the version over on 8th Avenue, the broth here is light years ahead, full of chicken bone stock savoriness.


A cup of red chili oil is on each table if you want to add spice to your bowl, or you could try an already spicy version like spicy beef navel rice noodle ($9.95, below x2), the most expensive of the lot. This bowl follows the same ceremony, but comes with cuts of beef and a spicy beef bone broth.


This had a nice kick to it and did not need additional chili, as seen below in a glossy red sheen. Both bowls were wonderful, and the other eight versions of the crossing bridge noodle are all looked forward to on future visits. They also have a small menu of side dishes, but we did not see anyone ordering these during the visit. To be honest, these thick rice noodles are quite filling to begin with and a solo diner or couple probably has no need for the sides.


With interest in Yunnan province already heightened in the last few years for various cuisine and pu'er tea reasons, this restaurant offers New York City a non-fancy way to experience this region's most famous dish.

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Western Yunnan Crossing Bridge Noodle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato