In the annals of not-quite-ramen joints that use the word “ramen” in their name to draw in Ippudo and Totto overflow business in the midtown west area, Puff Cha has to be one of the best.
The place is small inside, with seating for a maximum of 18 guests, but it is very nicely and basically decorated. Colorful.
Like Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns “Ramen,” Puff Cha serves up a bunch of dry and soup noodle dishes, among other things like Thai curry puffs and bubble teas. These are essentially empanada-like puff pastry dough turnovers filled with all sorts of goodies. We tried the Korean BBQ varietal, which was okay but I imagine their signature Thai offerings are much better.
We also dabbled into their chicken wings, which, despite not being as crispy as I like, were definitely nice and flavorful, with a soy-based sticky sauce coating them.
We tried some lunch specials since we were both off from work and wandered in for the deal. I tried the roast pork noodle soup, which was really awesome.
The broth was packed with flavor, yet thin and clear. It was served with thinly sliced roast pork, fresh baby bok choy, scallions, cilantro, and a fried egg roll wrapper of some sort. The noodles were ramen style, and cooked just right.
My soup came with a spring roll too, which was decent. Not greasy, and very light.
My wife tried a “mock duck” in Thai peanut curry sauce, which was surprisingly delicious and very reminiscent of actual fatty duck skin. Nicely done! It was served with rice, baby bok choy, and a bowl of clear fish broth.
My wife’s dish came with a steamed dumpling, which was definitely more Thai or Vietnamese flavored as opposed to Chinese.
The greatest part of this meal was discovering that they have fresh, lightly pickled spicy jalapeño peppers and red onions in a dish for adding to your soups or rice/noodle dishes. Awesome!
In the back, they have a counter-top display case with some homemade desserts that looked simple and nice as well.
Very affordable – especially during the lunch deal times (until 4pm).
457 W 50th St
New York, NY 10019