By Rachel Tair
As I was strolling down Great Neck Road looking for somewhere to eat lunch, I passed the casual Chipotle, Starbucks, and Wild Ginger. Fed up with these generic food choices, I looked around hoping something would catch my eye. Scanning my surroundings, I noticed a red “grand opening ” sign for Ren Wen Noodle Factory. Intrigued, I scurried toward the restaurant and read the menu outside. My stomach rumbled as I read the unique menu options ranging from spring rolls to chocolate chip cookies. As I walked in, my nose was immediately welcomed with a delightful scent of ramen noodles and kimchi.
Ren Wen Noodle Factory opened March 1 of 2018. Entering the restaurant, I felt like I was stepping into an upscale modern restaurant on the Upper East Side. It has a chic and contemporary interior. The restaurant consists of wooden booths, long wooden tables, and metal stools for seating. It has a simple and minimalistic aesthetic made up of white walls accompanied by grey accents. There were elaborate illustrations of people happily eating different dishes together on one of the walls. My eyes widened and my mouth watered as I watched numerous chefs hard at work preparing noodles from scratch in the open kitchen. This simple interior creates a casual and inviting atmosphere.
Customers walk up to the cash register to place their order. The staff is extremely friendly and patient. They are eager to help customers and are willing to give you their recommendations. After ordering, you will find a seat, and your meal will be brought to your table.
The menu is short and simple. There aren’t too many options, but each dish is extremely elaborate and unique.The menu consists of complex salad, noodle, dumpling, and dessert dishes. The restaurant is casual and the prices are mid-ranged. The sophisticated appetizers such as spring rolls and kimchi jars range from four to seven dollars. The noodle dishes range from nine to fourteen dollars. These dishes are rather large and can potentially be shared between two people. The prices are reasonable considering the great quality of food and generous portion size.
Ren Wen Noodle Factory is the first restaurant in Great Neck to specialize in noodles. Here, the noodles are the main event. Their menu consists of two different types of noodle dishes: broth noodle bowls and sauce noodle bowls. Traditionally, ramen consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat based broth, often flavored with miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork, dried seaweed, and green onions. However, Ren Wen prides themselves on putting their own twist on this traditional dish. Their broth noodles are served in vegetable, fish, or meat broths and topped with unusual flavors such as caramelized onions and pulled bacon. The sauce noodle bowls resemble Italian pasta dishes with an Asian twist. The noodles vary from spaghetti to rye soba noodles.
The food arrived to the table within ten minutes. My mom and I shared the kimchi jars, spring rolls, and the “Three Little Pigs” noodles. The noodle dish consisted of ramen noodles, pork belly, spinach, corn, pulled bacon, carmelized onions, and chicken broth. The noodles were cooked to perfection, and everything tasted great. My mom and I have never had ramen with spinach, corn, or bacon, but were pleasantly surprised by the amazing product. Overall, my experience at Ren Wen Noodle Factory was incredible. I strongly recommend Ren Wen Noodle Factory for a casual meal consisting of delicious and unique eats.