Chinese >East by Northeast
1128 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA | Directions 0213942.373030 -71.096075
Good chinese fusion food – The shrimp congee I ordered was delicious, it was simply different. The dessert which included brow butter sauce something was just so so. I guess pastry is not the advantage of the restaurant. But the other main dish was good to great. I also love the beef noodle with spicy broth.
Rounds Out the Neighborhood – Inman Square is home to some of my favorite haunts: Bukowski's for beer, the East Coast Grill for seafood, and now East by Northeast, a fresh take on the Chinese noodle house care of Chef Phillip Tang.
Our attentive server encouraged us to order three or four dishes each, as they are small and intended to "make up a collage." (His words). The winners: the pork-belly bread with daikon and sweet bean paste and the hand-rolled rice noodles. Equal parts crispy, chewy and savory, these plates were stick-to-your-ribs good. But the whole menu is exciting, featuring unusual ingredients like kohlrabi and fiddlehead ferns!
I tried one of the cocktails, the grapefruit infused vodka with fresh grapefruit and jasmine tea. Interesting flavor combination -- I've never tasted anything like it. I suspect the cilantro lime soda and Hendrick's gin would have been more my speed.
Our meal had a surprise ending: a silky coconut, rice and milk soup as a palate cleanser, served cold. It was so tasty that I tried to google a similar recipe for half an hour with no results...guess I'll have to come back!
Noodles and curried carrot chips – The curried carrot chips brought as you wait with a drink in line turned my head. They are amazing, dry and crisp and just perfect. Where have they been all my life?
The short rice stick noodles, the long noodles , the kohlrabi salad and other pickly things are superb, as was the pork belly noodle soup. The virgin drinks are at least as good as the alcoholic ones.
But slow down a bit on service; these tastes should be allowed to linger on the tongue!
I went two nights in a row and the unfailingly friendly staff, the sparkling bright taste of the food and the general cheer will bring me back again.
Citysearch Editorial Review – Whether the Momofuku comparisons penetrate deeply or no, Inman Square’s East by Northeast holds its own as a locally sourced, conscientious, thoroughly modern, yet unequivocally delicious Chinese noodle joint. In a modestly sized, cheerily orange dining room (with a teensy, four-seats-wide bar abutting the open kitchen), one can wield chopsticks on comforting delights such as hand-rolled short rice noodles (in glutinous pillows reminiscent of gnocchi) or housemade five-spice-kissed dumplings with pork and butternut squash. Dishes are meant to be shared family-style, with plenty of umami-overload bites and vegetarian-friendly options alike. ExNE (as it's affectionately abbreviated) puts a sophisticated take on the Chinese-food canon, all with a dash of democratic wit.
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