Brrracing Noodles

Written by Gwen Ashley Walters Category: Three Bites Issue: August 2015
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Slurp your way to summer relief with these chilled ramens, sobas and vermicellis.

Chou’s Kitchen
910 N. Alma School Rd., Chandler, 480-821-2888
Something about cool, slippery noodles is more than appealing – in Phoenix, it’s emergency relief. Digging into a bowl of chilled noodles spiked with cooling flavors – think cucumber and mint – offers a brief respite from the ghastly summer heat. A good place to find your prescription is at the unassuming Chou’s Kitchen. Known for Northern Chinese meat pies and dumplings, Chou’s has a potent weapon to battle summer’s sear: spicy and sour vermicelli ($5.98). The dish starts with ice-cold sweet potato starch noodles, the size of fat spaghetti and the color of murky glass. Chilled and tossed with red-chile-infused sesame oil and numbing Sichuan peppercorns, plus sour Chinkiang black rice vinegar, slivered cucumbers, whole peanuts and cilantro, the slurp-worthy noodles offer a swirling flavor burst coupled with a supernatural cooling effect despite the chile sting.

Clever Koi
4236 N. Central Ave., Phoenix,  
602-222-3474, thecleverkoi.com
Only one chilled noodle option is available at Clever Koi, and only at lunch when the modern Asian-flavored restaurant presents the “build your own bowl” menu check-list, but it’s worth seeking out. Vivid green tea soba noodles are blanched and tossed with a splash of sesame oil and chilled in the same Korean-flavored marinade Chef Jared Porter uses for steak – soy sauce, ginger, garlic, chile flakes and a touch of brown sugar. The delicious, soothing bowl starts at $5, but you can kick it up with a wood-grilled protein ($3) or any number of vegetables ($1 each).

Kale & Clover
20511 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale,
480-568-8707, kaleandclover.com
If a heaping bowl of refrigerated noodles is just too transgressive for your taste, you’re in luck. This “Mindful Kitchen” – aimed squarely at the health-conscious – offers a training-wheels option. An eco-friendly bowl packed with tons of vegetables – broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, snap peas, carrots, radish slices, cilantro and mint – also sports a handful of springy noodles made from three grains, including whole wheat and buckwheat. Tossed with a citrus-soy dressing whisked with a smidgen of creamy almond butter, it’s a refreshing salad with substance ($10).

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