If you are a noodle lover, you’ll take them in any form, hot or cold. Cold noodles are an excellent way to get your fix, and are refreshing to boot. Luckily, cold noodle dishes abound in metro Atlanta, from a variety of different Asian cuisines. Here are some standouts:
Bun dac biet at Nam Phuong
People tend to go to Vietnamese restaurants for a hot bowl of pho, but my order always is a bun dish. Bun is a classic cold noodle dish made up of thin rice vermicelli that serves as a vehicle for a myriad of toppings, from seafood to pork. Many bun dishes come with a shower of shredded lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumbers, cilantro, and a spicy-sweet sauce typical to Vietnam, called nuoc cham. The bun dac biet at Nam Phuong features grilled shrimp, beef, pork and a fried spring roll chopped in half. Toss it all with the sauce, and maybe something from the condiment caddies.
Finding cold ramen in Atlanta is difficult, but, thankfully, a few places have started offering it. Leave it to noodle lover Guy Wong, of Miso Izakaya and Le Fat, to bring this classic Japanese summer dish to Ponce City Market. While the hot ramen dishes and dan dan mazemen (his take on dan dan noodles) are reliable orders, the hiyashi chuka makes a lighter lunch that’s still big on flavor. A shallow dish is filled with a sweetish sauce made from water, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and soy sauce. Chilled cooked ramen noodles sit on top as a base for the toppings. Here, they serve a mosaic of sliced ham, tomatoes, cucumber, crab, shredded carrot, green onion, and a soft-cooked egg.
Ton Ton Ramen and Yakitori. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. tontonramen.com.
Chengdu cold noodles at Gu’s Kitchen
Was there any dish more Instagram-worthy in the past year than the Chengdu cold noodles at Gu’s? When Gu’s reopened on Buford Highway (after moving a smaller version of its original concept to Krog Street Market), the presentation of the famous dish improved considerably. The sweet and spicy, chili oil-slickened egg noodles arrive draped on chopsticks balanced on a rod hidden by the noodles — and look as if suspended in midair.