Gyu-Kaku’s Chicken Garlic Noodles Will Satisfy Your Noodle Craving

Last week Gyu-Kaku Times Square started serving lunch. When I read their menu online, I was not surprised to see that one of  my favorite dishes, chicken garlic noodles, was within the ML price range, as it usually costs $10. I was surprised to find, however, that the dish’s price was slashed during lunchtime. Score!

The chicken garlic noodles dish ($6) was a sharable portion (or not!), with marinated ground chicken, diced red bell peppers, scallions and sesame seeds. I’ve had this dish before, usually as a side dish for the many meats and veggies that were grilled at the table. As a main dish, it didn’t disappoint. Salty and flavorful, but without the hugely noticeable taste of garlic that the name suggests, the noodles and chicken really satiated the noodle craving I’d been having. If you’re someone who likes a mess of wok-fried Asian noodles for lunch, this dish will appeal to you too. I appreciated that since I happened to be dining solo, they offered to plate the dish in a bowl instead of the standard hot plate meant as a serving platter.

Since the noodles were inexpensive, I used the extra cash to play with their appetizers. I went with the sweet potato tempura ($3) as a side dish. It was served with a small plate of red spicy sauce and mayo, which when mixed together became a sauce similar to what they use in spicy sushi rolls. Not sure why they don’t just mix it for you, but generally speaking, Gyu-Kaku is a DIY kind of establishment.

These were Okinawan sweet potatoes, which means they were actually purple inside. Taste-wise, these weren’t so different from regular sweet potatoes but were a great vehicle for the spicy sauce, which makes them very worth their $3. The tempura batter was dark in color, which leads me to believe the sweet potato was left in the fryer a bit too long, but they didn’t taste burned.

The menu includes discounts on the grill items too, but I think it would be impossible to fill up on just a couple of grilled meat plates (which is all $10 will get you). But, there are other dishes on the lunchtime menu that would interest the ML crowd, including sukiyaki bibimbap ($6) and spicy chigae ramen ($7), so you know I’ll be back to check ‘em out in the coming weeks.

Gyu-Kaku, 321 W. 44th St. (btw. 8+9th), 646-692-9115


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    If the darker color on the tempura didn’t taste burnt, that means they have some dirty azz oil…..

  • Here’s a repost of my comments from last week:

    Breaking rank with a Happy Hour review at the bar; hope this is okay. Went there last night (Monday 4/16) as Monday’s are Happy Hour all day.

    The good: Great pour. Always appreciated. That’s about it.

    The mediocre: Nothing is seasoned. Something I couldn’t wrap my head around. Place has a mix of Korean and Japanese. I started with the Calamari, same as bullit. I had a little different experience. Mine had a great batter but was over fried and tough and most annoying, there’s a reason you shouldn’t get fish on Monday, as this squid was definitely long past it’s prime. Followed by the Spicy Chicae Ramen which was shockingly bland. Completely lifeless, unoriginal, and a broth made from dishwater and spice. I then got the fried shrimp dumplings — you know those miniscule shrimp, almost the size of brine shrimp, one gets in garbage egg rolls?–those are in the scant filling. The wrap is wonderful and the frying is wonderful but again, lifeless, unoriginal, and, well, a rip-off. I also got the garlic noodles which finally had some flavor but suspect it was MSG as I had an MSG response on my tongue. Where’s the salt???

    The bartender is over extended and swamped. She did a great job taking orders out of the corner of her eye. Never got any special one-on-one dynamics but, oh, that pour. Lots and lots to be forgiven with a healthy alcohol pour.

    Bottom line: While food is half off at Happy Hour, it’s the equivalent and as exciting as paying for peanuts and pretzels at a bar. There are also no “meat” dishes at the bar (Happy Hour applies to tables, too) as the BBQ is for the tables. Makes sense to me. But, I’ll definitely be back for a $4.50 Jack on the rocks because of that pour–but seriously doubt I’ll get anything to eat.

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