May 17, 2018 By Tara Law
A restaurant serving American takes on Chinese noodle dishes will open in Forest Hills this summer.
Ren Wen Noodle Factory, which opened it first location at 7 Great Neck Road in Flushing in March, will open a new noodle shop at 107-50 Queens Boulevard in late July or early August.
The restaurant will specialize in noodles mixed with American and traditional Chinese flavors. The location is near the exit of the Forest Hills- 71st Ave. (E/F/M/R) subway station.
The restaurant will be opened by C.S. Wong, 82, the founder of Wonton Foods— the largest noodle, fortune cookie and Asian food manufacturer in the U.S. Wonton Foods has over 400 employees today, but started out as a noodle shop in Chinatown in the early 1970s said manager Ryan Smith.
The new restaurants reflect Wong’s roots as a noodle shop owner and as an immigrant from China. Each dish takes inspiration from different Chinese regions— such as fermented chili paste and fried garlic chili oil— but also incorporates ingredients that are familiar to Americans.
“We don’t want people to think it’s Chinese food— it’s very American inspired,” Smith said.
The restaurant will also serve a wide variety of noodles, including those invented by the chef. These include a “ten piece noodle”— 10 pieces of ramen fused together— and a “grandma noodle,” a ribbon-like noodle that is thicker in the middle.
Smith said that the restaurant is still finalizing its menu, but it plans to incorporate many items from the Flushing restaurant, which serves noodle bowls with broth or sauce.
Customers who are perplexed by any of the ingredients are invited to ask their waiters, Smith said.
“We like for people to ask about the ingredients, and we encourage them to ask questions,” Smith said. “We want to educate people on the culture as well as give them something new to try.”
The Forest Hills restaurant will offer 70 seats and counter service. The restaurant plans to apply for a liquor license in the near future.