March 12, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
An expansive new Chinese restaurant specializing in hand-pulled noodles has opened in Long Island City, following months of delays due to the pandemic.
Noodle Craft, located at 10-39 47th Rd. in Hunters Point, had its grand opening on March 4 and their menu consists of a wide range of specialty Chinese soups and dry noodles.
The restaurant focuses heavily on noodle dishes and soups – with all of the noodles being hand-pulled. The restaurant also offers a variety of dumplings, pancakes and bubble teas.
Qina Tan, who owns the restaurant with her business partner Fanny Shu, said the location was expected to open last summer but construction delays and problems putting in utilities – caused in large part by the pandemic – undermined their initial plans.
Tan, a Chinese immigrant, said that the 2,600-foot venue was under renovation for around 18 months before opening. Noodle Craft has taken over the space that was occupied by The Green Street LIC restaurant that shuttered in 2018.
It is their first standalone restaurant together as business partners. They also operate a food stall at the DeKalb Market Hall Brooklyn which they first established five years ago, Tan said.
Tan said they decided to open in Long Island City in order to tap into the large Asian population living there. She said her daughter attends a daycare center in the area also.
She said that trade has been steady despite the business not having a functioning website. The pair only set up an Instagram page for the business last week and had been pre-occupied with opening the restaurant, Tan said.
“We are confident that people will enjoy the food. We hope they will keep coming back and spread news of the restaurant opening through word of mouth,” Tan said.
“We aim to become a neighborhood favorite.”
Tan said the Dan Dan noodles – that contain mixed pork, peanut, bok choy and sesame paste – are proving popular with customers as well as their braised beef noodle soup.
The restaurant sells a range of bubble teas that are also in high demand, Tan said. Bubble tea is a brew that originated in Taiwan that contains chewy tapioca balls.
Tan, a Woodhaven resident, said there is plenty of space for customers to socially distance and eat safely inside. The restaurant has a long indoor dining area that seats around 60 people at full capacity. There are several sets of tables and chairs near the entrance and a number of longer picnic-style benches near the counter.
The walls have been painted in white and gray colors and there are lots of Chinese-style hanging lights. The restaurant was designed by Shu, who works as an architect full time. She is originally from Taiwan.
The restaurant currently has no outdoor dining area but they hope to eventually get permission to use a space that runs along the side of the building, Tan said.
For now, Tan said they are just pleased to be open and operating.
“We are happy to be finally open and hopefully we can stay open.”
Opening hours are Thursday through Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. and on Sundays and Wednesdays from noon to 8:30 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.