By Janet Angulo
When you leave campus and head out for shopping or eating out, you will run into other Johnnies. It is a given.
Why? We are a small community of college students in a small, but colorful town. When a new restaurant or coffee shop opens up, it’s exciting and we all want to be the first to try it out. We try it and we share our thoughts with our friends, and next thing you know, this is the place to be.
As we came back from our winter break, Santa Fe welcomed a new Chinese food restaurant:
Ji Wang Noodle Shop.
Within hours of a friend sharing the news with me, I headed over to the Plaza to check it out.
Chef and owner Jieyi HeRabacu’s vision for her restaurant is to serve “REAL” Chinese food that is prepared in the same way it would be prepared back home. In addition to authenticity and quality, the menu promises a unique culinary treat due to the fact that chef Jieyi and her family are from the Guangxi region in Southern China. Some of Chef Jieyi’s personal favorites are the Hong Kong style Chicken Shumai, the Loyo Spicy Pork Noodle Soup, and the “Chinese Tamales”.
Yes, you read that correctly. The chef responded to my confused face and explained that she had renamed the dish, Zongzi, on her menu to fit the New Mexico scene. This tamale is filled with white sticky rice, mung beans, pork, Chinese sausage, chestnut, shiitake mushroom and is wrapped in bamboo leaves instead of a corn husk.
I ordered the Loyo Spicy Pork Noodle Soup and my friend tried the Spicy Mapo Tofu. While I don’t feel authorized to make a claim about how authentic the flavors were, I can certainly say that the food was delicious and unlike any other Chinese food I had tried before.
While we ate, fresh dumplings were being made at the table behind us and the chef gave us a couple of fried pot stickers to try; delicious, crunchy, pot stickers.
This is making me hungry so I will stop here.
Chef Jieyi is looking for feedback, so be sure to stop by and let her know what you think!
Ji Wang Noodle Shop is nestled in the Plaza Galeria shopping center just off of the plaza.
Visit their website for more information.