International Gourmet Kitchen’s Yakisoba is Worth a Return Visit
As we noted last week, International Gourmet Kitchen (IGK) is now open (on 8th Ave. btw. 35+36th) and as I walked into the place on Thursday, I realized that Lunch’er Mark’s assessment was pretty solid.
It’s kind of like Guy & Gallard, only with better/more varied options and more reasonably priced … The space is clean and airy with seating upstairs, and I was very surprised by how reasonable the prices were.
He paid only $8 for a cheeseburger, fries and a can of soda.
The perimeter of the new lunch spot showcases different stations, including the token salad creator, a grill spot that serves burgers and other hot sandwiches, pasta, burritos and quesadillas, and Asian rice bowls and noodles in the back. I went straight for the Asian goodies, and found a plethora of noodle options from around the East: ramen, yakisoba, udon, pho, and pad thai. Where to start?
Turns out Lunch’er Tzurin also checked out the action, bee-lining straight for the Asian fare as well.
Went there today. I got the chicken cutlet curry rice bowl and my friend got the chicken yakisoba (both around $7). Decent and might go back again, but nothing to write home about. My curry was more of a Thai type curry than anything, so it was light and had potatoes, carrots and onions vs Go Go Curry style. Smelled better than it tasted and edible but I wouldn’t order it again. My friend liked the yakisoba better though.
The yakisoba noodles are first cooked in hot water, and then they’re put in a pan with some veggies (cabbage, carrots, etc) and your choice of protein (in this case, chicken). The noodles are tossed with yakisoba sauce (literally, there is a squeeze bottle labeled “yakisoba”), and then into the box they go!
The noodles have a nice soft texture, without being mushy, and the sauce tastes pretty authentic, like Bulldog sauce. In fact, I would have liked a little extra sauce for more flavor next time. Altogether an enjoyable dish, the Yakisoba is worth a return trip, especially since the portion size is pretty generous.
Rice bowls are actually served in square box containers, like the noodles, instead of bowls. Unlike Lunch’er Tzurin’s curry, the beef curry bowl is Japanese-style, a la Go Go Curry. The curry sauce is extremely flavorful, but sweet, without any bite. It was a little unfortunate that there was so much rice in the box — it almost completely absorbed the liquid.
The sauce also includes traditional veggies like onions, carrots and potatoes. The precisely cubed potatoes had me worried that they’d be undercooked in order to keep that shape, but actually they were perfectly soft. The meat was tasty, as long as you eat around any extremely large chunks. Most of the beef was sliced, but my box had a couple large pieces that weren’t easily cut with a plastic knife. The dish also comes with pickled daikon (takuan) and pickled ginger on the side.
Both dishes were $7-$8.
The + (What someone who likes this place would say)
- So many options, what do I try first?
- I love yakisoba, and it’s not easy to find in Midtown.
- Cheeseburger + fries + soda for $8? That’s cheaper than Shake Shack!
The – (What someone who doesn’t like this place would say)
- Ugh, not another all-cuisines-in-one spot …
- The curry has no spice, and Go Go Curry is right up the street. I’d rather go there.
- The noodles need more sauce/flavor.
International Gourmet Kitchen, 505 Eighth Avenue (btw. 35+36th)